As Election Day approaches, TAP into Scotch Plains-Fanwood continues its discussions with the candidates who will be running for office. The "5 Questions with ..." today features responses from Fanwood Councilman Tom Kranz.
Name: Tom Kranz
Occupation: Dir. Communications, Chelsea Senior Living
Education: Born, raised and educated in Philadelphia
Family: Wife and two grown sons
Lived in Fanwood since January 1994
1. Why are you running for Town Council again?
I want to continue being a voice for our residents and an advocate for progress for our town. It’s a challenge to keep pace with economic growth and infrastructure updates while still maintaining our small-town feel, but I believe we are doing that.
2. What do you believe are the most important issues in Fanwood this year?
Public safety is at the top of my list. Safe streets, community-involved police and fast response to emergencies are what our citizens care about most. Our police department, volunteer fire department, and rescue squad work well together with the common goal of keeping our residents safe. We must support our police at this time when their every move is being scrutinized. My next priority is updating our aging infrastructure while holding the line on debt.
We have quite a few buildings that need major attention: the library, DPW garage, rescue squad headquarters and, in the not-too-distant future, Borough Hall. We simply don’t have an endless trough of money to pay for it all. The challenge will be to borrow smartly without raising our debt service to an unreasonable level. I also think parking is an emerging issue in our downtown. For now, there is adequate parking to accommodate our businesses and residences. But I think as we become a more popular commuter hub, especially if we get more one-seat trains from Fanwood directly to New York, we’re going to have to figure out where to put the additional cars.
3. What are your thoughts on the Presidential election?
There is no doubt we have a choice between two flawed candidates. There is also no doubt that Donald Trump is a pig. He has no business being anywhere near a governing body, let alone the White House. I am less a Hillary fan now than I was a year ago, but she has the credentials, temperament and experience to be a world leader. Get over the emails already -- she admitted she screwed up -- and support the candidate who is actually qualified to be President of the United States.
4. What other issues are important?
Fanwood voters will be asked to approve a referendum that will establish an Open Space fund to help us keep our parks and recreation programs vibrant and create new opportunities to enhance and expand our green space and environmental programs. At an average cost to taxpayers of $8 to $11 per household, it is a small price to pay. Vote YES on the Fanwood Open Space question.
5. Besides running for office, what other ways are you involved in the town?
I have been a volunteer with the Fanwood Rescue Squad for 18 years and oversee the town’s communications initiatives including Fanwood community TV, our website, email marketing, social media and AM 530 emergency radio.
Mayor Mahr, my Council colleagues and I do our elected duties for $1 a year with no other financial, healthcare or vacation benefits. A vote for me is a vote for a neighbor who cares about what happens in our town.