This week’s column is an interview with Councilwoman Christine Noonan- Faustini
Q: What’s prepared you for what everyone says is a tough job?
Faustini: Life and professional experience. Raising four children, working, and volunteering, all while managing a household is an enormous and challenging task. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything else is the world. It involves management of finances and making decisions that affect the happiness of everyone. I have learned to think on my feet and respond to the multitude of challenges that come up daily in a swift, efficient and kind manner.
By serving on the council, I learned even more about my hometown and all the facets involved in its operation. It means always listening to our residents, then acting to resolve their immediate issues and enhance our community. That is what I will continue to do my next term.
Q: What is your top goal if elected?
Faustini: We need to keep our hometown affordable for our families and seniors. I am proud to be part of the team that kept our Municipal Tax Rate flat and still less than 2009 levels. We have one of the lowest taxes in the county and NJ.com just named South Plainfield as one of the best tax bargains in the state!
Q: You have said it is important to invest more in South Plainfield. What do you mean by invest?
Faustini: I want to continue to provide improvements to our community that will give our residents a better quality of life. An example of this is the library. As vice chair of the Library Board, this is one project I take to heart. We were able to double the size of the library at no additional cost to the taxpayer. But more important, by expanding the library, we were able to double the number of free programs and now can reach more people than ever before.
Q: You are the liaison to Recreation. What are some of your accomplishments this year?
On the recreation front we have also accomplished a lot this year. A big thanks goes to Director Kevin Hughes, Rec Commission Pres. Bill Cochrane and the commissioners for their continued support with these projects. A new dog park has finally been accomplished and Willow Park has doubled in size. We have invested in new mats for our wrestling and cheer programs. We have a new basketball floor and made several upgrades to our community pool. Our summer parks program for our children continues to grow and in 2018 we are looking at expanding programs for our children.
Q: South Plainfield has one of the lowest tax rates in the County. What will you do to keep it that way?
Faustini: The council is finding innovative ways to hold the line on taxes and spending while increasing services to our residents. We have learned to utilize the talents of in house departments. As an example, by bringing our engineering services in house and combining it with our DPW it saved over $100,000 annually. Our talented workers recently completed bathroom upgrades at both the Library and Senior Center.
Q: Any final thoughts?
Faustini: I love being on the council because I have the privilege to give back to my hometown. I grew up in South Plainfield and am now raising my family here. My goal is to ensure South Plainfield will be an even better place than it is today. Our greatest resource for ideas and innovation is our residents and by listening to them, we can achieve this goal. We want to continue to get it done and are asking for your support in November.