We believe Garwood is a wonderful small town, and we want to keep it that way. We also believe it is important to always try to improve. As we seek your support in this year's election, we have developed a concrete plan to ensure Garwood stays strong by prioritizing public safety and fiscal responsibility as well as working to strengthen the connection with the residents through transparency and communication.
As a current Councilman, Russ Graham has made it a priority to go through the annual budget line by line and has questioned the Finance Committee extensively. Russ supported the hard choices made in reductions to the 2020 budget due to the pandemic, which resulted in a zero tax impact budget.
As a volunteer, Vincent Kearney has made it a priority to bring the business of government directly to the people. Using live-streamed video as part of the Garwood LIVE project, a record of all meetings of the Mayor & Council exists now for the first time ever.
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the first two points of our Four Point Plan for a Strong Garwood address exactly what we have already placed as our top priorities.
- Fiscal Responsibility: We will maintain a tight budget to keep taxes down, while continuing to provide the top-notch services Garwood deserves. Line by line budget review and the continuing development of long-term fiscal plans are the cornerstone of our commitment to ensuring tax dollars are spent to preserve our municipal services.
- Increase Government Transparency: We will work to expand access to Council meetings by both live-streaming all meetings and creating a video archive through the official Borough website and social media channels. We also support increasing the frequency of updates by social media and email to residents as well as soliciting more feedback from residents through the use of online question and answer sessions, in addition to town hall events.
- Enhance Communication: We will work to create online forms and a digital portal to conduct Borough business, and also push for the digitization of Borough records to make it easier for the public to access them.
- Prioritize Public Safety: We will continue supporting the first responders who keep our community safe, like the long-requested purchase of the rescue ladder truck last year for our volunteer Garwood Fire Department. Promoting and expanding community policing, such as this year’s “Street of the Week” program with the Garwood Police Department, will be the key to addressing resident concerns with speeding and other traffic control issues. Finally, we will seek additional resident input on the Bicycle Network Plan proposed earlier this year, which will include traffic-calming measures, before deciding what to implement.
We look forward to continuing the conversations with our fellow residents regarding this plan. Please look out for calls and text messages! Russ can be reached at (908) 380-3196, Vincent at (908) 413-5615. We would love to hear from you! To see more about us and our vision for a Strong Garwood, please visit our website at www.dems4garwood.com and vote Column A for the Graham/Kearney ticket!
Councilman Russ Graham
Council Candidates, Democrats for Garwood