I thank the Observer, the South Plainfield Business Association, and the League of Women voters for hosting this forum. This is an important debate at an important time for our community.

 For many in this room, I do not believe I need to spend much time in terms of an introduction. 

 I have lived in South Plainfield my entire life. My wife, Debbie, and I have raised our 3 children here. That commitment to raising my family in South Plainfield stems from the many good memories and positive experiences I’ve had from a life spent in my hometown. 

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For six years, I proudly served on the South Plainfield Board of Education, balancing budgets honestly, working to lower costs and share services, while always listening to the community on the direction we were heading. I have served on the South Plainfield Fire Dept, as a coach of various athletic teams and participated in the PTSO during my time. 

 Being involved in the community has kept me informed and aware of what concerns residents have with regard to the many challenges South Plainfield faces. And it is that commitment that I will bring with me to the governing body as a member of Borough Council.

 I am committed to maintaining South Plainfield’s identity and character so that my children will inherit a better borough.

 We are faced with many challenges which are increasing on a daily basis, the needs are endless, traffic congestion, drugs, infrastructure, and living within our means are just a few. These challenges impact every resident.

 They will require leadership, accountability, and transparency -- all three attributes that have been the hallmark of my adult and public life, and the three things desperately lacking in borough government now.

 It will require moving beyond politics and political parties. As I learned from my time on our Board of Education, we must work together and govern from the middle. Whether it be balancing budgets or negotiating a labor agreement, we must find the common ground that protects our values while moving us forward.

 The decisions I will make will balance the needs of our community with the financial concerns of our residents using a common sense approach to planning, spending and seeking out alternatives that are effective, efficient, and ultimately successful in moving South Plainfield forward.