SOUTH AMBOY – School board member John Dragotta is a candidate for mayor who says too much negative campaigning is bad for the community.
“I’m tired of the attacking and the slander,” said Dragotta, who is employed by the Sayreville public works department. “It’s so bad the way they are attacking everyone,” Dragotta said of his opponent Mary O’Connor and her supporters, who have waged a smear campaign against departing incumbent John T. O’Leary that included anonymous letters assailing the Mayor’s family and friends.
“I’ve been here all my life,” said Dragotta. “I’m raising two young kids in this town. If people want change they should talk about their ideas and give voters a choice instead of dragging everyone else into the dirt.”
Dragotta said his campaign will be waged with “Loyalty, honor and pride.”
On the issues, Dragotta said he is against O’Connor’s proposal for giving the mayor power to appoint the Board of Education and stop allowing citizens to vote on the school budget.
“As a member of the Board of Education, I don’t want to see the mayor and council appoint the Board of Education,” he said.
Dragotta said parking is a problem that must be addressed where apartments and other rental units are made available. “We are losing business in this town,” Dragotta said. “We need to make it easier on them.” O’Connor’s opposition to development at McCormack Aggregate is naive, he said.
While most candidates expressed support for using shared services to moderate costs, Dragotta adamantly opposed a merging the South Amboy Police Department with any neighboring town. “My father was a police officer and I know most of the police in this town,” said Dragotta. “They do their job.”
Dragotta recently completed a term as a captain with the Morgan Fire Department. The independent candidate said that he intends to wage a door to door campaign seeking support and will shun significant expenditures as well as any kind of fundraising.
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