NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Each week leading to the November 5 election, the candidates running for New Providence Borough Council have the opportunity to answer question(s) that will be run in a series by TAPinto New Providence.

The following answer is from Republican Borough Council Candidate Robert Muñoz for Week 1.

Week 1 Questions:

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  • Why are you running for Office?
  • What unique skills or knowledge will you bring to the elected office you are seeking?
  • What do you think the major issues facing New Providence are at this time?

Why am I running for office?

After having served almost 9 years on your borough council, I have seen the completion of many projects of which I have been a part.  Whether it was the completion of the Oakwood Park recreation project, or the completion of the shared dispatch center, I have been an integral part of each.  There still remains much work to be done.  As a member of the Capital Review Committee since its inception, I have been an integral part in the renovation of numerous fields, tennis courts, basketball courts and playgrounds in New Providence.  But we have many more fields that need improvement and playgrounds that need new equipment.  We have a new park and walking area called Harmony Park that will be going in soon next to Veterans Park.  We recently acquired a new athletic field from Beckton Dickinson that has been added to our inventory.  The Capital Review Committee is now looking at improving Grove Field, Lincoln Field and Beckton Dickinson field.  There are still grants that we need to pursue to continue our aggressive plan of repaving the roads in the borough.  There are still traffic studies we have to complete to help improve safety on our roads.  There are still efficiencies we have to explore to keep our tax rate low and so that we keep our triple A credit rating.  Why am I running for office?  Because my work for the people of New Providence is far from being done. 

What unique skills or knowledge do I bring to the council?

I bring continuity to the borough council.  I have had the good fortune of running in my prior three elections with Council President Gennaro as my running mate.  However, he is retiring from public office.  With his departure, and assuming I am re-elected, Councilman Robinson and I will be the most senior members on our borough council.  The next most senior councilperson will have two years of experience.  I bring institutional knowledge and experience.  I bring the benefit of having done this job for the past nine years and being able to look at the issues we face through the lens of someone that has dealt with these issues before.   I bring the benefit of having an accounting degree and a law degree and being able to address issues using those perspectives.

What do I think the major issues are facing New Providence? 

Affordable housing building mandates, taxes, infrastructure, traffic safety, pedestrian safety, increasing health care costs for our employees, forced consolidation, increasing recycling costs and many, many others.  All of these issues affect us in our daily lives.  All of these issues will have serious implications for us in the very near future.  All of these issues will need someone with experience to handle.  The issues New Providence faces are much more serious than whether or not we should ban plastic bags.  We are facing real issues, with real implications, that need serious people to handle them. 

Please vote Matsikoudis and Muñoz on November 5.