In a race where many thought there would be no race at all, heavily favorite Republican incumbent Joe Bianchi (R) has just a three-point lead over Democratic challenger Mark Yampaglia (D) in this race to be North Arlington’s next mayor.

Mayor Joseph Bianchi

Elected four years ago over former Mayor Peter Massa, Bianchi was defeated in 2006 for a council seat only to come back in 2007 and win. He was reelected in 2010 and 2013 respectively and assumed the office of mayor in January of 2015.

A life-long resident and hair salon owner on Ridge Road, Bianchi is a former long-time planning board member who embraced the controversial EnCap housing scheme that eventually went belly up with little community support. A retired volunteer fire-fighter, this is Bianchi’s sixth try for public office winning five times.

Sources tell NA Today that outside polling was conducted recently that determined the race for mayor to be a dead heat.

“Anytime an incumbent is under 50% at this stage of the contest, they are vulnerable to defeat. According to these numbers there seems to be a high number of undecided voters and the two independent candidates are barely registering any support among residents who will be voting come Election Day,” offered one Democrat who was familiar with the data.

Like Bianchi, Yampaglia is a life-long resident and graduate of NAHS where he played varsity baseball. Twice appointed and four times elected to the North Arlington Borough Council, the Democratic challenger is the Governing Body’s ranking member.

Councilman Mark Yampaglia challenging Joe Bianchi in mayoral race
Councilman and Mayoral Candidate Mark Yampaglia

An attorney by profession with offices in Rutherford along Park Avenue, Yampaglia previously served North Arlington as its Municipal Defender and currently serves as a board member for a locally based credit union. Yampaglia earned his BA and MA from FDU and his JD from The Touro School of Law in New York.

Yampaglia is a member of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa.

Yampaglia is married to his wife Shirley, who is a nurse.

The Yampaglia’s are parishioners at Queen of Peace Church where they were married several years ago.

Yampaglia comes from a family with a long history of municipal public service.

His father Emil Yampaglia is a retired Municipal Judge who was appointed by both Democrats and Republicans. Mark’s Brother John, is a member of the North Arlington Planning Board and owns a hair salon in Essex County.

Yampaglia has been walking door to door since June and many believe that is the reason why the race has become competitive.

In addition Yampaglia has promoted a positive campaign agenda promoting the following ideas:

· A Bike & Walking path at the Passaic River along River Road in cooperation with the County of Bergen that will extend from the Arlington Diner to Riverside County Park

· Pocket Parks for North Arlington owned properties

· Bike access along Ridge Road

· Elimination of metered parking

· A comprehensive plan to evaluate Street Parking, Traffic, Density and Snow Removal

· The renovation and reconstruction of the NA Senior Center

· The sighting of a permanent Farmer’s Market

· A reevaluation of the Borough’s current redevelopment efforts with an emphasis on Schuyler Avenue, Ridge & River Roads

· Greater cooperation and partnership with the North Arlington Board of Education

· Elimination of rolling reassessments that have angered homeowners

· A partnership with the Archdiocese of Newark that creates state legislation in the form of “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” (PILOTS) that would recognize the lost revenues of hosting Holy Cross Cemetery

Yampaglia and his council running-mates Peter Massa, a former mayor and current BCUA commissioner and Josie Papile, a retired private-sector CFO have been endorsed by the following supporters:

· US Congressman William “Bill” Pascrell (D-9)
· New Jersey Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36)
· New Jersey Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36)
· New Jersey Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese (D-36)
· Bergen County Executive James Tedesco
· Bergen County Clerk John Hogan
· Bergen County Freeholder Steve Tanelli
· Bergen County Freeholder Tracy Zur
· Former North Arlington Mayor Russ Pitman
· Former North Arlington Mayor Ed Martone
· North Arlington Councilmember Jean Williams
· Former North Arlington Councilman Patrick Roche
· Bergen County Democratic Committee Chairman Louis Stellato (former Mayor of Lyndhurst)

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Like to speak with Councilman Yampaglia, call (201) 602-2612