Ward 1, Democrat newcomer Nancy J. Drumm faces Republican newcomer John Vrtaric.
In Ward 2, Republican newcomer Margaret "Peg" LaTorre has challenged incumbent Democrat Richard Dalina.
In Ward 3, Democrat incumbent Michele Charmello has been challenged by Republican newcomer Cathy Andreuzzi-Kovalsky and Independent newcomer Kevin J. Garcia, Sr.
In Ward 4, Democrat incumbent James H. Major has been challenged by Republican newcomer Thomas A. Sobe, Jr. and newcomer Sanjeev Kapoor.
In Ward Five, Democrat newcomer Debbie Meehan runs unopposed.
Patch distributed a list of questions to the candidates to give them a chance to express their positions on local issues. Their responses will be printed as we receive them, up to election day.
Name: James H. Major
Education: BS ChE from NJIT
1.Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background and why you should be elected: I have been a resident of Iselin since 1971. I am married to Carol Major and have two adult children. I have been a Councilman for 9 years including serving as President and Vice President. I am a member of the Planning Board, the Environmental Commission, the Oak Tree Road Special Improvement District and Council Rep to the Woodbridge CAP.
I previously served as a Commissioner on the Redevelopment Agency, President of the Woodbridge Township Board of Education, President of the Parent Teachers Presidents' Council and President of the School 18 PTO.
Volunteering, providing community service and coaching little league have always been part of my life in Iselin. I am a member of the St. Cecelia's Parish and a 3rd degree Knight of Columbus.
2. What do you think distinguishes you from other candidates? What do you bring to the table? I believe my business management experience and the ability to solve problems are important qualities for the position of Councilman that I bring to the table. My experience as an executive in the architectural and engineering field and having run my own business for 7 years provides me with the knowledge, experience to listen carefully, assess problems, validate the data and question the “status quo” then develop the best solution for the specific circumstances.
As a Project Manager I manage people, budgets and schedules to resolve issues and execute projects on time and within budget. I am the only candidate with a proven track record of accomplishments on the Council and all previous Township Positions; and being accessible to my constituents. I visit the residents and provide everyone with my personal cell so that they can reach out to me with issues, concerns or suggestions.
3. What are the most pressing issues facing the community today? How would you approach and resolve these issues? The most pressing issues are:
- Attracting new economic development to improve tax revenue and bring jobs to our community.
- Quality of Life Improvements.
My track record demonstrates accomplishments in redevelopment, creating new jobs with multiple projects such as the CPV Power Plant, Arizona Ice Tea, FeedEX expansion, Tilcon Expansion, Amazon, several new corporate relocations to Metropark Area and two Wawa markets.
Additionally I have improved quality of life through the crackdown on illegal housing, improvement to school facilities for the public, Green Acre Land purchase adjacent to School 18 preventing high density Condo Development.
I have good professional relationship with corporate leaders and professionals such as architects. I am constantly looking for opportunities to promote the benefits to Woodbridge as the crossroads of New Jersey. I will continue to work closely with the Mayor, WEDCO and the Redevelopment Authority to promote new growth and economic development.
Several items on my council agenda focus on quality of life such as the improvements to Merrill Park, continued improvements to school facilities used by the public such as the JFK track, JFK Field and tennis courts. Additionally I am working with the county and NJ DOT on improvements to traffic flow, new traffic signals and road improvements on Rt. 27, Middlesex Essex Turnpike, Wood Ave., Oak Tree Rd. and Green Street.