WOODBRIDGE – There is one, three-year unexpired Ward 1 Township Council term open during the general election in November.
Democrat Sharon McAuliffe, who was appointed in January to fill the seat after the passing of Ward 1 Councilwoman Nancy Drumm, is seeking her first elected term and will face Republican candidate John Vrtaric.
McAuliffe, 61, has lived in Woodbridge for 46 years. She has two adult children and two granddaughters.
Education: I went to Woodbridge High School after graduation I attended Middlesex County College and Diablo Valley College.
Profession: I am currently the owner of Knot Just Bagels for the past 20 years. I have a background in finance, retail and construction. I have held multiple professional positions with NKP Architects, Mikasa, Sneaker Stadium, Chevron Oil Company Credit Union and Bankers Savings & Trust.
In the community: I am a proud supporter of the community. Being a small business owner in downtown Woodbridge for 20 years, I pride myself on supporting all recreational sports, school music and arts programs, Relay for Life, police and fire events, DVRT (Domestic Violence Response Team), church functions and local races.
Why are you running for a seat for Council? I have always been interested in local government through my friendship with Nancy Drumm, and I believe I can continue her legacy of outstanding public service after being elected. I have long supported the Woodbridge community, charitable, civic and religious organizations as a local business owner and I have found that I have been able to do so much more after being appointed to the Council. Woodbridge Township has been home to my family all the way back to my grandparents and I want to continue to make it a great place to live, work, shop, dine and enjoy.
What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected? As a Council person, our main focus is on improving the quality of life for our residents. We need to control speeding on residential streets and improve traffic flow while also providing quality schools for our students and recreational opportunities for our children, families and senior citizens. We have to improve our valuable Sewaren waterfront and bring more new business to Woodbridge. I am proud to have voted for a municipal zero tax increase and I believe that improving our property values is of the utmost importance to us as elected officials.
Vrtaric, 76, has lived in Woodbridge for 60 years. He has three children and three grandchildren.
Education: High school
Profession: Businessman, hairstylist for 57 years.
In the community: Active in local politics for last 45 years, has served as GOP chairman for Woodbridge Township for 14 years, and attends Council and Board of Education meetings.
Why are you running for a seat for Council? To bring integrity back to the Council, to stop rubber stamping approvals of what mayor wants.
What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected? Control spending, reduce taxes, traffic congestion, stop over building, stop pay-to-play, and focus on working families and services. To do that, don’t spend on things that we can’t afford and money we do not have. PILOT (payment in lieu of tax) programs should be considered on contaminated properties known as brownfields, never on anything else.
Polls open from 6-8 p.m. on Nov. 8.