I am running for the Borough Council as a write-in candidate.  Those who have followed my statements know that I am running because I have proposals which are not being addressed by the current council or the two other candidates. Since I entered the campaign late there has not been an opportunity to have a candidate’s forum or debate. I intend to use Tap and what other outlets are available to conduct a debate of sorts. 

I want to make it clear; my intent is entirely to encourage an exchange of ideas and plans for New Providence.  I have no intention of making any personal attack on my opponents.  I respect their service to the community and their willingness to run for office.  

I begin by addressing the two candidate statements which appeared on these pages last week.

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My first question is for Nadine Geoffroy: In your statement you said the following: “We are a diverse community…”. You also sited Niche.com rating New Providence “seventh best suburb to live in New Jersey.” The same Niche.com rated New Providence 337th in most diverse communities in New Jersey.  

Could you explain your use of a source to bolster one claim which presumably helps you yet ignoring the same source when it contradicts your claim?  

Lisa McKnight: You site in your statement “court mandated high density housing,” as a reason for “careful planning.” The Supreme Court of New Jersey has never “mandated high-density housing.” The court has only required that towns create zoning that allows for the construction of affordable housing. Further, the courts have only designated the total number of affordable housing units each town must create zoning to accommodate. It is up to each town to determine how that obligation is met. If a town owned property and had funds, they could choose to construct only the required affordable units without any additional market value units. Could you explain your use of the term “court mandated high density housing?”

Nadine, according to data contained on the NewProv.org website. During the period from January 2018 to January 2019, the Mayor and Council received 77 “requests” from residents. The same report indicates that 5 of those requests were “Answered Directly.” My question is, why were only 5 out of 77 requests answered? Why shouldn’t every request have a response? 

Nadine and Lisa: All public government meetings require that citizens have an opportunity to express their comments on any issue of concern. In New Providence, citizens do not have an opportunity to express their concerns until the next to last agenda item. This creates a situation in which citizens must wait, frequently more than an hour, before they are permitted to express their concerns. This practice discourages participation and discourages discourse about issues raised. Why can’t this opportunity be provided for citizens as a priority item on each agenda?  

I welcome any questions or comments anyone may have related to the questions or statements I have made above or in previous statements. I can be contacted through the Facebook page Truth Matters New Providence. Email: afswanson47@gmail.com or the webpage https://lookingleftnj.com.