April 10, 2024
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Mark (Mendy) Schwartz Seeks Third Term

Twenty-five-year Teaneck resident Mark “Mendy” Schwartz wears many hats each day. In addition to being deputy mayor of Teaneck, he is co-publisher of The Jewish Link of New Jersey, owns his own business, is a member of the Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps (TVAC) and a volunteer firefighter. He is also a founder and former longtime president of Teaneck’s Congregation Shaare Tefillah.

The public service aspect of his volunteer roles, which he began as a teen at TABC, are what hooked him on civic involvement, because he feels it is important to work hard for one’s community. “Through TVAC and the fire department, I have seen people spend their careers as public servants, rising up the ranks of the ambulance corps or fire department. I jumped into the political aspect and haven’t looked back,” he said.

“Teaneck is a great place that has almost everything. We have a great selection of shuls, schools, restaurants, proximity to NYC, affordability and a wide range of homes makes it a pretty good place to live. We have many ‘first generations’ who have moved to Teaneck but we also have many second and now third generation people living here. That should speak for itself.”

While he finds the Teaneck council mayor deputy mayorship important from a service perspective, he finds the active part of his other roles very physically fulfilling. “Nothing, nothing, beats jumping on an ambulance or fire truck and getting out in the community to help out. If I don’t win this election you will know where to find me a lot more often!”

Schwartz is completing his eighth year as an elected member of the Teaneck town council. “Last week we introduced our sixth straight zero tax increase budget. People said, first, that it couldn’t be done. Next, people said it was a scam.” Other points of pride for Schwartz along with his fellow members of the council are the development of many new apartments to “allow our parents to stay in Teaneck.”

“We did this without straining the resources of the town. I’ve just been endorsed by the police and fire unions for precisely this reason. We are adding more housing, adding more revenue while not hurting the existing services. On top of that we are spending money on our infrastructure. We have paved over 100 roads in the last few years and added many amenities to the parks,” Schwartz said.

But the budgetary success is something Schwartz is worrying about now. “Now after so many years of this, it’s become expected, and keeping that up is a challenge. Seven years of a zero-budget increase was my next goal in 2021 if elected, but in light of COVID-19, it puts this streak in jeopardy.

“That will be the biggest challenge the council will face, in my opinion The financial impact of COVID-19, something clearly that is ‘different from past years.’”

Teaneck’s Mayor, Mohammed Hameeduddin, and a close friend and running mate of Schwartz’s for the past two elections, has opted to retire after 12 years on the council, with many of them as mayor. “Dr. Henry Pruitt, at age 86, is retiring as well. I will miss both of them on my ticket,” Schwartz said.

“It was amazing running with other incumbents with whom I have accomplished so much with, but I am happy I found two new solid running mates, Karen Orgen and Michael Pagan, with whom we have been working with for years and pushing them to run. Thankfully they agreed!”

By Elizabeth Kratz

 

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