Photo by Chris Sykes
Township clerk Harold Wiener, left, watches as, from left, at large Councilwoman October Hudley, Council Vice President and at large Councilwoman Renee Burgess, at large Councilwoman Charnette Frederic and Mayor Tony Vauss pick up nominating petition candidate’s packets from his office on Tuesday, Jan. 2, the first day it became available to prospective candidates interested in running for mayor or for one of the three at large council seats in the municipal election on Tuesday, May 8 The nominating petition filing deadline is Monday, March 5.IRVINGTON, NJ — Nominating petitions for those interested in running for mayor or the three at large seats on the Municipal Council in the upcoming Municipal Election on Tuesday, May 8, are now available at the township Clerk’s Office, according to Harold Wiener, Irvington’s clerk.
“The petitions are available starting today,” said Wiener on Tuesday, Jan. 2. “The filing deadline is Monday, March 5, at 4 p.m., for anyone interested in running in the May 8 election and 292 signatures are needed on the nominating petitions for either mayor or an at large council seat. You have to be registered to vote in Irvington a year prior to the election, in order to run for any of the elected municipal public offices.”
Wiener said the registered-voter requirement is the only prerequisite for any prospective mayoral or council candidate; however, township employees who are prospective candidates have an additional requirement.
“We have a local ordinance on the books that requires city employees running for office to take a leave of absence, after the petitions are filed,” Wiener said. “The leave will last from the filing date to the day after the election.”
There are statutory penalties for anyone who works for the town and doesn’t resign or take a leave of absence from their job if they decide to run, file the required petitions but continue to work.
“I would say that it’s incumbent upon the town to take them off the payroll,” Wiener said. “The town would be the one to take the action. The candidate should do it and take action, but the township can do it. It’s for full-time employees and it’s an unpaid leave.”
Last year, during his trip to Atlantic City for the annual League of Municipalities Conference, incumbent Mayor Tony Vauss and his Team Irvington Strong at large council running mates announced they would be seeking re-election this year. Vauss will again be teaming with at large council members Renee Burgess, October Hudley and Charnette Frederic as he did four years ago during his first run for mayor.
According to the T-shirts volunteers were wearing during the Irvington Neighborhood Improvement Corporation’s annual pre-Thanksgiving Community Dinner, the 2018 re-election campaign slogan is: “Team Irvington Strong Versus Everybody.”
“I’m doing my announcement tomorrow in Atlantic City and anyone that wants to come down, they’re welcome,” said Vauss on Monday, Nov. 13.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for Democrats, not only in New Jersey but across the country,” said Vauss on Tuesday, Nov. 14. “I wanted to show Democrats united throughout the state of New Jersey and felt that it was a perfect opportunity to announce my re-election bid with the at large council members, in front of all the elected officials in the state of New Jersey. We are excited about all of the progress made in Irvington and look forward to continuing to make it the best it can be. We will also unveil major endorsements from elected officials, from around the state and the county.”
Although Vauss and his teammates already announced they are running and have an official campaign slogan, Wiener said they still have to file nominating petitions by Monday, March 5.
Aside from the 292 nominating petitions needed to run, Wiener said prospective candidate also must prove they have been registered to vote a year prior and take three statutory oaths; then his office will take over from there.
“The county sets the polling places at our recommendations. We pay for everything, we run everything and we certify the results,” the clerk said. “The election is Tuesday, May 8. The hours for the municipal election are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. We don’t have the options for abbreviated hours, like the Board of Education does. My office is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.”
“Everybody’s encouraged to participate,” he added. “It’s a local election and everybody should get out and vote for the candidate of their choice. Doesn’t that define democracy?”