Rahway Republicans Run In Five Of Six Wards

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RAHWAY—Republicans running in five of the city’s six wards say city council Democrats have failed to provide proper oversight of the administration of Mayor James Kennedy.

In particular, GOP challengers say Kennedy was wrong to allow Peter Pellisier to double-dip at taxpayer expense following his retirement as city business administrator.

Pellisier received $331,000 in pension benefits while also collecting $294,000 as a consultant to the redevelopment agency while he lived in Montana during 2003 to 2006, according to leaflets distributed by Republicans.

Although he began serving as executive director of the Rahway Redevelopment Agency without compensation other than his city business administrator salary, Pellisier started receiving wages that gradually grew more generous each year. Pellisier was awarded no-bid contracts to perform those same duties after he retired from his fulltime municipal job.

Democrats, who dominate the governing body, appear to be ignoring their GOP adversaries.

Although Democrats enjoy a substantial advantage among the city’s voter registration, the majority of people eligible to cast ballots on Election Day are unaffiliated or independent voters.

The sole Republican on the city’s governing body, Councilman Frank Janusz, is not seeking another term and he has been missing meetings for a long time.

The Republican Councilman sold his West Scott Avenue house earlier this year and lists his residence at 955 Maurice Avenue, but several observers say Janusz moved out of Rahway in 2006 to spend his retirement in Maine.

Former Councilman Larry Bodine, who received fewer than one in three votes when he unsuccessfully challenged Kennedy for mayor in 2006, is the Republican nominee in the First Ward.

Kenneth Lund, who was an unsuccessful city council candidate who ran alongside Bodine in 2006, is hoping to win the seat vacated by Janusz.

Lund, who resides at 559A Alden Drive and he is employed as an industrial automation engineer, has a teenage son.

Bryan DeRochers of 209 Albermarle Street, another city council loser on Bodine’s 2006 slate, is seeking election in the Third Ward.

DeRochers attended Union County College before graduating from Kean University with a degree in Finance.

No Republican is challenging Fourth Ward Councilman David Brown but GOP candidate James Pekarofski is again challenging Fifth Ward Councilwoman Jennifer Wenson Maier. Pekarofski, who sought election to the council in 2000 and 2004, has been a Rahway resident for 16 years.

Pekarofski, who resides at 1169 Jefferson Avenue, works in the human resources department for a supermarket chain and he is a licensed realtor who graduated from Rutgers University.

Sixth Ward Councilman Samson Steinman is being opposed by Kevin Retchko, an outspoken Linden political dissident and industrial sales and marketing representative, who last year moved to 878 Richard Boulevard.

With little money to finance their campaign, the Republicans are making use of a website at www.rahwaygop.org where they have posted claims that homeowners are burdened with high property taxes, sewer taxes and out of control debt.

“This borrowing binge has been going on for over a decade,” said Bodine, who put the city’s debt at “over $45 million.”


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