Meet the Candidates
By Joanna Heston
Team Avalon: Martin Pagliughi, Barbara Juzaitis and Samuel Wierman Jr.
Voters in Avalon will head to the polls for the municipal election on Tuesday, May 14 from 6am-8pm. The Borough of Avalon has three positions to be filled, including a four-year term for mayor and two four-year terms on council. Mayor Martin Pagliughi, councilwoman Barbara Juzaitis and newcomer Samuel Wierman are running together as Team Avalon. Mayor Pagliughi and Juzaitis seek to retain their current seats, while Wierman and James Lutz are running for council. Longtime councilman Charles Covington will not seek reelection. Each term will end June 30, 2023.
Pagliughi has served as mayor of Avalon since 1991, preceded by a term on Borough Council. He and his wife, Lynda, have been full-time residents since 1976. Previously, Pagliughi held a 39-year career with ABB, a global electrical engineering firm, as national industry manager. Pagliughi has also served as the Cape May County director of emergency management since 2012 and continues to be involved in many organizations in our area including Friend In Need, the Avalon Lions Club, Avalon Volunteer Fire Department, Avalon Historical Society, and Sons of the American Legion. As an outdoorsman, Pagliughi enjoys fishing, hunting, shotgun sports (trap/skeet/sporting clay shooting), and he is an avid reader of books pertaining to World War II and American history.
“First and foremost, it’s all about neighbors helping neighbors,” he says of his role as mayor. “Being involved in municipal government affords me the opportunity to not only address the currents needs and issues in the Borough, but also exceed expectations with thoughtful planning in every facet of government. You can improve the quality of life and increase the value of properties simply by having vision, short- and long-range planning, and by having members of your team being communicative and responsive to our citizens. I am blessed to serve the citizens of Avalon and look forward to the opportunity to continue my public service to our community.”
Juzaitis was appointed to her seat on Borough Council in December following the retirement of longtime councilman Dick Dean. An Avalon resident for 22 years, Juzaitis holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing. She is also a licensed registered nurse in three states and nationally certified in infection control. She currently serves as an infection prevention consultant. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially being a grandparent, and loves outdoor activities such as swimming, kayaking, golfing, home improvements and gardening. Aside from her current role on council, Juzaitis is an active member of AHLOA, the Avalon Recreation Committee, the Avalon Safety Committee, the Avalon Emergency Squad board, the Avalon LEPC (Local Emergency Planning Committee) board, and the Cape May County Technical School Allied Medical Program advisory council. She is a past member on the Avalon Green Team and continues to assist during the annual Dune Grass Planting events.
“The people who live in our community are our greatest asset,” Juzaitis says. “I am honored to not only live in a progressive community like Avalon, but also to serve as a current member of Borough Council. I love Avalon and want our town to remain the phenomenal place that it is, thus I am willing to put the time and energy into ensuring that it remains a phenomenal place.”
Samuel Wierman Jr.
Wierman seeks one of the two available seats on Borough Council. A Seven Mile Beach native, Wierman grew up in town and has been a homeowner since 2014. He serves on the Avalon Planning and Zoning board, the Avalon Chamber of Commerce Board, the Recreation Advisory Committee and is a board member of Friend In Need, a local charity. Wierman holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Rider University and is a licensed insurance agent. Wierman serves as the vice president of Ide Insurance Agency in Stone Harbor. He and his wife, Elissa, were married on the Avalon Fishing Pier in 2017 and their daughter, Penny, was born last July. In addition to spending time on the beach with family and friends, Wierman enjoys golfing, playing basketball and softball, and following the Philadelphia 76ers and European soccer religiously.
“I think Avalon is the most desirable place to live along the Jersey Shore and that is in large part to local officials and how they govern,” Wierman says. “The town has been allowed to grow and evolve while still keeping its charm. I think if you grew up in town and are making this your family’s home, it is important to be involved. I also enjoy meeting people and having conversations with them, and I think that is a big part of local government, especially in a place like Avalon.”
Lutz seeks one of the two council seats on the ballot. Originally from Pennsauken, he and his wife of 45 years, Linda, purchased their home in Avalon in 1998 and moved here full time in 2006 upon his retirement from the United Parcel Service, where he was employed for 35 years. He is a graduate of Delaware Valley College and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry with studies in environmental science. While working with UPS, Lutz gained experience in labor relations, industrial engineering, logistics, human resources and long-range planning, to name a few, as well as filling the role of operations terminal manager. Lutz is the owner of Nev-R-Enuf Sportfishing LLC and Jim’s Fishing Rod and Reel Repair. He is also an IRS-registered tax return preparer. He has served the community as a member of the Avalon Lions Club, Avalon Republican Club, treasurer of the Avalon Chamber of Commerce and member of the Stone Harbor Chamber of Commerce as well as American Legion Post 331, the County Party and Charter Boat Association, the Strathmere Fishing Club, and the American Littoral Society.
“Avalon is a great town to live in. During my career with UPS, I was the terminal manager for Atlantic and Cape May counties and had the opportunity to visit all the shore towns, and decided that Avalon was the place I wanted to retire in,” Lutz says. “My desire to be elected to the Avalon Borough Council is driven by my desire to serve the public and be a voice of the home owner and business owner. Avalon has gone through many changes in the past and faces many challenges in the future.”
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