BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Each week leading to the June 6 Primary election, the Republican candidates running for Berkeley Heights Township Council will answer question(s) that will be run in a series by TAPinto Berkeley Heights.

The following answers are from Republican candidate Thomas Foregger.

I am a retired mathematician and computer scientist with almost 40 years’ experience as a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs and Alcatel-Lucent and a long history of involvement in Township activities. I am a strong proponent of openness in government and of controlling taxes so all our residents can afford to continue living here.

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Question 1. What skills or knowledge will you bring to the Council?

My training as a mathematician and experience in financial modeling makes me well qualified to research complex issues and use facts to arrive at a good solution. As a regular attendee at Township Meetings I have an in-depth understanding of the issues facing the town. I have the willingness, energy and persistence to work hard for the citizens of Berkeley Heights.

Question 2. Why are you running for Council?

I am running for Township Council because I would like to see our property taxes reduced and to have our Council be more transparent in its deliberations and show more respect for residents’ input.

Over the past 6 years, despite tax levy caps, local municipal property taxes have risen over 19%. This rate is higher than the 13.6% growth in CPI for Urban and Wage Earnings over this period, and is much higher than the 5.3% COLA increases to Social Security, so seniors have taken an especially big hit. It is time to control and reduce property taxes. Doubling the town’s debt is not a solution, and substantial borrowing and expenditures without consent of voters is a betrayal of voter trust.

The current Council has taken several steps to limit resident input and restrict transparency, from closing committee meetings to being more adversarial about time limits for resident questions to refusing to have a referendum on the $28M expenditure for construction of a new Town Hall. I would like to see more documents made available on our Township website to promote transparency and as a means to reduce OPRA workload on our clerical staff.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in the answer are the candidate's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the candidate.