For Immediate Release

Harris & Mascia, Bernards Democrats, Announce 2018 Platform

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP:  Joan Bannan Harris and Robert Mascia, Democratic candidates for Bernards Township Committee, unveiled their platform today. Harris said, “Our priorities emphasize community first, fiscal responsibility and representative government. This underscores our desire to preserve what is best about our town and welcome change to respond to the needs and desires of our diverse population. Most importantly, we will not lose sight of our obligation to serve the community in a transparent and welcoming manner.”

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Harris continued, “This picks up on last year’s platform where we noted that the lack of open dialogue between the Township Committee and residents was leading to poor decision making and leaving the community feeling frustrated and cynical about local government.  It seems even our opponents recognize this as an important issue and have adopted it as part of their own platform.”

Robert Mascia added, “I believe, first and foremost, that the lack of transparency in the current regime has created mistrust, and changes need to be made. I think a lot of people are seeing the reality of a continued Township Committee in its current state is not what’s best for the residents.  New faces with the same mentality are not change.  We need people who are going to think differently, act differently, and most importantly, hold each seat of the Township Committee accountable.”

            Harris and Mascia intend to focus on:

  • Fiscal Responsibility – control spending and stop the wasting of tax dollars on avoidable litigation, consulting and public relations fees.  Convince committee members accepting health care benefits by virtue of a statutory “loophole” that such practice is inconsistent with “fiscal conservatism” in an effort to stop this practice.  Over the last eight years, these benefits cost taxpayers in excess of $882K.
  • Mental Health – continue efforts such as Youth Mental Health First Aid training and other educational programs to address mental health issues and decrease stigma which often prevents people from seeking treatment.
  • Affordable Housing – employ proactive solutions, innovative alternatives, and most importantly, inclusion of our residents in the process to determine how best to meet our obligations and avoid over-development.
  • Environmentally and Economically Sound Growth – promote smart development and sound zoning to serve and protect the community.
  • Transparent and Inclusive Government – keep residents informed and welcome their participation to seize upon the collective wisdom of the community.  Treat volunteers with respect to encourage participation.
  • Safety – work to assure our infrastructure is regularly inspected and reported; reduce safety hazards such as disregarded stop signs and speeding; collaborate with county and state government to ensure safe roadways for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists; and expand safe pedestrian and cycling routes.
  • Local Businesses, Recreation and the Arts – to emphasize the diverse character of our community; to offer the opportunity to connect with others providing a sense of belonging; to bring our community together in a way that respects our differences and common values; and to restore our reputation as a caring, resilient community.

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Paid for by Harris & Mascia for Bernards Township Committee, P.O. Box 75, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. Vote for Real Change in November