Democrats Tap Professor as Mayoral Candidate
Francine Del Vecchio wants to 'eliminate wasteful spending,' lower taxes, and bring businesses back to Wayne.
Wayne Democrats have nominated a mayoral candidate to run against incumbent Chris Vergano in the General Election in November.
Francine Del Vecchio will run on a platform of cutting spending, bringing businesses back into town and preventing future tax increase.
“This isn’t just talk,” Del Vecchio said in a statement issued Monday night. “I have an actual plan, which eliminates wasteful spending by the municipal governing body and will bring economic growth into the township. This will decrease the injury to the Wayne taxpayers’ pocketbooks.”
Del Vecchio could not be reached for further comment.
Wayne Democratic leaders said during their campaign last year that elected officials must find ways to bolster the town’s economic climate. Bringing more businesses to Wayne, they said, must be a part of that strategy. The message has not changed since then.
“The current administration has simply watched one business after another leave Wayne without implementing any meaningful program to increase economic development,” Ray Egatz, Wayne Democratic municipal chairman said in the statement. “New industries, with good paying jobs, are the answer to stabilizing our runaway property tax problem.”
The average homeowner’s municipal taxes increased $99 last year.
Incumbent Republican Vergano did not respond to an e-mail message for comment.
“What I like about [Del Vecchio] is that she’s a straight shooter,” Egatz said in the statement. “It is exciting to be able to support a capable candidate such as Francine. She brings a fresh new outlook to the problems facing Wayne today.”
Del Vecchio teaches education at Caldwell College. She previously taught at Columbia University, her alma mater.
Del Vecchio co-wrote the screenplay for “The Drum Beats Twice” and serves as assistant director of the Hoboken International Film Festival. Her husband Kenneth founded the festival.
“She’s not just book smart, she’s business smart too,” Passaic County Democratic leader John Currie said in the statement. “I know we can win with her at the helm and, more important, she ca lead Wayne out of its dire economic struggles.”
The Democrats' statement did not say who the party nominated for the three at-large council seats.
Wayne Republicans have dealt with some infighting of late.
There was speculation that At Large Councilwoman Lonni Miller Ryan, a legislative aide to Assemblyman, and former Wayne mayor, Scott Rumana, was going to be dropped from the Wayne Regular Republican Organization’s ticket for the November election. The county Republican committee voted in January to keep her on the ticket. Incumbents James Jimenez and Joseph Schweighardt were also nominated.
“We don’t have any in-fighting in the Wayne [Democrats],” Del Vecchio said. “Our mission is simply to greatly improve the economic and lifestyle conditions in Wayne.”