28 years after being elected, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner will be seeking another term, his seventh in a row, on May 8th, with two new council hopefuls joining his five-person slate.Â
“There’s a lot in this town that we have done, and there’s a lot in this town that we continue to do, there’s a lot in this town that we will do, together, as a team,” said 1st Ward Councilwoman Carmela Silvestri-Ehret, who served on the board of education for 16 years before running for council.
“Because remember, it is a team concept. You do need to have a team that works together and we work together with other teams with the town – and that’s what makes this town so special.”
Turner noted that 2nd Ward Councilwoman Rosemary Lavagnino was on the planning board for 14 years before running on his “Weehawken and You” slate, a slogan that hasn’t changed. She is now a 20-year veteran of the governing body.
“Actually, we have a very strong, sustainable and resilient community. And as Carmela said, we are a team approach, and it’s just not governmental people: it’s also all the residents that form the committees and they help us, make us, what we are today,” added Lavagnino.
New to the team are Raul Gonzalez, a social worker by trade, and Davis Curtis, a retired North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue captain.
Gonzalez is aiming to replace 3rd Ward Councilman Robert Sosa, also the current deputy mayor, while Curtis looks to succeed Robert Zucconi – a councilman-at-large.
Turner, who first took office on July 1st, 1990, said it’s currently a tough time to govern and is therefore happy to be running with a group of such committed individuals.
“These are really tough times to lead communities … especially a community like Weehawken with development issues .. all day-to-day stuff. Remember, Weehawken is in Hudson County and Hudson County is the densest, per person, per square mile, area in the country,” the mayor said during a press conference earlier this afternoon.
“So you’ve got lots of issues and you need lots of experience to solve some of these problems.”
Turner pointed to keeping taxes stable, maintaining the level of township services and preserving the integrity of the waterfront as top priorities for the next four years.
As of this writing, no one outside of Turner’s slate has filed to run for mayor and/or council.
The Weehawken municipal elections are on May 8th.
The full press conference, which was streamed live on our Facebook page, can be viewed below: