BERNARDS TWp., NJ – On Monday night, the Bernards Township Democratic Committee (BTDC) endorsed Joan B. Harris and Robert J. Mascia, CFBS for Bernards Township Committee. Harris and Mascia will run on the Democratic line in the November election.
In a release from the Democratic Committee, Chair Nancy D'Andrea said:
“There is unrest in Bernards Township, and residents want change. They want representatives who will listen to growing concerns about land use and development, solutions to address the mental health and opioid addiction epidemic, and proactive planning for severe weather damage and power shortages. They want representatives who will listen to suggestions and be transparent with township business. Our reputation as a tight-knit community has suffered as we continue to question the judgement of our township committee. Joan Harris and Robert Mascia will serve in the best interest of the people of Bernards Township. Their combined business, financial, and community experience coupled with integrity and compassion make Harris and Mascia exceptional candidates to serve on our township committee. You can confidently vote Harris and Mascia in November.”
"Joan B. Harris and Robert Mascia seek to bring a Democratic perspective to the one-sided Republican governance that has long been a hallmark of the Bernards Township Committee," according to the release.
In November, Harris and her running mate Sally Booth gave Republicans James Baldassare Jr. and incumbent John Carpenter a run for their money. Baldassare was the top vote-getter with 4,454 votes, while Carpenter came in second with 4,237 votes. Harris, with 4,151 votes, fell just 86 votes short of beating Carpenter and Booth received 4,144 votes, only 93 votes behind Carpenter.
Harris continues to serve on the township’s Board of Health and the Municipal Alliance Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse. On the Municipal Alliance, Harris is the Chair of the Stigma-Free Initiative which seeks to eradicate the stigma associated with mental health illnesses and substance-abuse disorders. She is an experienced civil trial attorney and former assistant prosecutor. Presently, she manages a claims unit for Coverys, a professional liabilities insurer. Her professional experience has equipped her with both negotiation and advocacy skills. Harris has raised her four children in Bernards Township and will see her youngest son graduate from Ridge High School this year, ending a 17-year tenure in the Bernards Township School District.
“I am excited to run again for Township Committee. I believe it’s time to rely upon the broader collective wisdom of our community. My desire is not only to serve, but to model for our children something they have not witnessed in the past several years: elected representatives from different parties working together to find common ground for the good of their community. ”
Newcomer Robert Mascia has served on the Bernards Township Chamber of Commerce and is the founder and owner of Green Ridge Wealth Planning in Bedminster, a financial planning and business consulting firm. “I know what it takes to run a business in small-town America, not just my own but in managing my clients’,” Mascia said. “I understand how zoning, building, and town planning works for both residential and commercial development, and how to make every dollar count.”
Mascia is also a volunteer coach for Bernards Township recreational t-ball, baseball, flag football, and travel baseball. Mascia and his wife, Brooke, have been raising their young family in Bernards Township for eight years.
* Paid for by Bernards Township Democratic Committee, P.O. Box 78, Liberty Corner, NJ 07938.