BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Nick Joanow (D) is one of six candidates, three Republicans and three Democrats, running for three seats on the Bloomfield Township Council in November.
Joanow is running for a fourth term as Council member in Bloomfield’s Second Ward. He was a guidance counselor in East Orange for 40 years and retired in 2008.
TAPinto: Thank you for taking the time to share with us your thoughts on Bloomfield past and future. What has been your greatest accomplishment in your past terms as councilman? What do you hope to accomplish if re-elected in November?
JOANOW: The acquisition of the Lion Gate property is my greatest accomplishment. To date, we have gotten over $6M in grants and have been acknowledged for the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award. It began in 2001 and continued over a 16 year period through various governing bodies. The current administration has the vision and foresight for the project to become a reality. My participation with the Third River Bank group of dedicated and passionate people who believe in the presence of open space is my greatest accomplishment.
TAPinto: What is the most compelling reason you stepped into the race for a fourth term in the Second Ward Council seat? What issue will you champion for the citizens of the first ward if elected?
JOANOW: This election, I have many projects that I wish to see to completion. There are programs I initiated that I want to bring to closure. The Loin Gate project that I have been advocating for over 16 years; I want to see it to completion. This flood prone property was saved from development to create a mini park for the people of Bloomfield; while at the same time diverting potential flooding downstream from our business district. This was done in a unique way by removing soil to create a retention area around the river, therefore creating wetlands.
TAPinto: What unique strength or experience do you have that will be a benefit to the citizens Bloomfield if you are elected? Please complete the statement: I am the only candidate who….
JOANOW: Clearly I am the only candidate who, since elected, has gone to every household in the Second Ward eight times during my tenure as an elected official. It took me six to seven weeks, three hours a day. I am very proud of this accomplishment to be accessible to all my constituents.
TAPinto: Think about this scenario: A benefactor leaves $1,000,000 to the town and stipulates that you have sole discretion as to how the money will be spent. It is also stipulated that you must spend the money in the 12 months following the election. How specifically will you spend the money?
JOANOW: One half of the million I would use to create scholarships in a trust fund for families that would allow their children to participate in sports. Sometimes it becomes unaffordable to have all children in one family participate. If you have three children how can you let one participate and not the other two? Can you tell your kid they can’t play because we don’t have the money?
The other one half of the donation would go to the health dept for goods and services assistance to families and for senior citizen activities and programs. No one should be turned away.
TAPinto: What do you consider to be the number one opportunity associated with current developments and future development plans in Bloomfield?
JOANOW: The town of Bloomfield is going through a transition from a post World War II commercial/industrial economy to a residential/retail/restaurant one. This is in keeping with other communities that are also moving from and moving to. The current Mayor and Council are taking a visionary approach, with high end apartments coming into our business district. In order for the business district to thrive and revitalize, we need residents to populate the district and we need to entertain and feed them. We are fortunate to have two train stations attracting new residents from Hoboken, New York City and Jersey City who find Bloomfield user friendly in terms of access and a suburban lifestyle.
TAPinto: What is the number one challenge and how do you propose to address this challenge?
JOANOW: Every development that comes before us will be assessed as it relates to our master plan and whether it meets the goals and objectives of creating a positive growth pattern for Bloomfield. One of the challenges is that we are very competitive in our pricing. In the Second Ward, a good percentage of new residents looking to purchase single family homes are finding location, accessibility, amenities and value in Bloomfield and putting us at the top of their list. We are competing with other towns that are west of New York.
I repeat; we are fortunate to have two train stations and a shuttle bus that takes residents to and from the trains. This is very important for the younger population moving into town. We are all competing for the younger individuals who will eventually become homeowners. We are becoming the alternative for them when living in NY is becoming prohibitive.
TAPinto: Other than the challenges you mentioned relating to development, as a grandparent and homeowner, what is the main thing that might be keeping you up at night?
JOANOW: Other than my wife’s snoring! (laughter) Seriously, my concern going forward is delivering constituent services in an efficient manner. The tradition of person to person from my counseling carries forward to my service on the council today. We have a new safety director and township administrator and visionary council and and we are moving forward on our vision to deliver the best service to our constituent.
TAPinto: What is your campaign slogan?
JOANOW: “Working Hard For You in the 2nd Ward”
TAPinto: What is the best way for the voters to reach you?
JOANOW: My phone number is 973-748-6379. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (for Township issues) and my website is www.nickjoanow.org
TAPinto: In closing, what would you like to say to the citizens of Bloomfield?
JOANOW: As a member of the Council for nine years, I have visited your homes on six different occasions. I would like to move forward with your support and cooperation. I am the only candidate who simply is on duty full time. I thank the residents of the Second Ward and I am thrilled to be a part of this visionary Mayor and Council. I look forward to continuing to serve.