2019 elections bring local changes; but expected county and state results

By Chris Rysz, Opinion Editor

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Even though the 2020 elections are rapidly approaching, this past election day, West Essex voters re-elected and unseated incumbents in town, school and county races. While more local elections had incumbent losses, county and state race incumbents were successful in their re-election bids. Here’s a recap of who West Essex voters chose for their respective offices. 

In North Caldwell, incumbents Judith Amorim-Dias and Anthony Prinzo lost their two seats on the West Essex Regional Board of Education to challengers Jill Marcus and Jann Skelton, according to TapInto West Essex. For the borough council race, Republicans Arthur Rees and Kenneth Tilton were elected. Rees is an incumbent, while Tilton is newly elected, due to incumbent council member Joshua Raymond not running for re-election. In the town’s board of education, Robert Projansky ran unopposed. 

Roseland voters also brought change to the ballot box in the town council and school board. Previously appointed Republican Jean Perrotti won a full term to the Borough Council, but the other council seat flipped to Democrat Marcelino “Moose” Trillo, as Republican David Jacobs didn’t run for re-election. Deborah Sacco-Calderone was re-elected for a third term on the West Essex Regional Board of Education against Neil Goldstein, while Frank Perrotti ran unopposed. In the Roseland Board of Education, Michael Gesario defeated incumbent Anna Gordon. Gordon, who is currently the president of the board, was seeking a fourth term. Essex Fells and Fairfield voters kept their town councils and town school boards remained intact as all of the candidates ran unopposed.

While all voters had at least one referendum on the ballot, North Caldwell voters had another. The statewide referendum was on whether to extend the property tax deduction for veterans to continuing care, according to The Progress. All four towns voted “Yes” and the public question overwhelmingly passed statewide. The North Caldwell referendum was on whether the borough should increase property taxes by $101 on the average assessed home of $673,000, for the next 15 years, to establish an Open Space Trust Fund, according to NJ.com. The intention of these funds is to purchase, recondition and maintain the historical Walker’s Property and Pond, according to Patch.com.

Branching out, Essex County had two races for all of their voters, a seat on the Essex County Board of Freeholders, and for the Register of Deeds. While Democrats Romaine Graham and Juan Rivera Jr. won their county-wide races overwhelmingly, Essex Fells was the only West Essex town to vote for Graham and Rivera Jr. 

Aside from school, town and county races, all 80 seats in the N.J. Assembly were up for re-election. According to The Progress, Fairfield and North Caldwell voters re-elected Republicans BettyLou DeCroce and Jay Webber, both of whom retained their seats in the 26th district. In the 27th district race, Essex Fells and Roseland voters also re-elected their incumbents as Democrats Mila Jasey and John McKeon easily held on to their seats, according to The Progress.