EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - "All politics is local, " said Speaker of the House Representatives Tip O'Neill, referring to local elections that build power and authority within a political party. In 4 weeks, East Brunswick residents will not only vote for candidates on the national grid, but also for those who provide direct representation here at home in Middlesex County, notably here in EB.
There have been speeches, signage, fundraisers, door-to-door campaigning, "meet and greets," and mailings to promote the 6 individual candidates running for mayor and council member. TAPinto East Brunswick has asked each of them 4 questions about their priorities, their ideas, their recommendations to address needs, and even a question about "hanging out" on the weekend here in town. Over the next few days, we will publish the answers by each candidate so that you can read their thoughts for yourself.
Jim Wendell and Brad Cohen are running for mayor. Mark Csizmar, Jane Mueller, Mike Spadafino, and Sterley Stanley are running for membership on the town council. Here are their responses to our first question:
What is the “best thing” about East Brunswick? How would you enhance it?
Jim Wendell – Republican Candidate for Mayor
“It is very difficult to declare any one thing as being the best thing about East Brunswick. However, if I had to narrow it down to one thing, I would have to say the best thing are the people who live and work here in East Brunswick, as they are what makes East Brunswick the great community that we are today. It also would encompass all the volunteers that help with the make up all the great Groups and Organizations. We also have all of the Township Employees that provide the great services that we provide to all the residents here in town. Without all them and the dedication of so many, there would be no youth sports, there would be no East Brunswick Education Foundation which provides so much to the Schools by donating so much to the Schools to enhance these programs. As such I would say the best thing in East Brunswick are the all the people. The way to make this town even greater would be to keep the taxes stable, enhance services, and continue to promote volunteerism and help, in any way possible, all the volunteer organizations throughout our community.
Brad Cohen –Democratic Candidate for Mayor
Like most residents who move to East Brunswick and as a sitting School Board member, I would be remiss if I did not say that the best thing about East Brunswick is our public school system. Our schools are routinely ranked amongst the top 100 in the state.
As a school board, we have not rested on the achievements of those before us, and we continue to push the bar. By looking at best practices, trying novel approaches, and with quality faculty/administration, we constantly set new goals. We are just about complete with our 3-5 year strategic plan, which has identified and set new goals. This is exactly what great organizations must do to achieve excellence – we can always be better. And this can be achieved in a fiscally responsible manner.
Jane Mueller - Republican Candidate for Township Council
Excellent schools; Safe township environment; Friendly residents eager to help each other; Community welcomes new comers and embrace different cultures. Plenty of parks, recreation facilities, sport, music and art clubs – guaranteed to find things residents enjoy to do.
To enhance our strengths, we should have more police on the road; repair and improve our road and facilities; encourage multicultural activities; and improve our school ranking to the top 10 in New Jersey.
Mark Csizmar – Republican Candidate for Township Council
The best thing about East Brunswick is the residents of this great township.As a member of the Township Council, I will enhance their lives here by listening to the needs of our residents and addressing them.
Sterley Stanley – Democratic Candidate for Township Council
The best thing about East Brunswick is the services that we provide to our residents. In particular, my family has taken advantage of the Parks and Recreation Department and all the services they offer, as well as the many sports leagues that are available for the children to participate in.
We must continue to support these programs, but we need to do it in a more fiscally responsible manner. People move to East Brunswick for the schools and the fantastic services, but we need a thoughtful government that is open to new ideas to support these programs while keeping costs down.
Dr. Michael Spadafino – Democratic Candidate for Township Council
The best thing about East Brunswick is the great quality of life we enjoy. Our excellent school system, our open spaces, and our superior services make our town the best in Central New Jersey. We must continue maintain and enhance these services; but we have to do it in a more fiscally responsible way.