Team Vauss to face off against Team Inman this May in Irvington

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IRVINGTON, NJ — Irvington residents will choose between two mayoral candidates, as well as six council candidates running for three open seats, when they fill out their ballots in the upcoming municipal election on May 10. Mayor Tony Vauss, who has served as mayor since 2014, is running for a third term against challenger Paul Inman, a former councilman. Running on the same slate as Vauss for reelection are Council President Renee Burgess, Council First Vice President October Hudley and Council Second Vice President Charnette Frederic; challengers Yasmina King, Durrell Watford and Allison Morris are running on Inman’s slate.

Vauss filed the paperwork to run for reelection with the township clerk in January and officially launched his campaign on Feb. 5. He did not respond to a request for comment about the election by press time on April 12, but in an interview with the Irvington Herald on Jan. 15, Vauss said he wanted to focus on safety if he were to win a third term.

“I decided to run again for the same reason I sought to become mayor in the first place, and that is to share my desire to make the township I love a great place to live,” he said. “I wanted to focus on two things: (the township being) safe and clean — so other people could see what a great place we live in. We still have so much work to get done.”

Irvington’s election is nonpartisan, though Democrats Gov. Phil Murphy and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver endorsed Vauss in a statement on Feb. 21.

“Mayor Vauss and Team Irvington Strong have stood with us during some of our most challenging times during the pandemic,” Murphy said. “They have been fighters for the people of Irvington and inspired leaders dedicated to improving the lives of seniors, workers and families.”

Inman, who is a former East Ward councilman and former member of the Irvington Board of Education, said in an email to the Irvington Herald that he decided to run for mayor to improve crime rates and reduce high property taxes, among other issues.

“While there has been some growth within our community over the past eight years under the current leadership, it is evident these efforts have not been enough,” Inman said. “I continue to witness and hear our residents cry out for a leadership that is focus-driven on improving Irvington and not personal gains.”

According to Inman, he is consistently hearing from residents that “crime continues to rise,” and that the town needs solutions to issues such as “high property taxes, trash and debris on the streets, more recreational programs for our youth and elderly.”

Inman listed five points as the most important issues facing Irvington: reducing property taxes, improving the school district, recreation, reducing crime, and cleaning and fixing streets in town. Some of his ideas to address those issues include increasing redevelopment, eliminating wasteful spending, implementing smaller class sizes in the schools, initiating free tutoring programs and free summer youth programs, establishing community policing programs, and paving and installing speed bumps on roads.

“In collaboration with my team and all stakeholders, I am dedicated to moving Irvington forward,” Inman said. “I truly believe that if we put our great community at the forefront and work together, we can and will be successful in our efforts. My team and I are ready to serve you. We know the task will not be easy, but we are committed to finding answers and cooperatively solving the problems that face the Irvington community.”