January 15, 2014 at 6:00 AM
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Newly sworn in Councilman Robert Richkus plans to make accessibility and accountability a cornerstone of his three-year term, he told a packed crowd at the borough’s annual reorganization recently.
“During the campaign I spoke to many residents,” Richkus said after taking his oath of office. “I let them know that I am not afraid of criticism, not afraid to hear if something is wrong or broken.”
The new councilman said he wants people to contact him when something needs fixing. “We can’t fix it if we don’t know it’s broken,” he said, telling those gathered that he’s available by phone, email, and even Facebook.
According to Richkus, accessibility and accountability go hand in hand. “My commitment to this position will be one of accountability.”
Richkus believes the current council has been accountable to the community and that this will continue. He credits this in major part to the borough’s top-notch employees.
“I believe we have the best municipal workers, not just in this county or state but also in this whole great country,” he said.
Richkus ran in the fall with Councilman Ray Rusnak, who is starting his third term on the governing body. During their campaign, the two often talked about two goals: Bringing back business and jobs, and holding the line on taxes and spending.
Mayor Matt Anesh set these same goals as two priorities for the coming year. He also said he’s looking forward to working with Richkus, who he believes will bring a new perspective to the council. “While continuity is important, it’s also good to have new voices and new ideas,” Anesh explained. “He’ll be an important part of our team.”
Outgoing Councilman Tim McConville had this advice for Richkus: “Like me he grew up in town. He knows the town, and he knows the people. These are great resources, and the more he listens, the better he’ll do. I’m expecting great things from him.”
Richkus grew up in South Plainfield and works as an assistant principal at Grant School. He and his wife Kelly live on Famularo Drive with their sons Luke and Blake.
This is the final article in The Alternative Press of South Plainfield’s series on newly elected officials who will be serving on the council and school board.