Elections

Five Questions With... Freeholder Candidate Al Mirabella

3b747ae25a45091f1a1c_8723d08d89486181efaf_Al_Mirabella_10-25-15.JPG
Al Mirabella is running for re-election as Union County Freeholder. Credits: John Mooney
3b747ae25a45091f1a1c_8723d08d89486181efaf_Al_Mirabella_10-25-15.JPG

UNION COUNTY, NJ - TAPinto has contacted the candidates for Union County Freeholder and offered the opportunity to be profiled in advance of Election Day. Our "Five Questions with..." series is a platform for candidates of both parties to express their views. 

"Five Questions With..."

Name: Alexander Mirabella

Sign Up for E-News

Current Occupation: Township Manager, Scotch Plains

Education: Graduate of Roselle Park High School, Bachelor of Arts in Economics at Hobart College,

Family: Proud husband of Phyllis L. Mirabella and Father of Alex and Micayla.  Alex and Micayla both attended Brunner Elementary School, Park Middle School and the Academy or Information Technology.

Years lived in Union County. I have spent all 51 years as a resident of Union County (Elizabeth, Roselle Park and Fanwood)

1.) Why are you running?  

As a lifelong resident of Union County, I am proud of my community and County. I am running to continue the progress my Democratic Freeholder colleagues on Column B and I have made in working to make Union County one of the best places to live and raise a family. Poll after poll in publications such as Forbes Magazine, NJ Monthly, and also a survey from Monmouth University ranks our communities at the top of the list in the best places to live in NJ, with one of the best performing local and county-run school systems.

In contrast to our opponents who lay blame and lack a solid plan to improve Union County at all, this Democratic Freeholder board has made solid progress in working with our private partners to create hundreds of new jobs for our residents, while working with our private sectors in making the County’s wage growth one of the highest in the nation.

We also plan to continue investments in affordable educational opportunities for our residents at all levels of life, Preserved over 300 acres of Open Space, increased shared services opportunities such as EMS and our dispatch services, while exercising responsible fiscal stewardship and maintaining one of the highest bond ratings available for a governmental agency in NJ.

2.) What do you believe are the most important issues in Union County right now? What changes….if you become a freeholder?

Governing in these times requires discipline and common sense. Through prudent fiscal management, the Freeholder Board has worked to maintain fiscal stability and one of the highest credit ratings possible. The state’s finances, under Governor Christie, has fared terribly, and suffered nine straight credit ratings under his reign. Our opponents seem to echo his policies and have no plan or credibility on fiscal issues.  My colleagues and I have also made a sustained push for shared services. 

Over the past decade, the Union County Freeholder Board has worked to create invaluable shared services through departments like Public Works, Public Safety, and Human Services that have saved taxpayers—and municipalities millions of dollars.  Life-saving innovations such as the Countywide EMS and County Police Dispatch Service are two great examples. The EMS was created to fill in Countywide gaps in service and saved live. The program is not only self-sustaining, but received a statewide award from the Department of Health as New Jersey’s “Outstanding EMS program.” The Union County Police Dispatch program currently serves 11 governmental agencies and Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. The Dispatch service has the only accredited training program in the state and only the seventh in the nation to receive such distinction.

This year, the choice comes down to a simple question: who has the best plan for our future? Only one team—the Democratic team on Column B has a solid plan in place and if re-elected, we will continue to pursue this plan.

3.) What are your thoughts on rush hour NJT "one-seat" trains? How likely is it that we'll ever see it?  

I believe the one seat ride is an excellent idea and something that I will continue to aggressively support in my next term. I believe this is important for the residents of Union County, especially those along the Raritan Valley line that commute to New York City. I used to work in New York and remember the inconvenience of changing trains in Newark and the time associated with that change. In addition to helping Union County’s commuters, history has shown us that a one seat ride also provides a significant boon to property values for residents. Towns along the rail line, Plainfield, Fanwood, Westfield, Garwood, Roselle Park and Union will all benefit. I appreciate the bipartisan coalition that has formed to push the one seat ride and I have been proud to attend and participate in meetings to make this happen.  We’ve seen a one seat ride offered at non–peak times and believe the one seat ride on the Raritan Valley line will happen.

4. What's your position on the proposed sports stadium for Rahway River Park? What is your response to the opposition that has formed?

I am supportive of the improvements at Rahway River Park.  I believe they are a result of an ongoing effort on the part of this Democratic Freeholder Board to provide top notch facilities for our children, seniors and everyone in between. We’ve made significant improvements in all our parks over many years, whether it is the Glenside Road field in Summit, Phil Rizzuto Park in Hillside / Union / Elizabeth or planned improvements to the skating facility at Warinanco Park. It’s unfortunate that there has been misinformation regarding this project and I’m aware that residents in the area have protested this improvement.  I respect the opinion of these residents. I do not believe there is an environmental impact to the planned improvements. I do believe improving this park is in the best interest of the residents of Union County. 

