BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The League of Women Voters of Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Summit is sponsoring a Candidates Forum for candidates running for Berkeley Heights Township Council on Thursday, October 19.
The Forum will be held at Gov. Livingston High School in the Ken Steiffel Auditorium. The Program will begin at 7:30 p.m. Ann Armstrong, a League member and trained moderator from Somerset County, will be the Moderator. Candidates running for the Berkeley Heights Township Council are: Jeanne Kingsley, Republican; Edmund "Tom" Maceijewski, who was nominated by petition and is running under the slogan of Libertarian Party; Alvaro Medeiros, Democrat; Susan Poage, Democrat, and John Sincaglia, Republican.
The format for the evening consists of four parts.
1. Each candidate will give an opening statement,
2. Each candidate will have an opportunity to answer 2 questions developed by a committee of the League in July. All Candidates have received these questions and have six weeks to prepare a response.
The questions the candidates received are:
A) What does transparency in government mean to you? Describe a specific case that illustrates that there was transparency. What steps would you take to guarantee transparency to the voters? Or please describe a specific case that illustrates that there was a lack of transparency. How would you have remedied the situation?
B) In Redevelopment Projects in town, the Council is looking toward using PILOT- Payment in Lieu of Taxes also known as Annual Service Charges to replace conventional tax collection. Do you support this idea and why? Do you oppose this idea and why?
3. In addition to these questions, the audience will be asked to submit their own questions. Note cards will be distributed to the attendees and questions will be considered that are politically directed. Written questions from the audience will be screened for personal attacks or other inappropriate language. The moderator will ask the questions to the candidates. We urge residents to come to the forum and ask the questions that they want answered.
4. At the conclusion of the forum, each candidate will make a closing statement.
Besides the Forum, the League has invited the candidates to participate in Vote411.org which is a National League of Women Voters initiative to help inform the public on the candidates and issues. This is a digital "Know Your Candidates Sheet". The same League committee at the July meeting developed these questions as well. The questions are:
1) What do you feel is the biggest concern facing the residents of Berkeley Heights? What would you do about it if elected?
2) Council members make many decisions that affect the residents of the town (quality of life, taxes etc.). Prior to making these decisions, what would you do to gauge the support of the residents?
3) What steps would you take, if elected, to work towards revitalizing the shopping area on Springfield Avenue?
All the Berkeley Heights Candidates for Township Council were invited to participate and given these questions. Their responses will be available as of October 1st. To access the information, go to Vote411.org and put in your street address. You will see all the candidates for whom you may vote and their information (if they decided to participate).
The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization. We pride ourselves in adhering to this principal. The questions formed came from a consensus of a committee. They were meant to cover general points as well as current issues before the Council.