SECAUCUS -- Mayor Michael Gonnelli and members of his “Take Back Secaucus” ticket launched their re-election campaign on May 23 at the La Quinta Inn, but the real news was who was not running.
Deputy Mayor John Bueckner, 74, will not seek re-election on Nov. 5 for his 2nd Ward seat, and will be replaced on the ticket by political newcomer Mark Dehnert, 51. Bueckner will complete his current term.
Citing three eye surgeries in the last year, and another one coming, Bueckner decided to step down.
“I don’t want to do a half job,” he said. “I want to do things all the way. It’s time.”
Bueckner’s council associates had nothing but praise for the 20-year council veteran, including the last four as deputy mayor.
“John knew how to run government, how to do everything with only the goal of the town in mind,” said Councilman Gary Jeffas.
“I would like to just thank him for his years of service,” said Councilman Robert Costantino. “Thank him for being a true independent voice for this community.”
Mayor Gonnelli, and Councilmen William McKeever and Costantino are up for re-election.
Bueckner leaves with no regrets.
“I feel bad, but I think I can walk away with my head up,” he said.
Members of the “Take Back” team said they did not yet know who their opponents will be, if any, in the fall election.