Great Fairfield Candidate Forum held this week on Tuesday, October 13, via Zoom webinar. The Forum featured direct Questions & Answers with all four candidates on the ballot, including both incumbents – Cindy Egan and myself – and the two others including Danielle Tauthong and Luis Hernandez.

Reportedly invited were also two write-in candidates with many lawn signs throughout Town, namely Michael Russo and Thomas DiNardo. After having accepted, it was mentioned they advised earlier that afternoon they were unable to participate. This was unfortunate given the evident “face off” opportunity for all to answer the same questions which could have permitted the public the direct comparison and contrast on select issues raised.

The Forum started with Opening Statements from each candidate that could be 2-minutes in duration. For those interested, what follows is the statement I made.

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“Good evening, my name is Tony Rubinich, and I am running for Re-Election to represent the Township of Fairfield.

I was initially elected in April 2011 back when school board elections and budgets were voted on separately. Since then our elections were folded into the General Election cycle to reduce the administration costs -and- due to April elections tending to experience very low turnout. From what I can best determine, voter turnout will not be an issue this year.

I am running again because I strongly feel Board Experience is critically important to begin with and especially during a pandemic.

Since March, it is no surprise Education as we know it has been turned upside down. West Essex is no different than others – in the State of New Jersey, the rest of the Country, and around the world – and I believe the District did a great job under the circumstances.

No one could have reasonably anticipated what happened and I believe statements as to what was being done in March and why wasn’t the District ready sooner a little disingenuous.

As we progress and grind through the pandemic, there is unfinished business that had to be tabled. The Strategic Planning Initiative, Long Range Facility Plan Update, and Referendum to Support Expansion & Growth are but a few of the items that await requiring considerable work.

It is true All My Children have already passed through West Essex. But Board Members indeed do what they do for all students of the community, not just their own.

I believe as in so many positions direct, relevant “hands-on” experience is something to leverage in order to avoid potential recurrence of problems. This very much benefits our Students, Community and yes Taxpayers.

Learning from Experience and Applying Lessons Learned is extremely beneficial.

I moved to Fairfield with my wife, Laura, to raise our 3 Children – Alexa, Andrew & Anthony – in a solid school system. Fairfield and West Essex were the “Pull” then and remain today one of the primary reasons Families move to our area.

Over the course of the next few hours, this Candidate Forum will afford an opportunity for Parents and Voters who choose to compare and contrast those running for this important position.

I am very grateful to… those for sponsoring this Forum and appreciate Everyone’s consideration and support. Thank you!”

The Forum is available for viewing in its entirety which was only about 50-minutes.

If you have any questions or would like to talk, please do not hesitate to call, email, message or text me.

Your Vote for Responsible Effective Education – Sincere thanks for your consideration & support!

Tony