Republicans Antoinette DiNuzzo, Michael Milman and Juned Qazi defeated incumbent Democrats Jeff Cantor, Scott Metzger and Carol Mazzola in 2021 elections
The three Republicans who unseated a trio of Democratic incumbents have been sworn in to begin serving four-year terms on the Marlboro Township Council.
Following the swearing in of the new council members, Qazi was elected by all five council members to serve as the council president for 2022. In another unanimous vote, DiNuzzo was elected to serve as the council vice president.
In the November 2021 general election, Republicans Antoinette DiNuzzo, Michael Milman and Juned Qazi defeated incumbent Democrats Jeff Cantor, Scott Metzger and Carol Mazzola.
Cantor served on the council from 2004-21. Mazzola and Metzger each served on the council from 2009-21. With the victories by Qazi, DiNuzzo and Milman, Republicans now have a 3-2 majority on the council. Democrats Randi Marder and Michael Scalea are the incumbent members of the governing body.
The mayor’s office is held by Democrat Jonathan Hornik.
Marlboro’s government held its 2022 reorganization meeting on Jan. 6 in the municipal building. Invocations and good wishes for the members of the government and the community were offered by Muhammad Asif of Baytul Iman Academy; Rabbi Moshe Gewirtz of Monmouth Torah Links; and the Rev. Eugene J. Roberts of St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church.
In front of a packed meeting room, DiNuzzo, Milman and Qazi were sworn in to begin serving terms that will run through Dec. 31, 2025.
During public comment, Marlboro Republican Chairman John Gibardi congratulated the three incoming council members and recognized the public service of Marder and Scalea.
Regarding the outcome of the 2021 election, Gibardi said, “The people of Marlboro have spoken … they are the ultimate voice. We want to move Marlboro forward for all residents, regardless of their political affiliation.”
In his remarks, Hornik said, “We welcome the three new council members. I wish you nothing but the best of luck. This is the hardest time ever to become a public official … there is a lot going on that is beyond our control.”
The mayor said the most important thing elected officials must do “is to keep people safe” and he added, “I want this council to exceed the last council and the council before that.”
Qazi thanked residents “for putting their faith in our leadership” and said, “We are all elected to serve Marlboro. We cannot do that without Mayor Hornik, Councilman Scalea and Councilwoman Marder.”
Scalea and Marder welcomed Qazi, Milman and DiNuzzo to the governing body.
The next municipal election in Marlboro will be in 2023.
The three Republican won four-year terms on the Marlboro Township Council in the 2021 general election. The election was conducted with vote by mail ballots; with early in-person voting on nine days in October; and with in-person voting on Nov. 2.
In a statement issued prior to the election, the Republicans had said, “The three candidates running on the Republican ticket for Township Council are a retired educator, a media specialist and a civil engineer.
“Antoinette DiNuzzo, Michael Milman and Juned Qazi provide a very diverse set of skills to approach the job. While all of them are currently elected (county) committee people, they will readily tell you they are not politicians in the traditional sense of the word.
“Their interest in running in this election is to drive the conversation to improve Marlboro for their children and grandchildren. Once elected, their focus will be on council oversight of every aspect of the Marlboro government. Topics in the forefront include overdevelopment and township services, especially current policies and procedures,” the Republicans said.
“People serve at the pleasure of the people and my time in office will be coming to an end. It really has been an honor to serve the people of Marlboro,” Cantor said.
The outcome of the election will give Republicans a 3-2 majority on the Township Council beginning in January. DiNuzzo, Milman and Qazi will join Democrats Randi Marder and Michael Scalea on the governing body. The next municipal election in Marlboro will be in 2023.
In a post on Facebook, Democratic Mayor Jonathan Hornik said he reached out to Dinuzzo, Milman and Gazi “to wish them congratulations on their election to the Township Council. We look forward to working with them when they take office in 2022 for all the residents of Marlboro. Elections can bring out the worst in some people, it’s time for our community to come together and move forward.”