Poliseno edges out Stollen in Spotswood mayoral bid
Councilman Nicholas Poliseno will serve as the next mayor of Spotswood, having edged out longtime council President Curtis Stollen in the borough’s first contested mayoral race in many years.
Poliseno garnered 1,471 to Stollen’s 1,222 in the Nov. 6 elections.
Poliseno, Spotswood’s volunteer fire chief, was elected to the Borough Council in 2010, while Stollen, who manages commercial real estate holding companies, has served on the council for over 14 years, including seven as council president.
In the Nov. 6 council election, incumbents Frank LoSacco and Edward T. Seely, who ran with Stollen, won re-election with 1,743 and 1,734, respectively. They ran uncontested.
Poliseno called himself an underdog, pointing to his opponent’s experience and the fact Stollen received the endorsements of several councilmen and current Mayor Thomas Barlow, who did not seek re-election.
“By electing me, this shows clearly how change is needed and wanted,” he wrote in an email, attributing his victory in part to door-to-door campaign.
“Meeting our residents personally and hearing about what concerns they have or changes they would like to see was a large part of my success,” he said, adding that his use of social media was also a factor. “I felt having our residents meet me and be able to ask me questions was more important than sending out a mailer to them.”
While he is still enjoying his victory, Poliseno is aware of what lies ahead.
“By going door to door during the campaign, I heard from many of our residents that they want to stay in Spotswood, but it is becoming too difficult financially,” he said. “A lot of residents are on fixed incomes and cannot endure constantly being asked to pay more. I want to continue the work Mayor Barlow started by stabilizing our taxes.” Other initiatives he hopes to address will be completing the rebuilding of the borough’s EMS building and water-treatment plant, which were destroyed during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
In addition, he hopes to arrange to dredge DeVoe Lake with grant funding.
Poliseno thanked his supporters and his wife Allison, adding that he looks forward to working with his opponent for the betterment of Spotswood residents.
“I wish Councilman Stollen all the best and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the Borough Council,” he said. “I’m sure with teamwork we can accomplish a lot and show our residents why we were all elected.”
Stollen expressed similar sentiments, although he was more cautious.
“It will take time to gain a working trust with my opponent,” he said. “However, the business of the borough is the job at hand and that is what we must focus on.
“There will be unknown decisions that must be made, and for me, the guiding rule is that they remain in the best interest of the community,” he added. “When you enter politics, you have to check your ego at the door. It is not who gets the job done, only that it gets done and for all the right reasons.”
Stollen said that while he regretted not having the opportunity to debate his opponent, he had no regrets about his campaign.