5. Tell us about your non-government career.

The bulk of my non-governmental work career has been spent working at the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. I was interviewed on the Hobart College campus and began my career in Operations and continued with Information Technology in various management capacities. I travelled across the United States and Internationally to support projects and manage staff. After my 28 year Chubb Career, I assumed the position of Town Manager in Scotch Plains.  I am enjoying the position and while working closely with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Council, have implemented improvements in communication, public safety and quality of life issues while delivering a zero tax impact for the residents of Scotch Plains. It is a joy to work closely with the Township employees and the people of Scotch Plains

I also have great love for my family, my wife Phyllis and my children and spend whatever free time I have with them. I feel fortunate and value their support as I perform my public service. Phyllis, Alex and Micayla inspire me to work hard for a better community. 

I’m proud to have had the opportunity to represent the residents of Union County. I’m honored in the trust that has been placed in me over the years. I will work hard to continue the progress and provide vital services every day. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

You Meet the Most Amazing People on the Trail

The weather cooperated this weekend, so I went for more than one hike. After all, there are only just over fifty days before my walk to Maine commences, so why not.

This Saturday, some friends dragged me away from housecleaning (thank you!) for a quick jaunt through Watchung Reservation.  While we were there, we ran into two individuals from Westfield; the cosplayers introduced themselves ...

Go Take a Walk

Friday, March 30 was Take a Walk in the Park Day, so I did.  I really didn't have an excuse to not do so; the sun was shining, I had the day off, and I had no plans for the rest of the day.  So after a session with Abbe, my trainer at LifeTime Fitness, I made the short trip to Lake Surprise in Watchung Reservation. 

As I made my way around the lake, it was easy to see how ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_76b50dcb673435ebd963_hkd_webbanner_300x250_e

Sat, April 21, 11:30 AM

Plainfield YMCA, Plainfield

Plainfield YMCA Healthy Kids Day

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_474b9102c6d0add84c14_screen_shot_2018-03-26_at_9.37.33_pm

Sat, April 21, 1:00 PM

Emerson Community School, Plainfield

What is Islam and Who are the Muslims?

Arts & Entertainment Education

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Sheep to Shawl Festival

Other

Union County College’s Drama Club to Present “12 Angry Jurors”

April 21, 2018

CRANFORD – Union County College’s Drama Club will be performing for their spring show the play, “12 Angry Jurors,” as adapted by Sherman L. Sergel and based on the Emmy award-winning television movie by Reginald Rose. The play is based on the same plot as “12 Twelve Angry Men,” but by being named “12 Angry Jurors” both men and women appear in the ...

More Than Just Kindness for Roxbury Student Adored by Tragically Killed Boy

April 17, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – She lost her 10-year-old son three years ago in a boating accident on Lake Hopatcong, but Laurie D’Amico is sure her beloved Christopher speaks to her all the time. It’s subtle but firm, she says; messages that come as sparks of recollection, inspiration or intuition.

One of those unexpected inklings led Laura and her husband Chris to a jewelry ...

Blood Drive en Plainfield High School el viernes

April 12, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Un esfuerzo de sangre se llevará a cabo el viernes en Plainfield High School en asociación con la Cruz Roja Americana.

¿Alguna vez se ha preguntado qué le sucede a la pinta de sangre que dona?

Según la Cruz Roja, la donación se almacena en refrigeradores helados hasta que se transporta a un centro de la Cruz Roja y se escanea en una ...

Springtime Advice from Rapps Pharmacy

April 17, 2018

It may not feel like spring, but that spring weather is right around the corner and so is allergy season!  Here is some friendly advice from Rapps Pharmacy, your neighborhood pharmacy:

Combating the Allergy Season

As seasons change and pollen counts rise, more and more people clash with the aggravating symptoms of seasonal allergies. Beginning in February and lasting into early summer, ...

Featured Business: NJ Printing & Embroidery LLC

Featured Business: NJ Printing & Embroidery LLC

Nestled in the heart of Plainfield is NJ Printing & Embroidery, a family-owned business providing digital screen printing and embroidery for custom shirts, caps and other items.

The company also offers custom printed business cards, fliers, banners and storefront vinyls, and can provide expert graphic art design upon request.

Eric ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

The German Girl

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa (Washington Square Press, 2016)

For each of the twelve million victims murdered during World War II there is a gutwrenching story to be told. I have read hundreds of memoirs, biographies, plays, and novels that recount the stories of the martyrs; some are exceptional, some are fair. The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa, an award-winning journalist, ...

The Skin Collector

The Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver (Grand Central, 2014)

Jack the Ripper. The Boston Strangler. The Texas Watchtower Killer. The Zodiac Killer. The Angel of Death. The Butcher. BTK. The police and the press have a long history of dubbing serial killers with names that catch the attention of the public, usually having the effect of instilling greater fear and selling more print media so that ...

Queen Mary and the Cruiser

Queen Mary and the Cruiser by David A. Thomas and Patrick Holmes (Naval Institute Press, 1997)

“Had the forenoon watch and after eating went out onto the fo'c'sle. Just arrived at the top of the ladder by the PO's heads when the wave hit me---waist high---and knocked me over. Looking astern---through the bulkhead door which was open, saw the stern of a ship sticking up out of ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)

 

In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...