Four Seek Office in Harvey Cedars Commission Race

By Eric Englund | Aug 20, 2019
Harvey Cedars —

Two incumbents and two newcomers have filed to run in the race for the three-seat Harvey Cedars Commission election in November.

Mayor Jonathan Oldham and Deputy Mayor Judy Gerkens, who have been in office since 1987 and 1991, respectively, are seeking re-election to four-year terms. They are challenged by John Imperiale and Paul Rice.

Commissioner Michael Garofalo is not seeking a sixth term.

“I think people in town are pleased with what has been happening for the past 32 years,” said Gerkens, a retired schoolteacher.

Gerkens said she is most proud of starting the Harvey Cedars Activities Committee shortly after taking office.

“We’ve sponsored concerts and other family-fun activities throughout the summer,” she said. “We wanted to offer something besides going to the beach. We’ve had concerts, sports camps, art shows – a lot of fun things for people to do, most of it at Sunset Park.”

Imperiale was a senior vice president and director in JPMorgan Chase’s Community Development Group. In his position, he was responsible for the national Corporate Street Banker Program, whose mission was to evaluate the needs of a community and develop products and programs to meet those needs. He also handled marketing and communications for the Corporate Community Development Group.

Locally, he assists the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in their business and community outreach. He is currently a member of the Harvey Cedars Open Space Committee; served on a Harvey Cedars ad-hoc committee to evaluate parking and seating needs for town businesses; and has served as a board member of the Harvey Cedars Taxpayers Association.

“I believe my extensive managerial experience, especially in the field of community development, along with my total commitment to the town and people of Harvey Cedars, will allow me to successfully fill the role of commissioner,” said Imperiale.

“Harvey Cedars is an amazing, wonderful town. And I look forward to having the honor of bringing my experience and my dedication to the role of commissioner.”

Rice, who is a partner in the Harvey Cedars Marina, and Oldham, the director of the Harvey Cedars Bible Conference, could not be reached for comment.

The deadline to file with Borough Clerk Daina Dale is Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 4 p.m. Prospective candidates need to turn in petitions with 25 valid signatures of registered voters. Others who have requested petitions but have not yet filed are Andrew Petruzzi, Joseph Pinto and Kathleen Ries.

— Eric Englund

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