BRIDGEWATER, NJ - She moved to Bridgewater to raise her family, and found a passion for helping others through the local MOMS club – and now Patti Selikoff is running for one of two open seats on the township council.
Selikoff is running for council on the Democratic ticket.
“Bridgewater is such a great place to raise a family, which is one of the main reasons we moved here,” she said. “The family-friendliness of this area and wanting to keep it that way was an important reason for choosing to run for council, as I would like to keep this town a desirable place where residents can raise their children in peaceful proximity to others.”
Selikoff has a masters degree in fiber science from Cornell University, and, since moving to New Jersey in 2005, she has worked for several companies in research and development. For the last 10 years, she has worked in capital construction for New York City Transit.
When her twin daughters were born four years ago, Selikoff said, she joined the local MOMS club, and found a passion for providing support to other moms and making lifelong friends.
“I love being part of this diverse, caring and highly intelligent community,” she said. “Even though Bridgewater is made up of 45,000 residents, it still has that small-town feeling in which I grew up.”
Despite that small-town feel, Selikoff said, she understands towns need growth and development to keep progressing into the future, but there are concerns to consider.
“If growth outpaces the basic infrastructure needs such as road conditions, traffic and overcrowding the schools, new construction can actually cost the tax payers money to fix these issues,” she said.
Selikoff said she believes that not only does the township council need to really evaluate each property, it needs to better study roads, schools and police to reflect the impact development can cause.
“I am very concerned that with all the development, our children will pay the price in school crowding, loss of open space, flooding, decreased water quality and crowded streets,” she said.
In addition, she said, she would push to pass three ordinances for implementing a green buildings and environmental sustainability plan to attract green businesses; preserve and expand open spaces for community gardens, walking trails and dog park; and have more public hearings on large developments at different locations and times to accommodate the public.
As for roadwork, Selikoff said, the town has implemented an easy way to report potholes online, but she believes it should go a step further.
“I think one way to improve road conditions is posting online what and when roads are going to be fixed,” she said. “Transparency with the current administration has been lacking and just notifying the residents not only prepares them with the work schedule, but also provides a method to see their tax dollars at work.”
Roads are vital, Selikoff said, and construction is inconvenient, but necessary.
“I would like to see the construction and repair of roads done at night, when possible,” she said.
In terms of money in the township, currently the town holds about $70 million in debt, Selikoff said.
“The current town council administration is working on paying that debt down, but as of last August, they borrowed another $5 million to pay for road improvements,” she said. “How is that decreasing debt?”
Selikoff said the township needs to find ways to pay off debt and fund road improvements without taking on more debt and interest in loans.
“To do this, we need to honestly face the issues that contribute to the borrowing,” she said. “I will study the patterns of debt, budgeting and spending. While trying to control costs, I believe we should address the most pressing issues that need addressing in Bridgewater.”
Selikoff said she wants to be on council to work on the betterment of the town.
“I want to initiate and be part of solutions to keep our town a great place to live,” she said.