SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- As Election Day approaches, TAPintoSPF will run questionnaires of the local candidates who are running for office in Scotch Plains and Fanwood.

The first Five Questions With... feature introduces voters to Josh Losardo, who is running for Scotch Plains Council on the Democratic ticket.

Name: Josh Losardo
Current Occupation: Attorney and Business Owner
Education:  JD, Brooklyn Law School (1998); BA, Binghamton University (1994)
Family: Wife Stacey (Married 2003); Two children (Ava, age 13) and Ian (age 9)
# Years Living in Scotch Plains: 10

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Why are you running for Town Council?      

I am running for town council because I enjoy helping people.  I am not certain where this comes from, but in everything I have done, my satisfaction is never higher than when I know I have done something meaningful and helpful for someone else.  So I am running for Town Council to help our town because I know I will enjoy the job and its responsibilities every day.

Tell us about your career and how your work and life experience will be beneficial in your role as a Councilperson (if elected). 

I am a proud small business owner.  In partnership with my brother Michael, I founded Chalk Gyms, in Brooklyn, New York in 2012. We believed that customers would come if we created a top-notch experience, treated them fairly, with care and respect. Owning a business has provided me with a detailed understanding of regulatory issues, such as licenses, zoning and labor laws, that are all part of a business owner’s responsibilities. The experience has also provided me with a better understanding of how taxes affect small businesses.

Prior to starting Chalk Gyms, I was a real estate attorney for more than 15 years with the same mid-sized Manhattan law firm. One of my responsibilities was representing property owners navigating New York City’s complicated rent regulations.  Being well versed at New York’s rent laws has provided me with a better understanding of New Jersey’s Mount Laurel doctrine, and the January 2018 settlement between the town and Fair Share Housing Center.

Early in my career, I was Chief of Staff to a New York State Assemblywoman, where I gained invaluable lessons on government and a legislator’s responsibilities to the community. Summing up, I believe my public service, legal and business experience would be beneficial if I was a Councilman. 

What are the issues that you think are most important in Scotch Plains?

The redevelopment of downtown Scotch Plains and the town’s agreement in the affordable housing litigation are two of the most important issues affecting the town, but the conditions of our streets, including flooding, uncollected branches and leaves, are serious problems, too. 

I have also learned of other issues that are equally important to residents, including school safety and overcrowding, the condition of our parks and fields and how high our taxes are. 

What should people know about you that they might not know already?

My wife, Stacey, and I moved to Scotch Plains ten years ago to raise our daughter, Ava, in a beautiful community with great schools.  Not long after, our son, Ian, was born, and a couple of years ago we added a little dog just to ensure that my wife and I never get a full night’s sleep two days in a row.

What else would you like to say?

I am eager to play a larger role in my community, and I ask for your vote!. Whomever you choose to vote for, however, it is crucial that Republicans, Democrats, Independents and whatever affiliations VOTE – VOTE – VOTE this November 6, 2018. Cast your vote and let your voice be heard!