Q: Why are you running for Watchung Borough Council?
A: I grew up in Watchung. I'm raising my family in Watchung. I believe we need representation for all of Watchung residents. We are a mix of young, old, democrats, republicans, and independents that are represented by a 100% Republican administration. It's time for us to be heard and make a difference.
Q: How do you feel about transparency and responsiveness on the Council?
A: I believe in a transparent and responsive Borough Council. One that listens - and proactively communicates - to its residents. I want a council that commits to posting issues and resolutions before they are discussed to allow residents to bring informed questions and comments to the meetings. I want a council that commits to broadcasting the Council meetings online to allow residents unable to attend to stay on top of local issues. Our current council has operated on the assumption that people are not paying attention. We are paying attention and will not tolerate the lack of transparency any longer.
Q: What is your stance on the new proposed housing complex on Bonnie Burn?
A: This is an issue that hits home for me, as a resident of Oakwood Road East. Many of my neighbors are affected by this proposal, and they did not have anywhere near sufficient time to respond to the proposed plan. Solving income inequality begins at home, and we must do our part in providing affordable housing in Watchung per New Jersey law. But the process through which the council decided on one particular plan, with one particular builder, with zero discourse with those most affected is unacceptable. The plan we were presented in May was printed in October, and with the looming June 30th deadline to comply with NJ law, residents had no time to demand the council work on other options to comply. This is a symptom of the lack of transparency and accountability of this council, and something I will change if elected.
Q: What is your opinion on local taxes and the SALT deduction cap?
A: I am in favor of stabilizing our property taxes. I am in favor of ensuring that municipal budgets are fiscally responsible and respect the thousands of dollars each Watchung family works hard for to pay our town every year. We need to work with the county and NJ state government to ensure that we're doing everything we can to offset the crushing financial impact of no longer being able to deduct the majority of our state and local taxes. Watchung residents can't afford to pay thousands more every year when we're already paying so much, and with the budget passed in April 2018, we're paying even more.
Q: How do we increase commuter access to New York?
A: We must make sure that Watchung is a commuter-friendly town. I want to bring back the Park-and-Ride and explore options for public transit to train stations in neighboring communities. I want to maintain accessibility to NY, especially to attract prospective homebuyers.
Q: Where do you stand on the Watchung library issue?
A: I am in favor of there being a library in Watchung. I am committed to having a fair and transparent process involving all the residents of Watchung to determine how this should be accomplished. I don't think a lawsuit is a productive way to acheive this -- we can work together to find a way to keep this valuable resource in Watchung.
Q: How can we stop losing power and destroying our infrastructure every winter?
A: Every fall and winter we wonder anew when we're going to lose power, when the next snowstorm is going to close our schools and force all of us to buy generators to deliver what our local utilities fail to provide. This is a solvable problem, and our current administration merely reacts to every situation instead of solving it. We need to commission a study regarding burying the power lines and we must hold PSE&G accountable to servicing our town.
Q: What is your story?
A: I grew up in Watchung on Hill Hollow Road. I went through our school system and was the student representative on the WHRHS school board. I went to NYU Tisch, majored in Theater, and started my own casting company. After marrying my husband Paul, I moved back to the only town I could imagine living in to raise our young family. I have two boys, Calvin (3 years) and Judah (5 months), am raising my cousin Calee (12 years and a 7th grader at Valley View), and live on Oakwood Road East, where I'm road association Treasurer.
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