MONTVILLE, NJ – TAPinto Montville asked the four candidates for Montville Township Committee to answer five questions about themselves. The answers are being published in a random order. These are the answers that candidate Emily Ryzuk gave.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a wife, mother and therapist. My husband grew up in Montville and that is one of the main reasons we chose to buy a home and raise our two children here. My undergraduate degree is in Political Science and my graduate degrees are in counseling. Before working in counseling, I was able to spend a semester at the United Nations and work with Congressman Bill Pascrell. I was able to combine my love of helping people with government experience when i began to work with Survivors. When I ran the Sexual Assault Center for Morris County, one of my roles was to write grants for both State and Federal funding. I worked alongside other counties, along with the statewide coalition to provide advocacy, education and legislation for survivors, their families and members of the community. Once my daughter was born, I wanted the flexibility of a private practice to be available for my family and my community. In 2018, I joined PrimaryCare Associates of NJ in Montville as a therapist on site and continued to maintain my private practice in Morristown. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. I also love dance and music and have graced the stage of the Barn Theater for years - both on stage and behind the scenes.

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We pay so much in taxes. Why are the roads in such bad shape and always being cut into?

That is certainly a concern for me as well! It’s hard enough to pay so much in taxes, the last thing you want to do is pay additional money for car repair. Part of the reason I’m so eager to serve on the Township Committee is to bring forward these important issues and make sure that our tax dollars are being efficiently allocated to things that are important to us.

What do you believe is the most important issue in this local election?

Transparency and communication, by far. We have a right to know what is going on in our town. We need an effective way of communicating and interacting with members of our community. We are fortunate enough to have an incredibly diverse town and are currently governing with very little input from our citizens. Most people have no idea what their tax dollars are going toward. With transparency and community engagement, it would be possible to inspire more people to join our committees and have a greater role in shaping the future of our town.

What other issues are important?

The environment is very near and dear to my heart. I had the privilege of serving on the Environmental Committee and was able to hear the issues that we are facing regularly. I am excited that we have had some environmental initiatives in our town, but I feel like we could do more! We need to protect our beautiful resource of water and protect the health and safety of our children.

Why do you feel you are uniquely qualified to be a township committee member?

I am uniquely qualified because of my experience in government as well as my experience as a working mom. I know how to work well with others while supporting families. I don’t mind opposing opinions and welcome discussions. I regularly field difficult conversations in my work and am not afraid to stand up for all members of our community.

Township Committee members serve three-year terms.

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