Candidate Statements

October 12, 2021

To remain viable and successful, towns must change and develop. But they should do so incrementally, not to drastically change the character that attracted residents to live there in the first place. Smart growth is how a successful town prospers, and it was that philosophy that I applied during my ...

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Hello, my name is Marco Totaro, and I am running for re-election for the Board of Education.  I have currently served on the board for the last three years and advocated for the educational needs of our community's children. For those of you who do not know me, I have two beautiful young ladies, ...

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Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve the community and the School District of the Chathams. We have both been residents of Chatham Borough for over 24 years and, collectively, have had 6 children educated through SDOC.  Each of our students had different social and academic needs, ...

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Dear Hawthorne Community, My name is Jennifer Ehrentraut and I am seeking election to serve a full-term on the Hawthorne Board of Education. In March of this year, I was appointed by the current Board, after an application and interview process for the vacant seat when Tania Sanford moved. I am ...

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Let’s be clear: EVERY part of your property taxes controlled by Township Committee is up nearly 20% in two years. My opponent does not like this fact. If my opponent and the Democrat majority could vote to raise even more of your property tax bill I am sure they would. Fortunately, the portion ...

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Legal Statement: The following writings are made in my capacity as a private citizen, and not in my capacity as a BOE member. Although some of my opinions are based on my BOE experience, I do not represent myself as a board member, do not represent any other board members, and do not represent the ...

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On May 20, 2021, a virtual public meeting was held to unveil Summit’s Broad Street West redevelopment project, which detailed significant changes to our downtown — specifically a dramatic remaking of where our firehouse, post office and parking lot between the Library and YMCA sit today.  What ...

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Let's Talk Taxes!! In 2021, the average assessed home of $833,000 in the Township had a municipal tax (open space is included) increase of $225 or $19 a month. Out of your total 2021 tax bill, 17% goes to the municipality, 65% goes to the school budget, 15% to the county, 2% for the library, and ...

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My name is Doug Reinstein and I am running for a 3-year seat on the Board of Education because I care about your child’s education.  Education is probably the most important investment any of us will make in our children’s future success.  So simply put, I am running to continue to ensure that the ...

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First of all, and most importantly, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve the community and Westfield Public Schools as members of its Board of Education.  Together, we have a combined nine years of experience on the BOE and we feel this year especially, experience will ...

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Councilmen Rob Bengivenga and Joe Wolak, this week, pointed to a series of independent studies showing that South Plainfield is continuing to get strong results under the Anesh team’s leadership. Bengivenga and Wolak credited the hard work of borough departments heads for working with Mayor ...

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One of the more important jobs a school board does, is to oversee the construction of the annual school budget.  As part of our continuing series of articles on how school boards function, we would like to describe the budget process and dispel a number of misconceptions. Let’s start with how a ...

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For those who do not know me, my name is Jerry Fernandez. My wife Carmela and three boys, Alexander (16), Christian (14), and Robert (12), have called Springfield home for 15 years. I grew up in nearby Union, where I attended Union High, and later, I attended Johnson and Wales University. Upon ...

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To my New Providence Neighbors, My name is Stacey Gunderman and I’m asking for your vote as the write-in candidate for our Board of Education. Whether we’ve been here for a lifetime or just for a few months, all of us have chosen to call New Providence home. My husband Mark and I decided on ...

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So how can the Township sustain without ever-increasing tax rates? A small, loud, group of progressives defend the almost 20% tax rate increases in just 2 years. These progressives reason that Chatham Township must require an annual increase in tax rate just to pay for rising costs. That is ...

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Over the last months, I have had the opportunity to engage closely with many of my Ward 2 neighbors. By far, the health of Westfield's 18-block Downtown is a top priority and concern. With so many attributes that give Westfield its “small town” feel despite our 30,000 residents, most have asked ...

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Re-Elect Clark and Kenney Chatham Township BOE There has never been a time when continuity and experience matter more.  This school board election is not just about education during a pandemic; it is about maintaining excellence and balanced voices in our schools.  Michelle Clark is a ...

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What is a PILOT? That is a question I get asked a lot as I knock on doors or speak at meet and greets. The answer is both simple and extremely complicated at the same time. PILOT stands for Payment In Lieu Of Taxes and is exactly what it sounds like, a program for a developer to avoid paying ...

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WE MUST PREPARE FOR THE ADDITIONAL 1,000 HOUSING UNITS COMING TO THE BOROUGH As we know, South Plainfield is a special place to live and raise a family. We take pride in the fact that we are a diverse and inclusive community. Just last week we recognized Hispanic Heritage month. Thanks to Rosa ...

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REAL Parents x SPF (https://www.realparentsxspf.org/) is a collective of parents, neighbors, alumni, and allies united to bring more Representation, Equality, Anti-Racism and Literary diversity into every corner of our schools' lessons, libraries and leaders.  The organization submitted questions ...

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The condition of Westfield’s downtown is very concerning and this mayor and the current council majority have overseen its decline. Despite expanding the Downtown Westfield Corporation’s board and seeing its executive director replaced, as recently as the Spring there were still tens of thousands ...

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Dear Neighbors, My name is Alison Gagliolo, and I am seeking our community’s support to join our outstanding New Providence Board of Education as a write-in candidate this Election Day.  My husband, Anthony, and I moved to New Providence from Brooklyn, New York four years ago.  We chose to ...

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Recently I read that we suffer when we live in the past or in the future, dwelling on the “woulda,” “coulda,” “shouldas” and regrets of the past while worrying about the “what ifs,” “it might happen” and fears of what’s to come in the future. The only way to truly be at peace is to live in the ...

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Dear Neighbors, My name is Alison Gagliolo, and I am seeking our community’s support to join our outstanding New Providence Board of Education as a write-in candidate this Election Day.  My husband, Anthony, and I moved to New Providence from Brooklyn, New York four years ago.  We chose to ...

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Downtown Westfield was once a premier destination, winning national awards. Today, it is losing businesses, customers, and its shine. Rather than promote our downtown and attract new businesses, in 2020 the Brindle Administration declared the central business district, and indeed our entire town, ...

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For many years, voters have been led to believe that Republicans are more fiscally responsible than Democrats, that they can keep taxes low by limiting government and by unleashing the private sector to generate economic growth. The problem is, the track record of Republican fiscal ...

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As an experienced educator with an undergraduate degree in Education, Masters in Reading, and mother of three boys in grades 2nd, 5th and 7th, I always seek out ways to improve the educational outcome for all children. Professionally and personally, it’s always encouraging to see non-educators, who ...

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Let’s be honest. This election has gotten pretty heated at times. As a candidate, I acknowledge my part in creating this dynamic. I genuinely hope, agree or disagree, that our community comes out to vote on November 2nd. That said, I believe the level of division and animosity we’ve experienced ...

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As councilwoman, I meet regularly with our Ward 1 neighbors impacted by flooding issues during heavy rainfall. Our neighbors who live on Euclid, Harrison, Barchester, Prospect, Lenape Trail and Watchung Fork, among others, have all experienced damage and harrowing nights (often supported by our ...

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My name is Jennifer Killea I am currently running for a full-term seat in this year’s New Providence Board of Education election. I am currently serving on the New Providence Board of Education in my second interim seat since August 2020 and, in that time, I have had the opportunity to sit on two ...

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