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Devra Keenan (D), Candidate for Monty Twp Committee

Devra Keenan (D), a Belle Mead resident, owns High Impact Advisors

Q: What are the top three issue in Montgomery?

1) Blighted areas (corner of 518 and 206) and empty storefronts.

2) Over reliance on retail-based commercial development.

3) Siloed, disconnected development lacking walkability / over reliance on cars.

Q: Why are you running?

I am running for township committee to serve the community my family has called home for the past 22 years.

We are living in disconnected and divisive times with heightened polarization, mistrust, and incivility running rampant. While it is easy to stoke fear, point fingers and talk at each other, the truth is that we have more in common than we have differences. We must have more leaders who actively reject politicized decision making and back-room deals, and instead embrace a culture of openness, inclusivity, and collaboration.

Due to lack of openness around the new municipal building/library, we missed a huge opportunity. What could have been a forward-thinking community project, is just another “siloed” building that ignores environmental sustainability and resiliency.

Personally, I support the legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana. Should the state decide to legalize it, we must re-evaluate our existing ordinance that was a political stunt and put in place irresponsibly and prematurely. We must do our due diligence, conduct a financial and legal analysis and most importantly conduct public forums, and have open and transparent discussion involving many stakeholders including residents, farmers, and business owners of our community.

Q: Why are you running as a Democrat?

First and foremost, I am running as a resident, a neighbor, a taxpayer, and a parent. As a Democrat, I strongly believe in social and economic equality, civility, discourse and making decisions for the greater good.

Q: What do you love most about Montgomery and why?

I love that Montgomery Township has retained much of its rural character through the focused preservation of farmland and open space.

Q: Griggstown Causeway?

Reconfiguring the causeway and replacing the current bridge should be considered as part of a broader long-term solution to address the safety, traffic, infrastructure and flooding issues for this area.

Environmentally sustainable options such as permeable pavement, rain gardens and restoration of wetlands must also be considered. County engineering will be conducting a concept development study of the area concentrating on traffic and safety and it is critical that Montgomery residents are informed and provide input. ■

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