As Election Day approaches, TAP into Scotch Plains-Fanwood has interviewed the candidates running for office this November in the seasonal series "5 Questions with ..."
Today, we get answers from Scotch Plains Republican candidate for Town Council, Ted Spera.
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Name: Ted Spera
Current Occupation: Territory Manager for Bausch & Lomb Vision Care
Education: Seton Hall University, B.A. Political Science. Attended primary school in Scotch Plains.
Family: Wife Maria, Three Children, Thomas (SPFHS Class of 2013), Teddy (SPFHS class of 2015) and Sophia, who is starting 9th grade.
Years Lived in Scotch Plains: Raised in Scotch Plains and has lived here over 30 years.
Question 1: Why are you running for Town Council in Scotch Plains?
I am running for the open Scotch Plains Town Council seat because I believe that we need a more affordable and prosperous Scotch Plains. Right now, Scotch Plains is facing a crisis in affordability. Residents should not feel that they have to move out of Scotch Plains to pursue their dreams. As a person who believes in strong fiscal oversight of our municipal government, I will fight to keep spending in check and work to keep our property taxes under control. I also believe we need a solid plan for the future of Scotch Plains that will enable us to create a vibrant downtown, preserve open space, and look to expand our recreational fields for our youth.
Question 2: What do you believe the most important issues in town right now?
I have been very fortunate to have grown up in Scotch Plains and even more fortunate to be able to raise my family here as well. Sadly, rising property taxes have made it very difficult for many families to remain in town. Older residents who cannot afford the high property taxes are forced to move away. Young families starting out cannot afford the high property taxes, which in turn affects our home values.
We need to make Scotch Plains affordable again, and a town that people want to live in, not a town they want to leave. I find it particularly alarming that the current Township administration has greatly increased the amount of debt to historic highs. The servicing of this debt will increase our tax burden even more in the near future. It is therefore imperative to have strong oversight on township expenditures in order to manage the bill that the taxpayers will soon face. Scotch Plains desperately needs leaders who will put taxpayers first, and fight to reduce property taxes and keep spending in check so that families can afford to keep living in this great community.
Question 3: What other issues are important?
There are many issues that are facing our town right now and will impact us in the future. We need a solid plan that will address our needs in youth sports/recreation, and historic preservation. Our roads and sidewalks need to be maintained. This should be an ongoing process and not just done in mayoral election years. We have to be proactive in identifying open space and have careful oversight of our zoning laws in order to maintain the character of our community.
Question 4: Besides running for office, what other ways are you involved in town?
I have served on the Scotch Plains Planning Board, as well as the Scotch Plains Environmental Commission. I am very proud to have served our local Boy Scouts as Committee Chair for Pack 277 and Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 33.
Question 5: Tell us about your other career.
As a Territory Manager for Bausch & Lomb, I am a resource to eye care practitioners throughout New Jersey advising them on the latest technology and helping to provide the best in vision care to their patients.
Scotch Plains is a wonderful place to live and I am proud to call it home. I am asking my fellow residents and neighbors to please vote for me on Tuesday, November 8th.