Melham says he’s seeking second term as Belleville mayor in May

Belleville Mayor Michael Melham declared his intention to seek a second, four-year term for Mayor in May at a rally Tuesday night, Nov. 30.

Municipal elections are non-partisan in the township.

Because of the unexpected crowd of supporters, the Melham campaign made the last-minute decision to move the event from the “library”at Nanina’s in the Park to the grand ballroom. Supporters even filled an adjoining bridal suite.

Attendees included township residents and volunteers, as well as a bi-partisan group of mayors and other public officials from surrounding towns who have worked closely with Melham since he took office in 2018. Notable among the eclectic group was Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh and former GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli.

Also on hand were a rep for North Arlington Republican Mayor Daniel H. Pronti and Democratic Mayors Dina Grilo, of East Newark and Robert B. Giangeruso, of Lyndhurst.

Former Mayor Jerry DiGori and former Councilman Louis Pallante were also on hand.

“What makes our township truly unique is that fact that we tend not to care about political affiliation,” Melham said. “If you care, like we do, about ways in which to make Belleville even better, we want you on our team. We aren’t interested in politics or posturing. We just want to do right for the people of Belleville, in any way we can.”

The announcement was made during a party atmosphere, filled with a DJ, dance music, photographers, videographers, a Melham-branded 3D photo booth and plenty of great food.  Public officials from surrounding communities mingled with Belleville residents, all excited about the possibilities of the Melham team at the helm for four more years.

In his speech, Melham touted a number of major redevelopment projects that have come to Belleville since he was elected, as well as the number of developers who regularly come knocking on his door to pitch their vision for underused properties.

“There was once a time, not too long ago, when no outsider wanted to invest in Belleville,” Melham told the crowd. “Well, that has certainly changed. Now, developers are asking us what we want and are eager to share a new vision for Belleville. This is certainly an exciting time to be here.”

There are even plans for a Starbucks, the mayor noted, showing how far Belleville has evolved under his leadership.

Melham is seeking re-election based on what he says is his strong record of accomplishment, noting he continues to have a “superb working relationship with his two initial running mates, Deputy Mayor Naomy De Peña and Councilman-at-large Thomas Graziano”, both of whom were in attendance and will soon follow with their own announcements for re-election.

The mayor says he has amassed a war chest for his re-election campaign, currently at six times the amount he spent in his victorious 2018 election. It stands, currently, at $180,000.

No other candidate has, as yet, announced a mayoral run.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.