The Wayne Democratic Party has selected a former township purchasing agent to run for a three-year at large council seat in the November General Election.
Party officials announced the selection of James Jorgensen last week.
Jorgensen was the specifications writer for the township from 2006 to 2010. He created new technical specifications for projects and helped edit specifications submitted by the township’s engineering department. Jorgensen worked closely with several government officials and offices on a regular basis as part of his job.
Jorgensen said this provided him with valuable background and knowledge of the inner workings of municipal government, something he said would aid him greatly if elected.
“I also saw there was a problem with the morale of the people involved,” Jorgensen said. “If we can create a better, more positive infrastructure internally by improving morale then we put a positive ripple in the pond and it’ll be felt by everyone in the town.”
Jorgensen was president of the Wayne chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees White Collar Union. He has been purchasing agent for Essex County since 2010. He also worked in marketing for 20 years.
Jorgensen said the closing of businesses in town, which has lowered the tax base and raised residents’ taxes, needs to be addressed immediately. Incumbent officials have already been briefed on a comprehensive plan to foster economic growth and encourage development in the town’s worst his areas, a plan Jorgensen and residents have criticized.
“I don’t know that the old guard who is in power now has the where with all to address attracting businesses and foster economic development,” Jorgensen said.
Jorgensen will replace Gary Marchese on the ticket. Marchese was originally selected to run for one of three at large terms but resigned from that race earlier this year. Marchese will instead run against incumbent Republican Richard Jasterzbski in a special election for the 1st Ward seat. The seat became available when Alan Purcell resigned from office earlier this year, citing illness. Purcell has been suffering from emphysema for years.
“I think he’ll make a great candidate and a great councilman,” said Ray Egatz, president of the Wayne Democratic Party. “He will represent the people will and has their best interests at heart. We’re very happy to have him on the ticket.”