Business Insights Leader at Novartis
Q: Top three Monty issues?
1) Keeping spending/taxes as low as possible. 2) Restraining residential development. 3) Investing in public health and safety services.
Q: Why are you running?
I am running again because I love Montgomery and have a passion for community service. Even after nine years, it’s still exciting to speak with residents about ways to improve our quality of life. It motivates me to keep working.
During my time, we have accomplished a great deal. We have made a positive impact on literally every aspect of town – spending, debt, taxes, open space, roads, parks, open government, infrastructure, library, retail services, development, police, sewer system, etc.
Montgomery is the #1 town in NJ for families and one of the top 75 safest towns in the nation. This happens because of our exceptional residents and an effective local government.
I am proud to have been part of these achievements and would be happy to discuss them in detail with anyone (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The best way to keep spending/taxes under control is to establish clear priorities, find ways to do more with less, and create long-term budgets. Over the years, I have kept spending below 2005 levels, reduced tax increases, and dramatically cut debt, while investing $15 million in our roads, parks, and police. We established a five-year budget that gets us to zero tax increases beginning next year.
The most effective way to restrain residential growth is to aggressively preserve open space. I am proud to have preserved close to 1,000 acres of land. This has prevented 2,000 housing units from being built. Too much development increases traffic and school taxes. While we can’t restrain all growth, being proactive makes a difference.
Improving public health and safety services is about being creative and making our limited resources go as far as possible. I have led the way with shared services, partnering with the county and state, and leveraging co/op arrangements. We expanded the health department not through local taxes, but by providing services to neighboring towns.
Q: Why are you running as a Republican?
I am running as a Republican because I am fiscally conservative. However, with the state of national politics, I wish Montgomery had non-partisan elections. Our work isn’t partisan in any way. Issues likes open space, roads, budget, land use, and parks are inherently non-political. I have steadfastly refrained from speaking about national politics as a local elected official. It’s just not relevant to our responsibilities. Montgomery deserves better than being infected with what is going on in DC. I’m proud to work with Kamran Quraishi, Sadaf Jaffer, Catherine Gural, and Marvin Schuldiner. We have been a good team.
Q: What do you love most about Montgomery and why?
There is so much that we love, but what stands out is our remarkable residents. About six years ago, we became a family with our daughter, who was born in China. I spoke about our upcoming parenthood at the LMS Heritage Day event that year and the response was overwhelming. Well wishes came in throughout town, especially from the local Chinese community. During those early days walking around Pike Run (where we live), neighbors went out of their way to say hello and give our daughter flowers to make her smile. We were invited to local Chinese cultural events and made lifelong friends. Such kindness was a blessing that we will never forget. Montgomery will always be our home.
Q: Griggstown Causeway?
A: The county is responsible for the bridge. When the time comes to replace it (which is years away), converting it to two-lanes must be studied in detail. If traffic doesn’t increase too much, two-lanes is the better decision. Weight restrictions should remain in place to prevent large trucks from disrupting the neighborhood.
Q: What would you like voters to know about you?
There is a lot of focus on national politics, which I understand and respect. I would ask everyone to please review my record. Have I helped make Montgomery a better community? That’s what matters. I hope I have earned your vote. ■