Editor's Note: TAPinto Basking Ridge asked each of the four candidates for Bernards Township Committee to answer the following questions. The following responses are from John Carpenter, one of two Republicans seeking election. Responses from each of the four candidates competing for two three-year committee seats will be posted over the next few days.
1) How long have you lived in Bernards Twp., and what is your political and civic experience, including any achievements you'd like to highlight, and any other personal information you would like to add?
I’m a 48-year resident of Bernards Township and a Ridge High graduate.
My wife Lauren and I have been married for 33 years. We have 3 children who are also Ridge graduates. Raising our family in Bernards has been like a dream for Lauren and me. I can think of no more welcoming, nurturing or beautiful place to raise a family
Service to the community:
Mayor -- 2008, 2014
Township Committee (Currently Deputy Mayor) -- 2006 - Present
Republican Municipal Committee District 3 Representative -- 2004 - Present
Bernards Township Sewerage Authority (twice Chairman) -- 2006 - Present
Bernards Township Public Library Trustee -- 2013 - Present
Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse (Chairman) -- 2010 - 2013
Rotary Club of Bernardsville and Basking Ridge (Vice President) -- 2015 - Present
Pool Commission -- 2008 - 2009
Planning Board -- 2007 - 2008
Deer Management Advisory Committee -- 2006 - 2014
Agricultural Advisory Committee -- 2006 - 2009
Environmental Commission -- 2006
Police Subcommittee -- 2006 - Present
Personnel Subcommittee -- 2007 - Present
Insurance Subcommittee -- 2006 - Present
Youth Sports Coach – Hockey and Soccer
I am proud of several projects:
Paying off ALL municipal debt.
Turf Fields - self funding.
Salt Dome project - County built and operates Saving Bernards over $1 million dollars.
Morbark Chipper - cost a 1/4 million, paid for itself in year one and has saved Bernards over $1 million dollars.
Dispatch for PD - Moving to county dispatch has saved us $600,000/year
21 for a Reason - Municipal Alliance developed this award winning program on Substance abuse during my 4-year tenure as chair.
Getting the quarry fill trucks off the road and curtailing the importation of fill.
Preserving 770+ acres of open space including the English Farm, English Woodlot, Sons of Liberty Farm, Whitenack Woods, etc.
2) Why should Bernards Township voters select you to serve on the Township Committee?
Results matter and I have a 12-year record of delivering results.
5th best place to live in NJ
2nd lowest equalize tax are in the state
AAA bond rating
paid off all debt
Safe town (4th safest)
Great facilities and parks
I’m invested in Bernards with three generations of my family living here now. I’ve been a good steward.
3) What do you like about living in Bernards Township? What would you like to improve about the township? What future changes do you envision in the township?
Bernards has the qualities of both rural and suburban living. The community is incredibly diverse, vibrant and committed to making our town a great place to live. People move here for a reason.
Wish we could find a way to slow things down a bit from time to time. We get a little hectic here.
I see the town continuing to evolve in many ways but I do not see the sense of community and the commitment to that sense of community will ever change.
4) What specifically would you like to accomplish if elected/re-elected?
I’d like to refresh our Basking Ridge and Liberty Corner business districts. I believe we can do so with out losing one bit of the charm and character that make each so special.