BRICK – Ruthanne Scaturro thought she was out of politics after serving on the township council for eight years (2003-2011), but when Republican mayoral candidate Dominick Brando announced in August that he was dropping out because of health issues, she accepted her party’s nomination.
The Brick Times profiled the candidates who are running for mayor in November (See The Brick Times June 17, 2017), which include Democratic Mayor John G. Ducey, who is running for re-election, and Independent candidates Anthony Matthews, who is a former Brick councilman, and newcomer Rob Canfield.
Scaturro, 66, was born in Hoboken but moved to Brick when she was four years old. She attended Herbertsville and Midstreams Elementary schools and graduated from Brick High School.
“Brick was a great community to grow up in, and I’m still in touch with people I knew in grammar school,” Scaturro said.
She said the most important issues facing Brick include stabilizing taxes and safety.
“I want to maintain the tax structure and I want to look for ways to do a little better in stabilizing taxes. We need to create conditions where people want to move into Brick,” Scaturro said.
“Brick used to enjoy the status as one of the safest cities in the county. I would work better with the prosecutor’s office because there is a huge opioid problem, and I would work with Police Chief Riccio to accomplish more safety things in town,” she said.
The presence of police officers is key, she said. “I would like to see programs such as ‘see something, say something’ for citizens where they don’t have to worry about retaliation.”
There are currently 136 police officers in Brick. Scaturro said that an evaluation is necessary to determine if more police officers are needed.
“When I was on the council, we were talking around 140-145 police officers,” she said.
Scaturro said she would address some of the areas in Brick that are “blighted with empty storefronts.”
“We need to have the Economic Development Council revitalized, because we need to make it easier for businesses to come to Brick,” she said.
Asked if she thinks she can beat Ducey in the mayoral race, Scaturro said she does if people come out and vote.
“I certainly think he is a formidable candidate. He hasn’t done anything obliquely negative, but we have a lot of people behind us who believe [she could win] too,” she said.
Scaturro has a B.A. in psychology from Cabrini University, and in 1986 she began her career in the human resources department for L&H Plumbing and Heating.
When the company was purchased by Ferguson in 1997, she worked in a controller position until 2000, when she became the manager of the showrooms in New Jersey. She retired three years ago.
Scaturro is married, and she and her husband Stephen have six children and nine grandchildren between them. Her husband is Director of Consumer Affairs for Ocean County. The couple lives in Lions Head South.
The endorsed Republican candidate (Brando) had until Sept. 11 to drop out of the race, and the County Committee had until Sept. 14 to elect a new candidate.
“Dominick Brando had medical problems and needs surgery that could sideline him for four to five months, so the County Committee met, and there was a nomination off the floor. Ruthanne Scaturro’s is the only name that came up,” said John Catalano, president of the Brick Township Republican Club.
“She’s a great pick, she was raised here and she knows the issues,” Catalano said.