PEAPACK AND GLADSTONE NJ - Peapack-Gladstone Councilman Roy Smith is preparing for the general election, in which he will vie for a second three-year term on the Borough Council.  When TAPinto asked Councilman Smith what the top issue facing Peapack-Gladstone, he responded emphatically:

"The top issue facing the council is keeping taxes LOW, so families can continue to live here."

Smith and Land Use Board member Lisa Saunders will compete with Democrat Nominee Amy Dietrich in the general election.  When asked the same question, Dietrich opined that the restoration of Liberty Park was the biggest issue facing the council.

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One of the early meetings of the group that later became the Liberty Park Association took place in Smith's home.   As a member of the borough's property committee, he has been directly involved in the process that made the Liberty Park renovation a central issue. 

"I agree only that Liberty park is only one of the top issues facing the borough," Smith said.  "Affordable housing, controlling costs like healthcare, and several other issues also compete for the top spot."

That all adds up to property taxes, according to Smith.

"Want results?  Just look at the tax bill all homeowners received in the mail this month," continued Smith.  "There was little to no change in property taxes despite massive cost pressures on all levels of government."

Saunders and Smith won the Republican nominations by virtue of their victories in the Republican primary, in which they defeated former Councilman John Sweeney.  Dietrich won an uncontested Democrat Party primary.  The general election will be held the first Tuesday in November.