Name: Jeff Kowalczyk
Current Occupation: Owner Connections Personnel
Education: Syracuse University
Family: Married with 3 children and a dog Coby
# Years Living in Scotch Plains: 33
Why are you running for Town Council?
I’ve been a resident of Scotch Plains since 1985 and a business owner since 1992. My wife and I have raised our three children here and we have benefited greatly from the town and residents. Now that our children are getting older I have the time and hopefully the experience to give back to the residents of Scotch Plains.
Tell us about your career and how your work and life experience will be beneficial in your role as a Councilperson (if elected)
My 27 years running a business, working in the town through the SID and experiences as a Resolve board member and a member of the Scotch Plains Business Association have given me great insight about Scotch Plains. My wife was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. On Mother’s day, in the middle of her treatments, our daughter tore her ACL playing soccer. She had to have surgery a month later followed by several months of rehab. That was a very tough year for us but it was one that gave me a different perspective on life. It also reinforced my commitment to the town. If not for the help of this community I don’t know how we would have made it through.
What are the issues that you think are most important in Scotch Plains?
Many important issues facing the town. Affordable housing, downtown redevelopment, infrastructure, school safety, and mental health as well as increasing overall quality of life for our residents.
What should people know about you that they might not know already?
Back in 2015 I was approached by a member of Resolve Community Counseling Service at a soccer practice. He invited me to a board meeting. At the time we were dealing with one of our children’s anxiety issues which made me very interested in learning more about Resolve and mental health in general. I joined the board after that meeting. Last spring I formed SPF Parents United: Coalition for Safety and Mental Wellness. The group is a non-political group of parents working together toward safety and mental wellness in our schools. My goal is to help people, especially children and to break the stigma associated with mental illness.
What else would you like to say?
Growing up my father’s job relocated our family every couple of years until we settled her in Scotch Plains during my junior year of high school. When people ask me where I am from, I tell them Scotch Plains. We live in a great town with a great community and with your support I will work hard to keep it that way.