SAYREVILLE – Two Democrats are seeking two available three-year terms on the Sayreville Borough Council in a race that could determine party control of the governing body.
The terms currently held by Democrat Michele Cassidy Maher and Republican Donna Roberts will be on the ballot in the Nov. 8 election.
The Democrats seeking the terms are Maher and Damon Enriquez. The Republicans seeking the terms are Roberts and Dan Balka.
Balka and Roberts are profiled in a separate article.
Enriquez is a longshoreman checker at APM Terminals in Port Elizabeth and was previously a telecommunications technician. He previously served on the Borough Council from 2019-21. Enriquez is also on the executive board of the Sayreville Junior Bombers and Cheer program.
“I took pride in serving my country while in the U.S. Navy for eight years, and I feel serving the residents of Sayreville as a councilman is a way to continue making a difference,” he said. “I need to make sure the concerns of the people of Sayreville are heard and responded to.
“In the past, I worked hard in stabilizing our taxes, allocating more of our tax money towards our roads and infrastructure and worked in partnership with the county on bringing in more funding through grants for improvements to this town,” Enriquez continued. “I still have that passion to make Sayreville one of, if not the most, desired places to live in all of Middlesex County. I plan on working hard to make that happen.”
Maher has been a member of the Borough Council since 2020.
“I feel that I have been so productive over my short three years bringing great change to our borough and there’s still so much more to do,” she said.
“I’ve had a direct hand in paying your water bill online, registering your pets online, supporting hybrid council meetings so more people can participate in government, starting a community garden, finding and hiring a muralist to paint a veterans mural at Kennedy Park, countless park improvements such as eliminating graffiti, new benches, new volleyball and basketball courts, new garbage cans, new bus stops, new street signs and ‘Welcome to Sayreville’ signs, implementing our online service request form for complaints and concerns, supporting competitive salaries for our employees, finding and hiring grant writers, and fighting for funds to beautify our town.”
Prior to being elected, she served on the Sayreville Recreation Advisory Commission.
“While serving on the recreation board, I helped plan and execute the copious amount of events the town runs [including the] Easter Egg Hunt, Hit the Bricks run, Trick or Trunk, Holiday Lights parade, Toys for Tots, Movies in the Park, Play Day, Sayreville Day, Car Show, and bus trips to sporting events and Broadway,” Maher said.
On the governing body, Maher joined the Environmental Commission during her first year and the Planning Board during her second.
“[On these boards], I am so proud of our successful efforts to implement Sayreville’s first Community Garden,” she said. “We sold out our first year, selling 45 plots to local residents.”
Professionally, Maher is an educator and local realtor.
“I pride myself on creating relationships and truly caring about my students, clients and residents,” she said. “I give 110% each day with no personal agenda. I want to see our town evolve and catch up with other towns that have more than us mostly due to not having a grant writer, until recently, and from having council members who are not a part of the community.”
If re-elected, Maher said she will address the issue of road paving.
“Now more than ever it is important to have council members who know the history of our town and care about seeing it move forward, not halting progress due to playing politics or fulfilling personal agendas,” Maher said. “The biggest concern from our residents is paving roads. I agree and have created transparency by posting road progress on our website, making sure it’s updated and informing residents how to submit complaints about their roads to move it up the line to be paved.
“My road, personally, has never been paved and my frustrations with the process was one of the reasons I ran for council,” she continued.
Democrats and Republicans hold a 3-3 split on the Borough Council. The mayor’s office is held by Democrat Victoria Kilpatrick. A sweep by either party would lead to control over the governing body.
Polls open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 8.