Dear Clark Residents,

The 2017 election is upon us.  First and foremost, please spend the few minutes to exercise your right to vote.  Hopefully you have taken the time to educate yourself on all candidates for our town, county and state.  As a candidate on the ballot for the Board of Education, I would like to leave you with a few thoughts as you make your final decisions.

On a personal level, Heather (my wife) and I moved to Clark in 2004 because we thought very highly of the town and the schools.  We have not wavered in the last 13 years and still feel as strongly today about Clark as we did then.  Our oldest daughter Alexis will enter ALJ High School next year and we look forward to all of the wonderful programs (sports, clubs and AP classes) that we learned about at orientation.  Our son J.D. is in Valley Road School and will be going to Kumpf in less than 2 years.  Our youngest daughter Charlotte will be in pre-school next year before going to Hehnly.  We will eventually experience each of our town schools and thus far could not be happier with the education.  I have already displayed the importance of the kids and our schools in my volunteer efforts with the Clark Education Fund (7 years total including roles such as past President and current Treasurer) and Clark Little League (9 years total including service on the Executive Board the last 5 years).

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On a professional level, I work as a Benefits Consultant in the Insurance Industry.  Over the course of my 20 year career I have had to use my Mathematics/Statistics degree from The College of New Jersey in differing analytical ways.  In each role of my career there was a need to crunch numbers, be creative and balance budgets.  As a Benefits Consultant, controlling budgets in a transparent manner is paramount for my clients.  I hope to bring this key skill to the Board of Education to assist the Board with the budget while being creative as the needs of the schools evolve.  It's easy to pick apart a budget, but it's very difficult to use foresight to plan for future budgets in years to come.

On a partnership level, I look forward to working as a team with the Board if elected.  This certainly includes the current members of the Board, but hopefully also Steve Donkersloot and Laura Caliguire.  I firmly believe that those serving the Board have the best interests of the town and the schools.  It always seems that we look at all of the negatives, but I prefer to focus on the positives.  Since I have been in Clark (inclusive of a few years before I moved to Clark), our great town has the lowest tax increase of any town in Union County based on information published last year on NJ.com:  (http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2016/02/property_tax_data_chart.html).  While those serving the Board (including Steve and especially Laura given her tenure) have managed to keep taxes at bay, they also found a way to implement full day kindergarten (while some of our neighboring towns have not been able to achieve this feat).  Another point of note is that the current Board has announced a plan to expand our Special Services program.  This will be crucial to keeping students in the district and revenue in Clark (and most importantly provide for our dear friends and residents who have children with special needs).

I believe we can build on previous successes and that is why I would like to join the Team.  It is also why I decided to campaign with Steve and Laura.  Please strongly consider voting 1, 2, 3 on the Ballot on Tuesday for Caliguire, Brede and Donkersloot.