BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ — Dr. Sophia Chadda and Mr. Jon Sandler, candidates for Bernards Township Committee, will focus on six major issues of importance to township residents and businesses: property taxes and home values, promoting responsible development, safety and security, infrastructure, supporting local businesses and diversity, inclusion and belonging. 

“I have spoken with hundreds of township residents and business owners and their concerns echo my own. Of most importance to residents is our ever-rising property taxes while the value of our homes decrease or remain stable at best,” Chadda said. “Despite having large corporations in town, our taxes continue to increase with only Republicans serving on the Township Committee for at least 50 years with the exception of two Democrats: Joan Harris from 2019-present and Bill Allen from 1974-1979 and 1999-2001. Jon and I will scrutinize the way our tax dollars are spent and will eliminate waste. We will also work to revitalize business districts and attract new businesses to relieve the homeowner tax burden while retaining the charm of the township.” 

Sandler couldn’t agree more. “Over the past few years, millions of dollars were spent on needless litigation and the township was forced to accept oversized development projects because our township leaders failed to appropriately anticipate governmental mandates and thus couldn’t provide for development that best suits our community. As a result, Bernards Township was left with no choice but to approve impractical and excessive development. As an attorney with experience representing municipalities, I will work tirelessly to ensure all development provides the maximum benefit to our community, while adhering to government mandates and reducing unnecessary litigation expenses.” 

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Chadda and Sandler also recognize the need for infrastructure and safety improvements. “We were shocked to learn the township website and technological infrastructure was hacked by a malicious ransomware attack for an extended period of time because it did not have simple security measures in place. We weren’t told what other systems were impacted and what, if any, personal data was breached, but we are committed to strengthening our physical and technological safety and security. Perhaps more important, we will be transparent and keep residents informed,” Chadda and Sandler expressed. “We are also quite concerned about the extended power outages experienced during recent storms and frequent power outages experienced by many residents for, at times, no apparent reason. We will push for a full investigation, hold JCP&L accountable and work to make sure that the Township is doing everything in its power to be proactive to prevent a massive power outage during the next inevitable storm. We will also look to add bike paths and repair and add new sidewalks where practical.” 

The candidates are also committed to ensuring all residents are represented regardless of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, LGBTQIA+, or level of emotional or physical ability and that all township governance is transparent and accessible. “In light of recent events in our community and across the country, this is especially important to us. Although the majority of the Township Committee initially rejected Committeewoman Joan Harris’ proposal to create a Human Rights Advisory Committee despite strong community support, we will not give up,” Chadda and Sandler added. “Our platform is bold, it is strong, and it supports the needs and desires of township residents. But it is not exhaustive; we will always listen to our neighbors and will do our best to serve however we can.” 

To learn more about the Sophia Chadda and Jon Sandler for Bernards Township Committee campaign, to learn more about our platform, and to provide input to the candidates, please visit ChaddaSandler2020.com. 

Paid for by Sophia Chadda and Jon Sandler for Bernards Township Committee, PO Box 5352, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.