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Republican Ticket for 2023 Mount Olive Council Announced

Apr 12, 2022 04:19PM ● By Steve Sears

Mount Olive Township Council President and 2023 Republican Mayoral candidate, Joe Nicastro, has announced his ticket for 2023. Council members Alex Roman and Colleen Labow are running for reelection, and Mary Lalama is running for the first time.

“Having served with Joe for the last decade, I think he definitely has the right temperament,” Roman says of Nicastro’s quest for mayor. “He and I have the same shared values and same shared vision for Mount Olive, and just by working and seeing his leadership as council president, I can see it easily translating to being a good mayor.”

Labow also speaks praise of Nicastro. “I have been very fortunate to know Joe Nicastro and to have him as my friend and colleague on the Mount Olive Township Council,” she says. “Joe has served as a ‘hands on’ councilman since day one when he came on board in 2011. In my opinion, Joe shows a sincere interest in every aspect of our community. He works well with everyone, listens to everyone, and is proactive in finding the best way to improve and resolve any situation.”

“I am excited for this opportunity for Joe,” Lalama says. “Joe brings with him a lot of experience and is very qualified to be mayor. He has been on council for 11 years now and has spearheaded many improvements and changes in town, such as online payments for sewer and water and taxes, American flag deposit boxes, seminars for the citizens of town highlighting the different departments in town, just to name a few. He has many more accomplishments and more great ideas which will help make and keep Mount Olive a great community to live in.”

Roman, who was first elected to the Mount Olive Township Council in 2007, has served on the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Recreation Advisory Board, and currently serves on the County College of Morris (CCM) Business Advisory Committee. “My perspective as a very small business owner is definitely different than some of the larger corporations and has been positively received, because some of the people that are actually attending CCM classes are businesses just like mine. They're not the UPSs; they are the mom and pops trying to learn how to do and conduct business, and they're going to CCM to get some more education and training, and my perspective of having done this for 20 years.”

Labow, who is Chair of the Board of Health and has served on the Open Space and Stigma Free committees and several other boards in her 18 years on the council, says about her run for reelection, “I enjoy learning all that can be learned about the town I live in, and to be available to share what I have learned. I love how in the past decade we have not had an increase in the municipal budget which is due to ‘thinking out of the box,’ working together and finding the best ways to efficiently run the town. I am also very happy that so many folks in our town know they can call me and count on me to help them understand or resolve a situation. If I don't know the answer to a question, I always know where to go to find out the information.”

Lalama is running for office for the first time for a few reasons. “I have decided to run for council so I could do more for my community,” she says. “I would like to focus on community outreach projects. Also, it's time for another woman on council.”

Labow is happy that Lalama has joined the Republican ticket. “I am very happy that Mary is joining our ticket. I know for sure I will be voting for her, and I do encourage everyone to vote for her as well! Mary is very intelligent and does everything she can to help everyone who needs help. While there are many attributes that I love and respect about Mary, one of the most awesome programs that she has been running for years now is holding a Thanksgiving Dinner at the Senior Center, so no one has to be alone on such an important holiday. She loves our town and loves being here to help when and where she can.” 

“I think the short answer to that is because my work is not done,” Roman says about his run for a fourth term. “Every time you look around there's always another issue that comes up, and one of the things that is different from my service now versus when I initially came in, is now I have what I would say is institutional knowledge. The history and experience that I've gained on council is definitely beneficial in moving forward and taking on the challenges that are currently going on, and the ones that I expect to come on in the near future.”

“I am honored and delighted that I can run with such amazing council members,” Lalama adds about Roman and Labow. “Alex and Colleen have done and continue to do a great job for our town. They are very approachable and knowledgeable when it comes to town related matters, and I consider them both friends.”