Nicholas Poliseno, a former Spotswood mayor who spent a year working at Ground Zero, died on July 17 from an illness sustained as a first responder on September 11, 2001. He was 41.
Poliseno was working for Con Edison and was called in following the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center. He wore a mask and respirator until he was told that the air was safe.
A volunteer fireman and former chief, Poliseno was elected to the Spotswood Borough Council in the May 2010 non-partisan election. He was the top vote-getter in a race for three seats, and defeated incumbent Charles Spicuzzo by 54 votes, 598 to 544.
After Mayor Thomas Barlow declined to seek re-election in in 2012, Poliseno became a candidate for mayor. He defeated Councilman Curtis Stollen for the post by 249 votes, a 55%-45% margin.
Poliseno lost his bid for re-election in 2016. Edward Seely defeated Jacqueline Palmer by a 45%-32% margin, 1,563 to 1,123, with Poliseno finishing third with 720 votes (23%).
He told the Home News Tribune in 2014 that he suffered from stage III multiorgan sarcoidosis, an autoimmune syndrome that spread to his lungs, bones and nervous system.
Poliseno also suffered from Small Fiber Neuropathy, Myelopathy, COPD (Both Restrictive & Obstructive), Severe Bronchial Asthma, GERD, Chronic Rhinitis, Sleep Apnea, and severe PTSD, according to a press release from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-New York). He was permanently disabled and relied on 22 medications daily.
He is survived by his wife, Allison, and his daughters, 15-year-old Victoria and 12-year-old Olivia.
Funeral services will be held on Friday at 9:45 AM in The Brunswick Memorial. Visitation will be on Thursday from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at the funeral home.