The upcoming election in Perth Amboy could be a referendum on Mayor Wilda Diaz, who deposed former Assemblyman Joe Vas in 2008 after complaining in campaign mailings that her tax bill jumped from $4,164 to $8,166.
Property taxes on the Diaz family’s Lee Avenue home now are $12,185 and an endorsement from the highest-paid Mayor in Middlesex County may not be an advantage.
Council President Joel Pabon Sr., a Customer Service supervisor for the US Postal Service who was on the school board, ran for council with former Mayor Joe Vas in 2008. Today he is being supported for re-election by Diaz.
Dianne Roman served as city administrator under former Mayor Joe Vas but she is also being supported for re-election to the school board by Diaz, who kept her on the municipal payroll.
Pabon is actually calling his slate ‘the Mayor Diaz Team,’ which includes Councilman William Petrick and newcomer Sergio Diaz.
Roman is running under the ‘Restoring Educational Priorities’ banner with Thomas Thor and Republican Junior Iglesia.
Diaz was re-elected in 2012 with just 37 percent of the vote, due to a crowded field that split the opposition vote.
She has been at war with the city’s Democratic Party leader, Leslie Dominguez-Rodriguez, who husband — Jose Rodriguez — is waging a school board campaign with Milady Tejeda and Manuel Nunez.
Now the highest paid mayor in Middlesex County, Diaz has presided over economic stagnation and a sharp increase in violent crime.
The Mayor’s unpopularity has earned animosity from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which has endorsed the New Direction for Perth Amboy slate of Jelmin Caba, Fernando González, and Ana Mascenik for City Council.
Together for Quality Schools is a slate comprised of Jose Rodriguez, Milady Tejeda and Manuel Nunez.
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