Elections

Candidate Statements

Why I would like to serve in the Assembly

Ambassador Phil Murphy and Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen

WHY AM I RUNNING?

In order to understand why I am running, you need to know my background.I was born in Elizabeth, raised in Cranford and have lived for more than 30 years in Springfield, where my wife Jodi and I raised our two now-adult children, Stefanie and Ross.I am a product of the Cranford Public schools, as my children are a product of the public schools in Springfield.I have been a practicing attorney for more than 35 years, running my own small law firm.I am currently in my second term as a member of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and my second year as chairman.Prior to that, I spent 17 years as the municipal attorney for the Township of Springfield.

In my more than two decades in local and county government, I have had the opportunity to observe the interaction among the various levels of government and to see how the policies at the state level can have a profound effect—both positive and negative—upon our local governments and boards of education, and thereby the residents of our state.

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In the past almost 8 years, I believe that effect, both economically and on social policies, has been more negative than positive.I am running for the Assembly in the 21st Legislative District, to be part of positive change for the State of New Jersey.

WHAT ISSUES ARE IMPORANT TO ME?

The taxpayers of New Jersey are being crushed by real estate taxes—why? Over the past 7 ½ years, the state has reduced funding to our local schools, reduced funding to our municipalities, and shifted more and more of the burden to provide services to our counties while reducing state money to them as well.This has made it impossible for our schools, municipalities and counties to continue to provide the services our residents and businesses want and deserve, without ever greater reliance on local property taxes.We need to reform our tax system, to allow full and fair funding of our schools, and to return to reasonable and necessary levels of state funding for our local governments.In this way, the property tax burden can be moderated.

At the same time, our state economy has not rebounded the way many similar and surrounding states have, and therefore our economic condition has deteriorated.Everyone knows of the series of financial downgrades New Jersey has suffered under the current lack of leadership.We need to revitalize our economy, by encouraging innovative businesses and the green economy, to make New Jersey a leader once again.We need to reform our economic system to make if fair for all: equal pay for equal work; a $15.00 minimum wage; and an end to corporate welfare.

We need to encourage diversity in our population, and ensure New Jersey is once again a leader in civil rights and social issues and in ensuring equal rights for all of our residents.

WHAT OTHER ISSUES AM I CONCERNED ABOUT?

Some of the many issues I wouldfocus on are: effective gun safety laws; supporting our veterans and their families; protecting women’s reproductive and health care rights; ensuring the Gateway Project is built with equitable funding; returning New Jersey Transit and other transportation to its former place as a national model of efficiency and value; reforming our criminal justice system to make it fair and equitable, including the legalization of marijuana with proper regulation; enacting fair and reasonable laws to ensure well planned affordable housing, with state support to ensure necessary infrastructure and avoid over-development; expanding our innovation economy to bring more and better paying jobs to our residents; returning to an environmental policy that is based upon science to help preserve our air, water and natural resources for our children, grandchildren and future generations; ensuring all of our children have access to an excellent education, regardless of their “zip code.”

WHY SHOULD YOU VOTE FOR ME?

IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE.  The residents and businesses in LD21 have not been well served by the current administration in Trenton, including the long-serving legislative representatives in LD21, who have NEVER, NOT ONCE, voted to override the Governor’s veto.  Not on gun safety, not on women’s health issues, not on the rights of immigrants.  The problems this state faces must be confronted, not ignored.  We need to find fair, reasonable and long-lasting solutions.  I believe I have the experience, knowledge and temperament to be a positive force as a member of the Assembly.  I believe that I have what LD21 and New Jersey need to move our state forward and to once again make New Jersey a shining star for our entire nation.

HERE IS MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ME.

I am a partner in the Cranford law firm of Krevsky, Silber & Bergen, and have been a practicing attorney for 36 years.  I was appointed twice by the New Jersey Supreme Court to serve as a member of the District XII Attorney Ethics Committee, and served as Chairman in 2009-2010.  In 2013 I also completed a five-year term as Board Chairman of Central Jersey Legal Services, which provides free legal representation to eligible residents of Union, Middlesex and Mercer counties and remain a Board member.

I am a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys, the state municipal attorney organization affiliated with the New Jersey League of Municipalities and serve as an Associate Editor of the League’s Local Government Law Review. In 2005, I was designated a Diplomate in New Jersey Local Government Law.I have participated in presenting seminars at the NJ League of Municipalities conference, on the subject of ethics for elected officials.

I have has been a member of the Rotary Club of Cranford since 1982 and have served twice as President.  In 1993 I was named a Paul Harris Fellow, the Rotary’s highest honor.   I was picked by Springfield B’nai B’rith to receive its 2012 International Citizenship and Civic Award, and later this year I will receive the Community Service Award from the Jewish Family Services of Central NJ.

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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