UNION — The crushing weight of high property taxes in this ailing economy has prompted two young fathers to mount a rare challenge to the entrenched township politicians.
Angel Salcedo and Eduardo Espinal are waging a grassroots campaign without help from major contributors, but plenty of shoe leather and good spirits.
“We have been walking door to door meeting people and asking for their support,” said Salcedo, 35, a medical device sales manager who is a Major in the US Marine Corps Reserve.
“Judging from the mailer sent out by the Column A Regular Political Organization, it looks like we got their attention,” said Espinal. “It’s funny that they start by attacking our big city ways and negative style before we do anything except walk around meeting voters.”
Incumbent Clifton Peoples and Suzette Cassavante are backed by the Regular Political Organization, which is controlled by power broker and state Sen. Raymond Lesniak and local political boss, Assemblyman Joe Cryan.
Salcedo and Espinal note that Peoples has never voted against a tax increase or tax expenditure during his entire tenure on the Township Committee.
“It’s hard to believe it was a good idea every time someone wanted to spend our money and every time they wanted to take more of our money,” said Espinal. “We need at least some independent thinking.”
“Some areas of this town look worse that war zones I visited as a Marine in combat conditions,” said Salcedo. “Look at Vauxhall; neglect is obvious.”
“There is a lot of work to be done in our neighborhoods,” said Salcedo. “I would certainly take more time to focus resources on the jobs that need the most immediate attention.”
Espinal said public works tasks, as well as police patrols and other municipal services have been lacking.
“Union Township is a truly wonderful community and there is no reason why we should not be making it the best it can be,” said Espinal. “By giving voters a choice on June 8, we will help make the community stronger and more unified.”
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!