1. Why are you running for election for Piscataway Township Council, Ward 2?
I have been a resident of Piscataway for the past 30 years. I have been a Democrat my entire life. I am running for election because I'm tired of Piscataway’s career politicians who have made decades of unfulfilled promises. In my book, they get a failing grade for how they have handled the Y/ Community Center, our roads, the farm, and building our tax base. Our local officials have lost touch with the needs and concerns of our citizens. They will show up at your door and ask for your vote and tell you that 90% of you will see a tax decrease in July. Those are the key words, "in July." Why can't they show you the data now before the June primary? As Albert Einstein once said "the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result." We keep re-electing the same people over and over and getting the same result. I am concerned about the future of our Township. When they start naming streets after themselves, it's time for a change. As a publicly elected unpaid volunteer member of the School Board for the past decade, I have worked tirelessly to make Piscataway a better place for us all. As your Councilperson, I will lead our neighborhoods and stand up for Ward 2 residents. I will demand transparency, accountability, responsibility and truth from our local government. I am running because I want to be the change I want the world to see! Piscataway, you deserve better. Piscataway, we can do better.
2. What specific things do you hope to accomplish?
I am proud to be part of a dedicated team of Progressive Democrats, including Dr. Jacqueline Littlejohn in Ward 1, Staci Berger in Ward 3, and Mohammed Raqeeb in Ward 4. We believe that Piscataway deserves leaders who will stand up and strengthen our community.
Make Piscataway’s local government transparent and more effective
- videotape and share Council meetings
- provide email addresses for Council members
- put Council agendas, minutes, etc. on the Township website
- improve website and social media for dialogue
- improve municipal services and improve road maintenance
Promote responsible economic development
- prevent truck traffic and road congestion in our neighborhoods
- assess environmental, economic, and quality of life impact
- protect our open space
- encourage new and existing businesses to train and hire Piscataway residents
- ensure tax incentives are balanced for our Township's needs
- use environmentally sound strategies
Increase Recreation, Safety, and Social Services
- expand investment in libraries
- build the Y/Pool/Community center
- create places for people of all ages to interact
- support our volunteer rescue and fire squads
- improve community safety our seniors and our young people
- encourage intergenerational activities
Create an Open and Welcoming Community
- hold open meetings with our constituents
- advocate for policies that protect and reflect the values of our residents
- support sustainable environmental choices
- provide opportunities for meaningful dialogue on issues of importance to our residents
We will engage our residents, ask for your opinions, and operate in the open. Piscataway, you deserve better. Piscataway, we can do better!
3. About Dr. Tom Connors
I have been a Piscataway resident for the past 30 years and a homeowner for the past 28 years. Last June, I was elected the Piscataway Democratic Middlesex County Committeeman to represent Ward 2, District 2. I am now a voting member of the Piscataway Democratic Organization chaired by former Mayor Ted Light. I have been a publically elected, unpaid volunteer member of the School Board since 2008. I currently chair the Fiscal Planning and Operations Committee. I recently received the highest individual school board member award from the New Jersey School Boards Association called "Certified Board Leader." I grew up in Connecticut and received my Doctorate (PhD) in Chemistry in 1986 from the University of Connecticut. Directly after my PhD, I was awarded a Post Doctoral Fellowship at the Connecticut State Department of Health where I led an environmental science research team to study the affects and fate of toxic pesticides found in potable water throughout the State of Connecticut. In 1987, I moved to Piscataway and accepted a research scientist position with Colgate-Palmolive Company at their Technology Center here in Piscataway. I spent most of my career with Colgate, received numerous awards, had 41 product formulation patents, and retired in 2011. I then worked as the Director of Product Development for a privately held company called Envirochem, Inc. For the past 36 years I have been a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). My wife Abigail and I have been married for 36 years. Abby received her M.Ed. from the University of Connecticut in 1981. She is an early childhood education teacher, author, and presenter. Abby and I have 3 children and they all attended Piscataway Public schools, preK through High School. They were all High School National Honor Society members and attended nearby Rutgers University. Our oldest son Matt, graduated from the Rutgers College Honors Program summa cum laude with a double major in Chemistry and Physics. He went on to receive his Doctorate in Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Our son Steve graduated magna cum laude from the Rutgers Honors Program English Department Honors Program. Our daughter Shannon graduated magna cum laude from the Rutgers Psychology Department and went on to receive her M.Ed. from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. Shannon is currently a 7th grade Math Teacher.
Last, I live by the motto "when we all contribute a little, we all achieve a lot." Along with being a School Board member, I have been very active in the Piscataway community. I am currently the Grand Knight of Dunellen Council 2544 Knights of Columbus. I am also a member of Piscataway Squadron 0261 Sons of the American Legion. I am a former Piscataway Soccer Club Executive Board member, travel chair, coach, and United States Soccer Federation referee. I was a Little League baseball coach and Middle School Recreation basketball coach. I was a member of the high school athletic booster club. I was an Executive Board member and Equipment Crew member of the Superchief Band Parents Association.