3 Candidates File For 2 Council Seats

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Three candidates have filed to run for two seats in this May’s Town Council election.

Alex Roman, who currently serves as mayor on the Council, is seeking a third term, while Christine McGrath, who serves as deputy mayor, is seeking a second. They will be joined by Christian Strumolo, who was the manager of last November’s Board of Education campaigns by Diana Ferrera and Aaron Spiegeland. Ferrera won a seat on the BOE, but Spiegeland did not. Strumolo was the only reported donor to Pam Priscoe’s 2021 BOE campaign. Priscoe is now the BOE president.

McGrath, who has volunteered with multiple groups during the 12 years she has lived in Verona, announced her re-election campaign in late January. “The town’s infrastructure is aging, there are increasing mandates from the state, and our revenue growth has stalled out,” she said then in her statement. “We have to take action to protect Verona’s future.”

McGrath’s launch video is on her campaign website, and she has campaign Facebook and Instagram sites as well.

Roman said in a prepared statement today that, “I am proud to stand for re-election to another term on the Verona Town Council, and of my record of delivering major organizational, financial, and infrastructure improvements to our beloved community. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve Verona for the last eight years, and would be honored to continue to represent you, the Verona citizen, and to work together with my Council colleagues and our dedicated Township staff to keep Verona the gem that it is.” Roman says he is working on a new campaign website.

“When I joined the Council, I promised Verona that I would work to modernize our government, improve financial efficiency, and provide an open and welcoming atmosphere for the public to participate in our decision making,” Roman said. “Before I joined the Council, tax rates would increase up to 6% while the town still ran large deficits. We have held the line during my tenure and kept our average cost growth at 2.25%. We are financially strong and have been able to continue to deliver first-class services and long-term investments in Verona’s infrastructure and facilities. This year is no exception – in a challenging economic environment we will maintain that track record while we grow smartly to serve our growing population.”

Roman said that he has placed a priority on teamwork among Council members, and noted that, as mayor, he has implemented subcommittees to focus on utilities, emergency services facilities, and public health needs. “We’ve accomplished much,” he added, “ordinances to protect steep slopes and improve stormwater management, a voter-approved Open Space Trust Fund that preserved the two largest open tracts in Verona, and work – by all of us as a team – on longstanding flooding issues on the Peckman River.”

Roman said he would continue to work on Council priorities, including the new Master Plan to revitalize downtown Verona, the next round of affordable housing requirements, road repairs and the new splash pad at the Verona Pool, which has already broken ground. “We are working hard to address the longstanding need for updated Police, Fire, and Rescue Squad facilities, and this Council intends to launch at least one project to provide our first responders with the facilities they deserve. We are ready to deliver improvements to our water system with PFAS filtering at our wells and a new pump station to improve pressure at the Claridge buildings.”

“I am dedicated to solving issues that affect Verona directly and serving our citizens,” he added. “There is much to be done, but also so much to proudly look back upon and see how far we’ve come.”

Strumolo has not sent a statement to MyVeronaNJ.

The election will be held on Tuesday, May 9.

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