I am a Muslim American Millennial of Indian origin who lives in Piscataway, and I will be voting for the ‘Column A’ Democrats.
I am voting for :
- A transparent government
- An inclusive administration
- A government believes in sustainable development and a greener future
A Transparent Government
Transparency is critical to me. The fact that the township council still refuses to record or broadcast the town council meetings is astounding. I have been to the town council meetings, and I had to stand and record the council meetings because the council refuses to do so itself. In fact, at one point, they tried to remove people who tried to do so unconstitutionally. Thanks to some amazing people in the town who had to fight for this basic right. A lot of cities in New Jersey broadcast the council meetings and post agendas and minutes online. In the past couple of months, we have all seen how easy it is to adapt to technology and have all used video meetings for some reason. The township council still refuses to have a video council meeting. However, they have now been able to post agendas online miraculously. Before COVID, they were also resorting to tactics like reducing the speaking time for residents in half without prior notice.
Mayor Wahler operates with zero transparency. He does not want to be held accountable for anything, he refuses to debate the candidates, and he rarely cares to speak to the community.
The anti-muslim flyer funded by Bob Smith, circulated by the Mayor's wife and signed by Councilman Kapil Shah, was disgusting. He never issued a public apology or repudiated the anti-muslim flyer despite more than 300 elected officials condemning the flyer. (Kapil Shah was a member of the right-wing Hindu nationalist BJP political party in India. If you have ever been to a town council meeting, you will know that he is least interested in being there and has the least participation of all the members)
The Mayor and Township have repeatedly refused or gaslighted and made excuses on having a more inclusive and diverse Township holiday display, including signs from different religions and cultures.
Mayor Wahler refused to comment on Former Piscataway Cop Todd Ritter assaulting a suspect and has been silent about David Yearby. Mayor Wahler wants us to believe there is no racism in Piscataway and refuses to support a Civil Rights Committee for the Township.
A government that believes in sustainable development and a greener future.
Mayor Wahler and his administration have supported and promoted the town's over-development with no consideration for the residents. Warehouses built one after another have degraded an already poor air quality of the town. Piscataway and Middlesex County have an 'F' rating by the American Lung Association for Ozone Pollution. More warehouses mean more truck traffic and further pollution.
The Mayor and his administration have repeatedly tried to distance itself from the Community Energy Aggregation Program, which would bring renewable energy to Piscataway even though most voters approved it. Their resistance makes me believe the current administration does not believe in a sustainable and cleaner, better future for Piscataway.
The tax-reassessment errors, the roads in Piscataway, and the over-development are a huge concern to me. I want to have a future in Piscataway, own a home here, and be a part of this beautifully diverse community for good.
I believe in term-limits. Mayor Wahler has been in the office for too long. He has been in elected office almost since the year I was born, and he has been the Mayor for 20 years now. It's time for fresh blood and for Piscataway to lead the way to bring real change.
I will be voting for Bill Irwin for Mayor along with Kamuela Tillman, Ralph Johnson, and Laura Leibowitz for Council because they have a platform that addresses all my above concerns. For many years, their work in the community (for the School Board, County Committee) shows integrity and transparency and, above all, commitment to a better Piscataway.