Candidate Statements

Candidate Statement for Chatham Township Committee: Karen Swartz

Chatham Township Deputy Mayor Karen Swartz is running for re-election to the Chatham Township Committee

My Fellow Township Residents,

It is an honor to serve you in my present term on Township Committee and as Deputy Mayor, and I am writing to you of my desire to seek a second term, beginning by asking for your vote in the June 6 th Republican Primary.

As many of you know my husband Craig and I have lived in Chatham Township for nearly 30 years, having bought our starter home in 1990, where we raised our two kids and where we still live, incidentally. I have always taken great pride in my service to Chatham Township and particularly in the direction we are now heading.

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It’s impossible to be in a single place for any length of time without seeing some changes of course, but what is remarkable about Chatham Township is how we continue to identify as a caring, closely knit community, dedicated to civic and religious organizations, youth activities and sports teams and each other.

The high-energy spirit that is a trait of Township families and individuals continually leads to the formation of countless newer groups, neighborhood associations and coalitions beyond the scope of our local governing body, as it should.

During the two years I served as Township Committee Liaison to our Board of Health, with our Health Officer as a guide we undertook the formation of two vibrant and unique coalitions, Tri-Town 55Plus which proved to be the genesis of our Senior Rides Program, and the Madison/Chatham Coalition designed to raise awareness of the patterns and dangers of substance abuse among our High School Students. With impassioned volunteer boards from across our communities working together with paid professionals, the Township Committee has applauded the can-do attitude that put together initiatives such as these that are truly changing lives.

For many, many years in Chatham Township we’ve managed to strike a balance between folks moving in to raise their families and families who have lived here for generations, in what is among the most desirable places to live in the state if not the entire region. In spite of the on-going challenge of meeting the high cost of living in New Jersey, the return on investment in Chatham Township is visible everywhere we look, reflected in our parks and Open Space, in our Public Safety record, in our schools and in our stable property values.

One look at our Township’s budget reveals the rising cost of goods, services and salaries which we are able to meet year over year without increasing municipal taxes because of forward thinking administration and carefully ordering priorities. And as a result, we continue to provide increased financial support where it means the most: to our Emergency Squad, our Fires Companies and our Senior Center.

Stability at the administrative level is only fair for our 4,000 households hoping to live with predictable tax rates and confidence in their Township Committee and sometimes it calls for making tough decisions, an obligation I believe necessary to ensure that our focus remains on the greater good for Township families.

Integral to our Township’s stability are the relationships we maintain with other towns and our County officials. Persistent and public dialogue with the Morris County Departments of Engineering, Road Design and Public Works has allowed us to communicate our vision for the upcoming redesign of the Hickory Tree corridor on Shunpike arguably our sole center of commerce.

I take personal pride in the dramatic advances in communicating with our Water and Electricity providers over these years adding new predictability to our residents’ lives. Perhaps the single greatest call for stability however is the on-going legal proceedings which are addressing our Township’s constitutional obligation to provide for affordable housing, the resolution of which will affect our community for a generation. I understand that the closed session nature of these discussions has fostered uncertainty and discomfort in our residents and not one of us on Township Committee would voluntarily keep our residents in the dark.

As many of you know and gratefully understand, matters of litigation such as this demand confidentiality to allow the Township Committee to discuss and explore fully all options for resolution to this litigation. You, my fellow residents, have always had my most solemn promise that as a Committee Member elected by you to look after the best interests of our community in the present and down the road, I do not take this burden lightly. With prudent counsel we will continue to look at all options and to discuss the matter from all angles. I understand fully that decisions we make now will impact our open space, our schools and our infrastructure, not just in the near term but for many years to come.

There are scores of New Jersey towns which have yet to reach settlement. The process is on-going because each community is different regarding employment opportunities, public transportation and available acreage. Accelerating towards a settlement is a double-edged sword, especially after such arduous discussion and progress made to this point. This is an important time for our Township. It’s important to me to continue this process so earnestly begun in 2015, and it’s important to families young and old who cherish this community as I do.

You have often heard me refer to my quest for stability and balance in our Township; never have these two qualities been more valuable. I have always been humbled by your trust and I look forward to providing this in the years ahead as I continue my dedication to serving our hometown. This can only begin with earning the Republican nomination to Township Committee for the November Election, starting with your vote in the June 6 th Primary.

I hope you will all circle that date on the calendar and remember to vote!

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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