Cytowicz running for county commissioner

WEST MILFORD. School board member will face two opponents in the Republican primary June 4.

| 27 Mar 2024 | 03:04

West Milford Board of Education member William Cytowicz has filed to run for a seat on the Passaic County Board of County Commissioners, according to an unofficial list of candidates from the county clerk’s office.

He will face Nicolino Gallo of Totowa and Assad Mujtaba of Clifton in the Republican primary June 4.

Three commissioner seats will be filled in the Nov. 5 election. Two of those seats now are held by Commissioner Director John Bartlett and Deputy Director Sandi Lazzara.

Cytowicz was elected to a three-year term on the school board in 2022. He previously served one term on the board, then lost his bid for re-election in 2019. He also ran for a board seat in 2020.

On Tuesday, March 27, he said he has aspired to be an elected official since he was in elementary school “I was blessed with this opportunity as a two-term Board of Education member and I want to continue in the pursuit of being able to better the community-at-large.”

His unique background would benefit the county Board of Commissioners, Cytowicz said, noting that his Puerto Rican mother was born and raised in the south Bronx “and overcame so much adversity to become the first college graduate in her family.”

His father immigrated to the United States from Poland after World War II and became a career police officer, serving in the nation’s most dangerous precinct, the Bronx’s 41st Precinct.

“Due to their urban upbringings, my 32 years as a West Milford resident and my deep experiences in Passaic County, I feel that I’m understanding and ready to represent the ‘up county’ and ‘down county’ residents in a way that they’ve never experienced before.”

If elected, Cytowicz said his priorities would be dealing with the Passaic River; combating urban homelessness; providing relief to towns affected by Highlands Act, such as advocating for a septic system property tax credit; cleaning up the voter rolls; ensuring that the Passaic County Technical Institute be more transparent about its funding methods; and preparing a countywide emergency plan.

Sheriff’s race

Three candidates filed to run for Passaic County Sheriff: Democrats Thomas Adamo and Gerald “Jerry” Speziale Jr. and Republican Marla Saracino. All three live in Wayne.

Speziale was elected sheriff in 2001 and re-elected twice. In 2010, he resigned the post to become deputy superintendent of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police. He now is director of the Paterson police.

Adamo is chief of the Sheriff’s Office and Saracino is a detective captain in the county Prosecutor’s Office.

Adamo has been endorsed by the Passaic County Democratic organization.

The winner in November will succeed Richard Berdnik, who committed suicide in January. Gary Giardina was named acting sheriff after Berdnik’s death.