BRICK – Four council seats are up for grabs during this election cycle, so The Brick Times reached out to the Democratic and Republican parties before the primary election on June 4.
The primary election is a state- and local-level election held for voters to select a candidate(s) for a political party to run for office in November’s general election.
Running on the Democratic side are council incumbents Andrea Zapcic (the current council president), Art Halloran and Lisa Crate, and newcomer Vincent Minichino, who previously ran unsuccessfully for Ocean County freeholder.
Minichino is replacing Jim Fozman on the ballot, who switched parties and is running as part of the Republican slate. Democrats have won every election in Brick since 2011, with Fozman now serving as the only Republican.
Joining Fozman on the Republican side is Max Flores, Neil Napolitano and Vicki Chadwick.
Since there are eight candidates and limited space for individual comments, the parties were asked for a group statement addressing the question: What is your plan to bring spending down while still providing residents with what they need and want?
Responding in an email dated May 27, the Democratic team of Zapcic, Halloran, Crate and Minichino said in order to keep taxes down while still providing Brick residents with the services they need, they look at both expenses and revenue.
The full statement reads: “On the expense side of the balance sheet, we continue to reduce overtime costs and pay down our debt. Our team fully supports Mayor Ducey’s debt reduction plan, which has resulted in a $20 million reduction in the Township’s net debt since 2014. We are using every tool at our disposal to cut expenses – technology, green initiatives, and shared services, to name a few.
“On the revenue side, we are bringing in business ratables to reduce the tax burden on homeowners. We are pleased to welcome Trader Joe’s, which will be opening in Brick Plaza this fall and also the privately owned Superdome Sports Facility, which is coming to the old Foodtown site. Innovative ideas like the Storefront Revitalization Program and the Buy in Brick Program are continuing to benefit both the local businesses and the taxpayers.”
Republican Club President John Catalano directed all press inquiries to Republican campaign chairman Al Cartine, who issued the following statement after getting input from the candidates:
“Our team has concluded that they do not want to telegraph their message to our opposition at this time. We will introduce our platform and issues which concern our constituents during our campaign kickoff in September,” he wrote in an email dated May 26.
“Attached is a brief bio sketch of our candidates. Jim Fozman, councilman seven years, age 64. Married, three children.
“Max Flores, age 44 married, three children, 30-year resident, pharma sales.
“Neil Napolitano age 37, single, lifelong resident, supervisor family masonry business.
“Vicki Chadwick, age 32, single, lifelong resident, sergeant Ocean County Juvenile Detention Officer.”
The general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5.