Despite Recession, Voters Pass Majority Of School Budgets

STATE – Despite the recession and a growing movement against increased taxes, voters passed a majority of the school budgets in Middlesex and Union counties on Tuesday.

Voters approved school budgets in 16 of 21 Union County school districts, though Garwood, Hillside, Kenilworth, Linden and Plainfield voters rejected their districts’ spending plans. Eighteen of 24 school budgets passed in Middlesex County; budgets failed in Edison, Carteret, Sayreville, Monroe, Perth Amboy and Helmetta.

While a majority of South Amboy voters agreed to a $42,000 plan to restore middle school sports programs that were eliminated last year, the second question did not receive the sixty percent of the votes needed to pass .

The budgets that failed will now be reviewed by municipal officials, who will decide whether to make cuts. School boards may then accept the cuts or appeal to the state commissioner of education.

Incumbent school board members won re-election in most local districts, with a few notable exceptions:

A slate of candidates backed by Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz defeated their challengers, including school board member Joel Pabon Sr. Pabon had previously allied with former Mayor Joseph Vas, who was indicted last month on corruption charges.

Roselle Mayor Garrett Smith backed a slate of candidates including incumbent Charles Simmons, but they lost to challengers Shondalyn Gales, Michael Boyd and Anthony Esposito.

Here are the results for the communities in our coverage area. Winners are in bold, incumbents are marked with asterisks (*).


Yes: 300 No: 438

Danielle Distefano: 372

William E. Davis: 553

Martin Murray*: 569

Fred E. Gerstler*: 492


Yes: 735 No: 394

Henry R. Varriano*: 761

Gregory DeSalvo*: 710

Jill Curran*: 772


Yes: 2,903 No: 4,081

Deborah A. Anes*: 3,030

Alka Aneja: 2,184

David J. Dickinson*: 2,566

Ralph Errico: 1,711

Joseph Romano*: 2,779

Natu Patel: 1,620

Christina Olsen-Hussein: 991

John Szilagyi, Jr.: 1,343

Frank Heelan: 2,538


Yes: 1,558 No: 1,273

Full Term

Robert Petty: 877

Elcy Castillo-Ospina: 1,903

Raul Burgos*: 1,938

Maria Da Rassi: 991

Armando Da Silva*: 1,897

Stan Neron: 1,615

One-Year Term

Eddie Branquinho*: 1,966


Yes: 858 No: 966

William Motley*: 1,238

Joann M. Fruciano: 552

Jacqueline D. Williams: 791

Darell A. Richardson: 395

Tracy Nunez: 461

Zephaniah Gibson: 73

Manuel K. Donelson: 586

Nicholas Nigro: 562

Raymond J. Topoleski*: 662

Charlette Richardson: 474


Yes: 955 No: 711

Mary T. ‘Terry’ Kohl*: 962

Eileen Frowenfeld: 928

Tanya Andrews: 518

Frances Brennan*: 1,005

Jo Ann Sabatino-Falkenstein: 516

Perth Amboy

Yes: 512 No: 1,273

Israel Varela: 623

Maria Valdez: 642

Joel Pabon, Sr.*: 949

Obdulia Gonzalez: 1,435

Kenneth Puccio: 1,526

Samuel Lebreault: 1,184

Nikole Collins-Puri: 559


Yes: 616 No: 424

Lillie Henderson*: 688

Bernard Robson: 592

Michael Staryak*: 676

Theresa Mikajlo*: 647


Yes: 595 No: 389

Kenneth Haynes: 622

Shandolyn Gales: 692

Michael Boyd: 652

Charles Simmons*: 591

Anthony Esposito: 708

Charles Mitchell: 561


Yes: 1,241 No: 1,641

Kevin E. Ciak*: 1,586

Helen Bruno-Raccuia: 1,531

Laurie Esposito: 1,731

Jill Trapp*: 1,643

South Amboy

Q1 – Yes: 359 No: 274

Q2 – Yes: 337 No: 277

Lynn Kasics: 404

Paula L. Taggart: 394

Write-In: 151


Yes: 3,651 No: 2,650

Paul Lund, Jr.: 2,010

Monica Michelle Smith: 1,528

Lawrence G. Miloscia*: 2,659

Ezio Tamburello: 2,809

Andrew P. Zajacek, Jr.: 535

William F. Neveil, Jr.: 310

Judy Leidner*: 2,774

Patricia H. Ryan: 1,205

Peter Romanienko: 1,746

Connect with NJTODAY.NET

Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!
Email for advertising information Send stuff to NJTODAY.NET Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter Download this week's issue of NJTODAY.NET
Print Friendly, PDF & Email