UNION COUNTY, NJ - TAPinto has contacted the candidates for Union County Freeholder and offered the opportunity to be profiled in advance of Election Day. Our "Five Questions with..." series is a platform for candidates of both parties to express their views. 

"Five Questions With..."

Name: Joseph A. Bonilla      
Current Occupation: Physical Security Area Supervisor
Years Lived in Union County: 11 years

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1. Why are you running for Union County Freeholder?
I am running for Union County Freeholder because I believe the current Board of Chosen Freeholder has become numb to the issues and concerns of the people. We work for the people and they should have the right to have their voices heard because it’s their tax dollars and their opinion matters. The spending has been at an all time high which is causing a tax increase every single year causing financial hardship for the people of Union County, especially those on fixed income. We need to make change for the better of the people and Union County. It’s time for new leadership. Vote column A for Dierkes, Fortunato & Bonilla.

2. What’s your position on the proposed sports stadium for Rahway River Park?  What is your response to the opposition that has formed?
One of the important issues right now is the Board of Chosen Freeholders being a one party machine over spending by the millions and driving up taxes every year. If I am elected I will fight for the hardworking people to control the spending and control the outrages tax levy in this county.  Vote column A for Dierkes, Fortunato & Bonilla.

3. Tell us about your non-government career.  
I have been a financial advisor for almost 28 years, advising my clients on how to achieve their financial goals. Most of my clients are retirees. Each year we look at their financial picture and determine how much income they will be able to spend. This is the complete opposite of what the Democrat Machine on Freeholder Board has done for the past twenty years. My clients first look at what their earnings are, and then spend accordingly. They don't spend more than what they earn. Democrat Freeholders since 2000 have increased taxes by 120 percent. Incomes in the same time period are up only 10 percent. Taxes have increased at a greater percentage than inflation, home values, and even the stock market, yet the Democrat Machine continues to accelerate spending. Middle class senior's incomes can't keep up with the taxes, forcing them to move. Working class people now have less money to save for retirement or for a child's education.

Advising clients about their money has given me an appreciation for how hard people work to earn a living. I will put a stop to the careless spending and help bring property taxes to a level that Middle class families can afford to live in this county.

4. What else would you like to say?
At the Freeholder Debate the Democrats boasted about all the services that the Freeholders provide. I found this rather curious. Suppose for a moment that a friend provided you with their credit card and asked you to give them a great vacation at the Jersey Shore. If money is no object this is an easy task. Rent the best home, have all meals at expensive restaurants, and go to a concert in AC. The friend would have a great time, but cry when the bill arrived. Instead suppose a friend asked that you arrange one week at the shore for a family of four at no more than the cost of $1500. That's a more difficult task.

You may have them rent a home with other family members or friends. They may eat most of their meals by having a home cooked barbeque and play volley ball on the beach. They may even have a better time than the first vacation.  One thing is for certain, they would not cry when the bill arrived, because it would not exceed $1500.

It is easy to provide services when someone else pays the bills. The Freeholders have provided more and more services with higher and higher taxes.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get a Real Estate Tax Bill and not have to worry about how much it will have increased? I, Rene Dierkes, Rich Fortunato and Joseph Bonilla will make those difficult decisions to make Union County a great, fun and affordable place to live again.

5. What should people know about you that they might not know already?
I have lived in three other countries besides the U.S. They are Spain, Germany and Italy. This has given me an opportunity to see various governments at work. I also stayed with a Nigerian family for about a month in Lagos, Nigeria, a family in Santiago, Chile, and with my wife's family in Beijing, China. Again, seeing these different forms of governments at work and also gaining appreciation for different customs and cultures has allowed me to have a more worldly view.