Meet the Republican candidates running for the Wantage Town Council primary

Two people are running for the Wantage Town Council seat: Incumbent Ronald Bassani and Michael Ferrarella, for the June 7 primary election.

| 04 Jun 2022 | 01:50

Each candidate was given the following questions. However, Michael Ferrarella did not respond after several attempts to reach him, so the statement under his name was taken from a social media post of his. Note: there were no Democratic candidates running in the primary election this year.

Ronald Bassani

What prompted you to run?

I’ve had the distinct pleasure of serving the citizens of Wantage Township for 12 years now. I originally ran for the office of committeeman with a single purpose, to use my experience and drive to help make Wantage a better place to live. My focus was to simply help improve our quality of life while minimizing tax increases. To that end, the committee and I have continued to expand shared services, secure significant grant monies and explore effective means to do more with less. Although the municipality itself only represents a small percentage of our property taxes, we strive each year to keep our tax burden flat, and I’m glad to be able to report we have been very successful to date. Stay tuned because this year we have aggressive plans to expand Woodbourne Park, adding pickleball, expand our jogging path, adding frisbee golf and much, much more.

What would be your primary goals to accomplish if you win?

My long-term goals have been consistent, to make Wantage the best it can be. This includes working with developers, as part of our master plan, to bring the proper rateables to our town in an effort to both reduce taxes as well as create local jobs. We are in discussions now with several strong candidates to help us get there in our Wantage Economic Zone area on Route 23. Of course, the key word is “proper” commercial rateable. Without effective forethought and proper management, Wantage could quickly fall prey to developers who would look to cash in on Wantage today, with total disregard for tomorrow. We have all seen the ramifications of the lack of leadership in other towns. It is the responsibility of the Wantage Committee to ensure our direction is always in the best, long-term interest of Wantage.

What experiences do you have that you think will help you accomplish your goals?

I believe my core strengths come from my experiences gained from, first and foremost, owning and running a successful company in the semiconductor and electronics industries for over 20 years. As an owner and president of a small company, you are forced to understand and manage all aspects of your business. This includes human resources, finances, payroll, employees, contract negotiations and on and on. Couple my business experience with my many years as a servant to the public and here I am. This includes six years serving on the Board of Education in Sparta Township (five years as president), 12 years and actively serving as your committeeman, sitting on the Wantage Land Use Board and the Wantage Open Space Committee. For those who know me, they know my level of commitment to Wantage.

What would be your strategy?

Simply stated, don’t just do it, do it right! Examples to date include engaging with Father John’s to transition our dog pound to a “no-kill” animal shelter. The Open Space Committee secured property adjacent to Woodbourne Park for expansion. We utilized Green Acres grants / Open Space monies which equals no increase in taxes. In 2023 ShopRite will open, culminating years of negotiations with the developer, which represents jobs and tax dollars that will greatly benefit Wantage. As I mentioned previously, we are in discussions with other developers to expand development within the Wantage Economic Development zone. For recreation, we are expanding our walking/jogging path. To do it right, we are adding exercise stations and benches along the path. We’re also adding three pickleball courts, a disc golf course and making needed repairs to our ballfields. These are just a few examples of planning ahead and doing it right!

Michael Ferrarella

It’s time for a change in the leadership of Wantage Township and that time is now! Make your voice heard and get out to vote in the primary on June 7. Vote line 2 for me, Michael Ferrarella and let’s get Wantage back on the right track.

I am lifelong conservative Republican with a strong belief in being involved and giving back to the community. I have been a volunteer fire fighter and in EMS for 25 years now. I am currently the captain and training officer for the Wantage Fire Department, Colesville Fire Company. As a husband and father of three small children as well as a small business owner, I understand the daily struggles we all face and how important smart, fiscally responsible decisions are.

We moved here because we fell in love with the beauty and charm Wantage has to offer. We need to keep on the right track to see this into the future and I ask for your support in keeping our town great! Please get out there and vote! Your voice and opinion are important and needs to be heard and I’m here to listen.