(Editor’s Note: This year, two at-large seats are up for grabs on the South Plainfield Borough Council. Republican incumbents Christine Faustini and Derryck White are seeking re-election against Democratic Party candidate Sandy Doyon and Independent Party candidate Bashir Nurid-din; Doyon's Democratic running mate, Steven Remming, has withdrawn from the race. Council terms are three years and profiles are being published alphabetically, alternating by party, as follows: Doyon, Faustini, Nurid-din, and White.)
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Sandy Doyon, a lifelong resident is seeking election to the South Plainfield Borough Council. Doyon, who in 2018 ran for the mayoral seat and last year also sought a council term, is running for one of the two at large seats on the Democratic ticket; her running mate, Steve Remming, withdrew from the race on Sept. 25.
"I am running again because I don’t see things changing or getting better," Doyon told TAPinto South Plainfield. "It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. You go out there and you try because you know you can do a good job."
Doyon attended South Plainfield Schools and, after college, worked in managerial and administrative positions before going on to become a teacher. She has taught first grade at Kennedy Elementary School for most of her career and, since 2008, has served as vice president of the South Plainfield Education Association.
Through her involvement with the school district, Doyon said she feels there is a need 'for the borough to better help struggling families.' "So many people don't know what services are available and, to me, that is a travesty," she said, adding that, as a member of the council, she would work to change that.
"There is a disconnect, and I am really concerned for the people who are falling through the cracks, especially now in the climate we are in," said Doyon. "There are a lot of people hurting [and] there are so many things we can do – a person-to-person thing – that we don't tap into in this town.:
According to Doyon, the borough has an 'in crowd' mentality and those who are not part of it aren’t turned to for help or their expertise, even though they may have a lot to bring to the table. "There are so many people here in town that have so much to give and so much talent and great ideas, and we don’t look their way," she said.
As a member of the council, Doyon said she would also like to 'open the lines of communication' between the borough and the community. I "I feel there is a disconnect here in South Plainfield," she said, noting that, in neighboring towns, the municipality reached out to residents daily to provide updates regarding the pandemic.
"South Plainfield did not. The only information put out was on Facebook and not everyone is on Facebook. If something is going on, we cannot rely solely on it. We have the ability and the technology to robocall or get people the information they need in other ways," said Doyon. "That is so important, especially in times like this. There needs to be outreach in other ways from the town itself to the community to let them know exactly what was happening, what's available, where you can and can’t go."
Doyon said she is disappointed in how the construction and reopening of the pool was handled and felt the borough should have 'been honest' with the community. "There were a million reasons that could have been given as to why it wasn’t open – we were in the middle of the pandemic – and I feel the way it was handled was not fair to the community and the kids here."
In terms of traffic. Doyon feels the borough needs to do the best it can to keep the trucks off residential roads but understands there are those that need to come in to deliver supplies. She feels people on the south side of town are 'cut off' and there needs to be a way to make it more walkable and safer.
As a member of the council Doyon would also like to look into ways to bring in new businesses and utilize empty commercial space. "When something opens, something else closes and I understand that is what is happening with businesses right now across the country, but we should be looking at other ways to use available space," Doyon, who helps run Cooper Office Furniture, a former Plainfield now Flemington-based business established by her parents, said, noting that one idea would be to provide larger companies the opportunity to utilize the space as a way for employees working from home to 'touch base.'
"We need to look at whatever opportunities possible to help bring businesses into town and help small businesses succeed. It is really incumbent of all of us – whether Democrat or Republican – to do as much as we can to keep our businesses thriving."
Doyon and her husband Tom have been married for 39 years and are parents to the late Tommy, who lost his battle to addiction almost five years ago. On a local front, she fund raises for the Market Street Mission, a Morristown-based organization dedicated to helping the homeless and those battling addiction, and is currently working to establish a local chapter of the national Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing (GRASP) organization in South Plainfield.
Residents, said Doyon, should elect her to the council because she will be an 'asset' to the borough. "I would look in different directions to do things for people in need and I think that is something that has been missing," she said. "I go all in whenever I do something and this would be no different. I have a lot to offer and, if I was elected, I would put my whole heart and soul into it."
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