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People On The Move: Peggy Gamza
10/24/2008 - By by Gayle Davis

People On The Move: Peggy Gamza

SITTING IN HER OLD SEAT

No one is more proud than Peggy Gamza to hold the position of mayors aide to Jonathan Hornik. She is no stranger to the post, recalling her days when she served as aide to Jonathans late father, Former Mayor Saul Horniks as well – for three terms. She candidly says she sees a lot of similarities between the two men, and a few differences. “They both have [had] a tremendous presence about themselves. They both speak [spoke] eloquently.” Peggy adds, “I told Jonathan that Saul would be very proud of the kind of job that he is doing for this town.” She says Jons answer to her was, “He would have probably run against me!” But how are they different? “Saul was extremely animated. I think Jon is calmer in the way he handles not only the residents, but all of the problems that do arise here. Its very touching for me…and to see how well hes doing is beyond!” She says shes not being partial. “Its the feedback from the town, and that includes residents that may not have even voted for Hornik… Its been overwhelmingly positive.”

Being the mayors aide is a position that keeps the soon-to-be 28-year township employee on her toes everyday. “I take all of my directives from Jonathan. He is totally hands on and knows about everything that is going on. He works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!” Peggy says she is the contact person for just about all of his committees, and helps out with various projects. She also works with Alayne Shepler, the current business administrator, who also once served alongside, the late Mayor Saul Hornik. A typical day in the Mayors office “includes a lot of e-mails, answering phones, and helping residents.” The former school teacher, whos seen the town more than double its size through the years since she first started working here, says Mayor Hornik has an open door policy – residents are welcome to stop by to ask questions or just say hello.


This is Peggys fourth administration. She says committees are forming that had never been activated before. Whats more, she says that people are actually showing their support for Marlboro by wanting to get involved by serving on these committees! “This administration has been opened up to everybody…where people can call up to serve. We have the Teen Advisory Committee [TAC] that we never had before …where teenagers can get involved in government.” Gamza is serving on the Mayors Ball Committee and the MOM Committee (fighting against the train line coming through town). Mayor Horniks aide also added that a program is being put together for seniors to learn how to use computers and cell phones, referring to these teachings as “real life stuff!”

Gamza is excited about the recent opening of the new dog park, the enhanced recreation program, a proposed teen center, and the Morganville Senior Center, which is now offering a lunch program on Mondays for $3. As far as challenges she would like to see conquered by the current administration, she says she would like to see affordable housing (now being mandated by the state), something positive done with the grounds of the Marlboro State Hospital, cleaning up the Imperial Oil site, and maintaining the great school system here.

Peggy moved from Brooklyn to Marlboro in 1968. “It was all farms back then.” This dedicated woman is the mother of Marlboro resident Jonathan Gamza, who was raised in Marlboro, as was Jonathans wife Debra; they are parents to Alex, 12, and Emily, 9. Peggys daughter, Jennifer Loubaton (also raised in Marlboro), lives in West Long Branch with her husband David and their children, Alison, 5, and son, Abie, 2. Although Peggy currently lives in Old Bridge, she cherishes her time working here, spending time with her children and grandchildren, and enjoying being a spectator at Alex and Emily sporting events on the Marlboro fields, which she says are known as some of the best in the state.

Peggy states that she raised her family here, she knows many people here, and adds, “This truly is still my town. Its where my roots are!”


STATS

FAVORITE RESTAURANTS

Jerry and Harveys and Brioso

FAVORITE MUSICIAN
Neil Diamond

FAVORITE MOVIE
Sex and the City

PET PEEVE
waiting in long lines at checkout counters

THREE PEOPLE YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH
my parents, Jonathan and Debra, and David and Jennifer




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