There will be turnover on the Woodland Park Borough Council for the first time in ten years, with three longtime incumbents not seeking re-election.
Joseph Spinelli and Rita Pascrell will step down after 21 years in office – they were elected in 2001 when Woodland Park was still West Paterson – and Gary Holloway, who was first elected in 2010, will also not seek re-election.
Mayor Keith Kazmark is backing Christine Tiseo, Michael Sica and Sam Yodice, Jr. for the open council seats.
“We are proud to support three new candidates with different backgrounds and experience who are all ready to get things done!,” said Ruth Patterson, the Democratic municipal chair.
Tiseo is the Woodland Park school board president and a U.S. Army veteran; Sica is the president of the Four Seasons at Great Notch Homeowners Association, and Yodice served on the Passaic Valley Board of Education and is the executive director of the Parsippany PAL.
“This is a top notch ticket. Christine and Sam have amazing records of accomplishment on both our boards of education and Mike has managed major capital projects as the president at Four Seasons,” said Kazmark. “Their collective personal, professional and civic experience will be a benefit to all resident on the Council.”
Republicans have not won a council seat in Woodland Park since 1998.
Spinelli, Pascrell and Kazmark, then a 23-year-old teacher, narrowly ousted GOP incumbents Jay Lijoi, Ruth Theodora and John Nagel in 2001. Pascrell’s margin was about 50 votes and about 150 votes separated the top vote-getter from the sixth place candidate.
In that same election, voters rejected changing the name of the borough to Garrett Mountain by a 16-point margin.
The last Republican to hold office in Woodland Park was Mayor Garry Colletti. He lost his seat to Democrat Pat Lepore by 1 votes in 2002. Lepore, who was elected Passaic County Freeholder two years later – he still holds that post – gave up the mayoralty in 2011 and was replaced by Kazmark.
Kazmark paid tribute to the decades of service from Spinelli, Pascrell and Holloway.
“These three people represent the best in public servants,” said Kazmark. “They will certainly be missed.”