Joseph B. Vas, lifelong son of Perth Amboy, announces that he will proudly seek the office of Mayor. He will be joined on his ticket for City Council by longtime residents Vanessa Bermudez and Angel Mota Ramirez in the November 3rd non-partisan election. The campaign’s slogan will be “Together, Perth Amboy Can Do Better.”
Former Mayoral candidate and current businessowner Frank Salado has been named campaign Treasurer.
Vas, an active member and former Chancellor of the Knights of Columbus-San Salvador Council #299, was born and raised in Perth Amboy. Following his graduation from college and law school, where he simultaneously received a Master of Business Administration, he opened a law practice in Perth Amboy which he currently maintains. He previously held positions at the New Jersey Department of the Treasury and in private practice at a New Jersey mid-size law firm which provided him with public finance and regulatory experience and insight. Mr. Vas has dedicated a portion of his practice as an attorney to helping almost 1,000 Perth Amboy residents reduce their property taxes through property tax appeals. This became necessary due to the current administration’s refusal to provide noncommercial property owners with tax relief.
“In the past 12 years Perth Amboy’s tax rate has continued to increase nearly every year from one of lowest effective tax rates in the county in 2008 to one of the fastest increasing tax rates per capita in the county in 2020, far outpacing nearly every Middlesex County municipality. Elected city officials from the Mayor to City Council have endorsed unnecessary tax abatements and payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTS) to the wealthiest outside taxpayers shifting the tax burden on residential taxpayers. While local residential property owners have seen consistent taxes increases, public services have declined and there has been overall decay to the City’s infrastructure and in the quality of life. My greatest concern is that no one has proposed a comprehensive plan to stabilize taxes or provide relief to its residential property owners – instead it appears their only plan to balance the municipal budget is to continue to raise taxes,” said Vas.
Bermudez currently serves on the Perth Amboy Zoning Board, is an active member of the American Legion, the Moose Lodge, and Latin American Motorcycle Association. She is employed as National Sales Manager for an LED Manufacturing Company. As a resident of Perth Amboy for the last twenty five years, Bermudez has raised two daughters and a son, alongside her husband, Anthony, a Middlesex County Sheriff’s Officer and former member of the Board of Education.
“As a member of the Zoning Board I have seen firsthand how the City’s overall lack of leadership and political interference has negatively impacted Perth Amboy’s economic growth and quality of life for its residents,” said Mrs. Bermudez.
Mota Ramirez, an undisputed hardworking self-made businessman and property owner in Perth Amboy, has served on the Redevelopment Agency (2002-2004) which has provided him with insight into the potential for improvement Perth Amboy possesses. As the father of two boys, he has invested himself in the community and its future through his activism.
“Perth Amboy is blessed with a great geographic location and a hardworking community, yet constant political infighting over the past 12 years has prevented the City from fully realizing its redevelopment potential and has denied its residents better employment opportunities at a time when they are needed most,” added Ramirez.
“Whether it’s providing safe drinking water, controlling the spread of Covid-19, the highest rate in the county, or the basic health and safety of our community, City government and everyone associated over the past 12 years has failed the good people of Perth Amboy at every level. Perth Amboy is in need of strong qualified leadership to overcome the failure of the last 12 years. It’s time to put qualifications over failure,” Vas said.
The easy out for other candidates will be to focus on the unbreakable family bond shared by Vas and his father, he noted – the former mayor jailed on coruption charges. “But this deflection is ineffective at distracting from their deep entrenchment with the current administration and lack of vision for the future of Perth Amboy,” Vas said.