BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ – Brick Township Mayor John Ducey, a Democrat has risen to become one of Ocean County’s most popular and liked mayors from both sides of the aisle. He and Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato, a Republican have solidified their position within their communities and today, Ducey announced he’s going to do it again.
Ducey’s team has dominated politics in Brick, a primarily Republican town after years of scandals and mismanagement by Republicans have soured even Republicans to what the local Republican club has to offer. Even though he’s a Democrat and Governor Phil Murphy swore him in, the two have not seen eye to eye during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before that, Ducey and Murphy went against each other over things like police funding and sanctuary for illegal immigrants.
Ducey has opposed Murphy’s sanctuary state and defunding police agenda.
Ducey was initially elected Mayor in 2013, and then re-elected in 2017 against a well-funded Republican challenger, Ruthanne Scaturro. Ducey received over 66% of the vote with 14,405 votes versus 6,783 votes for Scaturro.
In 2014, Ducey was the first Mayor in New Jersey to eliminate the unpopular red light cameras, calling them a backdoor tax on residents. The New Jersey State Legislature soon followed Ducey’s lead by eliminating the red light camera program statewide.
In his 8 years as Mayor, Ducey has kept taxes stable and held the line on spending. Since 2013, the municipal budget has grown only $8,168,727 which amounts to about 1% per year. In the 8 years prior to Ducey’s election, municipal spending increased $34,281,188, which is an average annual increase of 6.6% per year.
Ducey said, “My primary goal as mayor is to keep property taxes stable while also providing a high level of services to our Brick residents.”
Ducey has started several popular local events including the Brick Farmers Market, Fall Fest, the Brick Birthday Party, and recently a new Cornhole Recreation League, which will start in May. He has made it a priority to update and enhance local parks, adding amenities around town like a dog park, basketball courts, skate park and pickleball courts. Ducey has initiated a number of local services, such as the Senior Bus Program and the Student Teen Center, and expanded others such as the Neighborhood Watch, Free Beach Badges for Veterans and Summerfest. The promotion of local business has been a top priority for the mayor, including a first-in-the-state ordinance to waive inspection fees for new businesses that open in vacant storefronts.
Ducey was the first Mayor in the state, Democrat or Republican, to speak out against Murphy’s sanctuary city plan. At the same time, Ducey has worked with the Governor to obtain funding for local projects in Brick, including the paving of roads, the acquisition of open space and roadway elevations in the town’s coastal neighborhoods.
Ducey also was a pioneering elected official on Facebook, hosting regular “Meet the Mayor” sessions on the social media platform where any topic is considered fair game.
Mayor Ducey is running for re-election with a slate of three council candidates, current Council Members Marianna Pontoriero and Heather deJong, and newcomer Derrick Ambrosino.
When you look around neighboring towns like Jackson and Toms River, run by Republicans plagued with scandal, the party is losing their foothold in the northern Ocean County because of the rampant corruption and scandals by Mayors Mo Hill in Toms River and Michael Reina in Jackson.