Lacey Mayor Nicholas Juliano died this morning after a short battle with a highly aggressive cancer. He was 63.
“Nick was an integral part of the Township and cared deeply for his community,” the township said on its website.
A Republican, Juliano was elected to the township committee in 2014, defeating Democrat Gregory Pancza with 61% of the vote in a race for an open seat. He won 65% in his 2017 re-election bid against Democrat Jesse Ehrnstrom, and 71% against Democrat Bill Stemmle in 2020.
He served as deputy mayor in 2017 and 2021 and mayor in 2018 and 2022.
“Mayor Juliano was a man of great character. He was a kind, well-spoken man who was all about helping his community. Nick was admired by all and loved by so many. He worked tirelessly for his constituents. He valued the local community groups, the veteran’s organizations and the emergency service squads for their devotion to Lacey,” the municipal statement said. “Mayor Juliano valued the men and women of the Township offices and departments and cultivated the best in all of them.”
Juliano owned an auto parts store for 40 years and later became operations manager for Spirits Unlimited.
A viewing will be held on Friday, March from 2-4 PM and 7-8 PM, and again on Saturday at 10 AM at th Riggs Funeral Home in Forked River. The Juliano family has asked that contributions be made in lieu of flowers to the Popcorn Park Zoo in the late mayor’s memory.
Flags will be flown at half-staff in Lacey Township through Sunday.
“Politics and politicians universally get a bad rap; but for people who think that I wish they could have met Nick Juliano. A good and decent man who always greeted me with a smile and an encouraging word,” said Republican political consultant Chris Russell. “The last time I saw him and got a chance to talk with him was in the final days of the Jack Ciattarelli campaign outside of Caffrey’s in his beloved Lacey. He was pumped up. Never could have guessed he was sick or just a few months later he’d be gone.”
Juliano is the second sitting mayor to die in office in the last three days.
Winslow Mayor Barry Wright died on Sunday at age 69, less than a month after he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.