Gerald “Jerry” Buccafusco is a longtime public servant well-known for his in-depth knowledge of local ordinances and his problem-solving capabilities.
Jerry grew up in Jersey City, where he attended St. Peter’s Prep, and later earned a Bachelor of Science degree after majoring in biology at New York University. After graduating, he taught science at both Mother Seton Regional High School and Secaucus High School while also attending Seton Hall Law School.
After practicing law for three years he was appointed as the Court Director of the Jersey City Municipal Court in 1985.
In 1990, he joined the New Jersey Judiciary, Hudson Vicinage, as a manager and administrator. During his 23 years of public service he held numerous positions such as Human Resources Division Manager, Information Technology Division Manager, and Assistant Trial Court Administrator. In 2009 he was appointed Trial Court Administrator for the Hudson Vicinage, the highest ranking staff executive in the vicinage where he oversaw the management of over 500 employees, nine division managers, a salary budget of over $20,000,000, and an annual non-salary budget of over $5,000,000. He retired from the Judiciary in 2013.
Jerry has been a Belmar resident for over 60 years, the last seven as a full-time resident with his wife, Marlene, and dog, Bo.
Mark Levis is a long-time Belmar resident with deep roots in the community and a history of proven leadership.
He met his wife Megan in Belmar and they were married in 2012 in the Church of St. Rose. They now have three children– Molly (8), Morgan (6), and Max (3) – who attend Belmar Elementary School.
As a retired navy reservist, Mark has channeled his passion for the ocean into his service to the Belmar community. He served as chairman of the Harbor Commission from 2015 to 2018. As an advisory member to the Shark River Cleanup Coalition, he worked to preserve one of Belmar’s greatest natural resources.
In recognition of his leadership, Mark was appointed to serve as a Council member in 2018 and served until the end of that year. During his time on council, he coordinated a pilot program with Rutgers University to test drones to assist lifeguards with water rescues; spearheaded the creation of the Parks Commission; and uncovered numerous failures within the sanitary sewer system. Outside of his time on council, he was one of the bipartisan committee of petitioners that successfully blocked the current administration from using eminent domain to purchase private property.
Mark served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve until receiving an Honorable Discharge in 2016. He began his career sailing as an engineer on commercial cargo ships. He later worked as a civilian for the US Navy in Philadelphia. More recently, Mark has worked as a new product development engineer, and is currently employed as a technical sales manager for a global marine products company.
Mark graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering and a U.S.C.G. 3rd Assistant Engineers License.
In his free time Mark enjoys surfing, fishing and boating.
Maria Rondinaro believes Belmar deserves bold leadership that will seek solutions to local issues by engaging with the community. A mom to Belmar Elementary School second grader Adriana and licensed clinical social worker, Maria has devoted her life to helping others and building community.
Maria’s volunteer roles speak to her leadership ability and the breadth of her commitment to the town. In fact, she has been honored with an “Unsung Hero” award for her work. As just a sample, Maria:
· Helps keep our neighborhoods safe as a Belmar Community Policing Block Captain
· Fundraises for the Belmar Friends of the Library
· Is an active member of the Belmar Elementary PTO
· Volunteers for the Rescue Ridge Animal Shelter
· Led the successful effort to reinstate Belmar’s summer recreation program
· Helps seniors and others schedule and get to medical appointments
· Keeps our beach clean by participating in beach cleanups and a dune planting.
As part of the Belmar Braver Angels, a bipartisan group of residents comprised of both “red and blue” leaning members working together to resolve issues important to Belmar, Maria studied the Master Plan and presented a workshop to the Mayor and Council advocating for increased communications and an improved website. Maria’s work shows her ability to bring people together regardless of party affiliation and has allowed her to create relationships across the aisle.
Maria knows not only how to get involved, she knows how to lead. Her skills are in identifying where there is a need and doing the work to solve it. For instance, in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, Maria led the grassroots effort to help Belmar seniors sign up for a covid-19 vaccine appointment and helped connect them to transportation, culminating in a 96% vaccination rate among Belmar seniors.
Maria is a licensed clinical social worker and small business owner, maintaining her private practice as a mental health therapist for the last seven years. Prior to this work, she served in Loudoun County’s Office of Mental Health/Substance Abuse and Developmental Disability in Leesburg, VA. Her experience in both the public and private sector has prepared her to tackle the issues for Belmar residents and business owners.
Maria shares her Belmar home with husband, Joe, and daughter, Adriana. She supports local businesses by shopping and dining locally, and promotes all the amazing “Mom and Pop” shops in Belmar on social media. She is running for council because she believes that council members should be trusted servants, not politicians, and she is committed to bringing a sense of community back to the Belmar she loves.