Last night at Borough Hall, interviews were held for residents from the second ward who made public their interest to fill the seat that will become vacant on January 1, 2011 with the swearing in of current 2nd ward councilman Joe Accardi as mayor. The interview process afforded each applicant about 20 minutes each with 10 minutes to speak followed by five minutes of questions from the 14 members of the Roselle Park Republican Committee (RPRC). The interviews were held on an individual private basis in council chambers.
In the end, the three (3) picked by the committee were Marc Caswell, Vinnie Iungerman, and Jacob Mageira. The others who put their names in for consideration were Derek Czernikowski, Jeff Imperiale, Sean Kinney, and Kevin Van Loan. All the applicants, save for one, spent a few minutes with the Roselle Park News to answer some questions. Mrs. Iungermann was not available for comment – she was both an applicant and a RPRC committee member who remained inside council chambers for the duration of the process.
“I’m interested in helping the community,” Mr. Caswell, a lawyer by trade who is involved in volunteering with football, baseball, and the Boy Scouts, explained while waiting for his interview, “I want to try to do what’s in the best interest of this town.”
Derek Czernikowski, a resident since 1998 who coaches various sports, gave his views on what he saw as a pressing challenge for the town, “There’s going to have to be an economic bit of a change going on here. Renovate, then attract businesses.”
The sentiment of addressing the business community was a common thread for all the candidates. Jacob Magiera, who put his name up for consideration, stated, “I would like to share the vision of the new mayor, be part of the solution, and promote the business section.”
Lifelong resident Kevin Van Loan, who at the age of 21 was the youngest applicant, stated he wanted to get involved, “Revitalize the downtown area. I think it’s an optimistic first step for me but at the same time, I just want to find a way of getting myself involved.”
Sean Kinney, who spoke in front of council this year to get help with an issue of sewage back up in his house, used that experience to get involved, “In a small municipality like this, people just want to do what’s best for the town, regardless of political background.”
Jeff Imperiale grew up in Roselle Park then moved back and purchased a home in 2008, “I think first and foremost, we have to work on getting businesses in here; ratables that can offset what homeowners are paying.”
The three (3) candidates picked by the RPRC committee will be voted on by a majority vote of the governing body in January to pick the person who will be the second ward council representative for 2011.