EATONTOWN — One Democrat and one Republican are seeking the four-year term of the mayor’s office in Eatontown.
Democratic incumbent Mayor Anthony Talerico Jr. and Republican challenger Mark Regan Sr. will face off for the mayor’s four-year term.
Voting is underway with vote-by-mail ballots and with early in-person voting that will continue through Nov. 6. Election Day is Nov. 8.
Regan, who is the father of current Councilman Mark Regan Jr., is a former member of the Borough Council.
A resident of Eatontown since 2002, he is also a former member of the Eatontown Public Schools Board of Education and is currently a member of the Eatontown Planning Board and the Eatontown Environmental Commission.
“Since Mayor Talerico took office, I have constantly heard that he is ‘not doing a bad job,’ ” Regan said. “However, under Mayor Talerico, Democratic control of the council cost us many long-time town employees, including three business administrators, and allowed political turmoil to fester.
“Mayor Talerico, being a former Democrat, switched to being an independent and is now a New Democrat, doesn’t have a firm base to rely on,” he continued. “Thankfully, Republican leadership brought stability back to the dais and Borough Hall, but why are we settling for a ‘not bad’ mayor when we should strive for and expect the best?”
Professionally, Regan is a self-employed graphic designer and holds a bachelor’s degree in communication design from Kutztown University, Kutztown, Pa.
“Having owned my own business for three decades and with many years of service to the community, I have the knowledge, understanding and attitude required to serve as mayor,” he said. “Moreover, the relationships I have built with neighboring communities will help us secure strong shared services agreements that will help ease the tax burden felt by residents and improve curbside services across the borough.”
If elected, Regan said he will address the issues of taxes and emergency services.
“Like many Eatontown residents, I am concerned about the financial toll the mayor’s passion projects are costing taxpayers,” Regan said. “Facing economic uncertainty and multiple prospective redevelopment projects, we must reign in capital expenses and focus on maintaining a stable tax base, pursuing responsible development efforts and keeping Eatontown affordable while continuing to offer first-in-class services.
“Additionally, our emergency services personnel need our support more than ever,” he continued. “Facing a shortage of volunteers, we must seriously consider ways to move forward to prevent longer response times for those in need, ensuring residents receive the quality level of care they deserve.”
Talerico, who previously held the mayor’s office as an independent, has been mayor since 2019. He previously served on the Borough Council for nine years and was council president for four years.
Talerico also serves on the Fort Monmouth Economic Redevelopment Authority as vice chairman.
“I love and enjoy serving as mayor,” Talerico said. “I try to bring fresh energy to every event, meeting and project. Because of my years of service and the number of groups I am connected to, I bring stability and continuity to the governing body.
“During my term, I made a firm commitment to provide frequent updates to residents on major issues around town,” he continued. “With the decline of print media, I have used Facebook extensively to respond to resident inquiries and post about town happenings.
“I take great pride in being connected to the community and try to make government approachable. I have hosted many town hall (meetings) and provide opportunities for people to meet and share their ideas,” he said.
A lifelong resident of Eatontown, Talerico worked professionally as a certified public accountant and owned a consulting business. He is currently a registered nurse and works on an oncology floor of a nearby hospital.
“My education and practice in accounting, consulting and fraud investigations gave me a strong background for examining budgets and planning long-term projects for the town,” he said. “I have spent considerable time seeking grant funding to offset taxpayer expenses. To date, I helped bring nearly $3 million to the town over the course of four years.
“Working as a nurse requires the ability to multi-task, prioritize and work with many different people to accomplish a goal, all skills required for success as a leader in government,” Talerico continued. “Also, I meet so many Eatontown residents as patients from a cross section of the community. It is rewarding to be able to care for my community both in office and as a nurse.”
If re-elected, Talerico said he will address the issues of the redevelopment of the Monmouth Mall and the development of housing on the Howard Commons section of Fort Monmouth.
“It is no secret the mall needs to be redeveloped,” Talerico said. “I am proud I pushed to declare the mall as an area in need of redevelopment. This opens many possibilities to work with the owner and revitalize the struggling mall. The mall is our largest taxpayer and is appealing six years of taxes.
“We quite literally cannot afford to have the mall fail,” he said. “We also cannot afford to give them tax breaks. Any rumor that they will get a tax break is absolutely false.”
“As for Fort Monmouth, Howard Commons finally has a development plan and will be at our
Planning Board soon. There is currently a 300-acre parcel of land out to bid on the main post, with nearly 160 acres in Eatontown.
“Though the winning bidder has not been publicly announced, I am very excited for Eatontown and quite confident that once announced, the town will be as well,” Talerico said. “We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us and I would be proud to be the mayor who leads us through it.”