SOMERSET, NJ - TAPinto Franklin/Somerset will be entering its 4th year providing residents with free local online news and information about happenings in and around Franklin. In 2020 we will introduce some new feature series for the people of Franklin, about the people of Franklin. 

One of our new series titled "Elected Officials of Franklin" will give the residents of Franklin detailed information about their politicians on the local, county and state level. The series will also follow special projects of the featured officials while providing them with a platform to speak directly to the community. 

Our first elected official to be profiled is Sivaraman “Ram” Anbarasan. Anbarasan will be sworn in, Jan. 6 as the newest council member. He was elected in November and he will replace Rajiv Prasad who held the position for 13 years.

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Anbarasan has resided in Franklin for five years and has lived in Somerset County for 30 years. He will bring more than 40 years of private and public sector experience to the council. 

During his professional career, Anbarasan worked for a multinational computer company, started his own IT company, oversaw job development programs at higher learning institutions, and volunteered for government entities. 

Currently, Anbarasan volunteers at the Franklin Township Sewerage Authority as a commissioner. 

Anbarasan says he is anxious to leverage his workforce development experience in his new role because he feels gainful employment is one of the key ingredients to a healthy prosperous community. 

"I will work towards not only bringing more businesses to our township but also assisting their employees to improve their skill levels through available grants," Anbarasan told TAPinto.

One of Anbarasan's biggest goals is to establish a job training program for unemployed local youths.

Once in office, Anbarasan says he will start reaching out to local businesses in different sectors to determine the biggest need for entry-level employment. He says at this point he is not sure if the biggest need is in manufacturing, healthcare, IT or some other field altogether. Once the field or fields is identified, Anbarasan says he can then start developing a job training program that would be presented to the public. 

Anbarasan also feels there is an opportunity to tap the talent in Franklin's retirement community. He says the seniors can help the community with many things, from tutoring students to mentoring small businesses. 

In an effort to help make local government more accessible and transparent, Anbarasan is planning to make himself available to the public at least once per month. He will set up at places like the municipal building, library, senior center, house of worship, or other local locations during different hours in hopes to engage with members of the public. 

He says the public can ask questions, seek out information on appropriate township matters during his appearances.  

"We are here to serve the people and should be here to provide them with any [township] information they are looking for," Anbarasan told TAPinto. "We should also listen to them." 

Anbarasan is also looking to leverage his IT and business skills to help the council members look at policies with a fresh set of eyes. Whether it be finding cost efficiencies or streamlining current procedures, he wants to hit the ground running. 

"Good policies less politics, that is what I want to bring to Franklin," Anbarasan told TAPinto.