A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Aberdeen Township Council 2009 Election - Qs for the Republicans

The Aberdeen Republicans are putting up the following candidates for Aberdeen Township Council in the November 2009 elections: Tom Aljian for Mayor and Anthony Garaguso, Sheilah Balavram, and Michael Vail. I picked up their brochures and business cards while I was at Aberdeen Day over the weekend. You should read their biographies, which can also be found on their website. The brochures are ads, so their positions are presented as bullet points and thus require clarification and elaboration. I've formulated some questions and will surely have more as time goes along. You may have others.
  1. Your brochure says a Republican administration would bring residents into the township's long-range strategic capital planning process. Are you talking about bringing representatives from the community into the government's process or bringing the government's process to the public? I'm curious how you see this working, especially given the low attendance by the public at council and school board meetings here.
  2. I was concerned about Township efforts to concentrate COAH housing on a section of County Road near Route 35. Your brochure suggests that you would focus on "honest and affordable housing," which sounds good but really doesn't make any sense. What would you do to resolve the state mandate to provide affordable housing in the Township?
  3. Your development plans center on the old Anchor Glass plant and the train station, but you don't say what you want to accomplish or in what time frame. I've read that these train station development plans are stalled across the region and turning over the old glass plant seems an unlikely proposition in the current economic environment. Why do you think you can close these deals when the Dems have struggled with them? Do you have new ideas or do you think you are simply better qualified?
  4. Your brochure puts holding the line on taxes as your highest priority. That worries a Democrat like me, who wants to be sure the town functions with both fiscal and humanitarian sensibilities. Convince me that you'd be a caring steward of the community and not just blindly seek ratables and cut costs to please homeowners and businesses.
  5. What would you do to develop the greater Cliffwood Avenue/Route 35 intersection? I'm concerned about the old drug store, the vacant lot where Burlew's Pizzeria once stood, the empty storefronts on the south side of Rte 35, Moore's Bar, and the old palette warehouse. Will you add that as a development focus?
  6. What are your thoughts on merging the Township with Matawan Borough? What do you see as the pros and cons of Gov Corzine's initiative? Would you support the program that is looking into regionalizing waste management?
  7. Would you work with the Chamber of Commerce to make Aberdeen Day a more commercially successful event? What specific things would you do to help promote the Township beyond what is already being done?
  8. You mention a senior center and Freneau as development issues. Could you provide more details?

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