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8th District Assembly {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The NJ General Election will take place on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Voters will head to the polls to select a Governor, State Senator, and State Assemblymembers, as well as a number of county and local elected officials.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Ryan T. Calhoun (NSQ)

  • Joe Howarth (Rep)

  • Maryann Merlino (Dem)

  • Ryan Peters (Rep)

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    Joanne Schwartz (Dem) Health Care Administrator

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Biographical Information

New Jersey has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. What, if anything, do you propose to lower property taxes?

New Jersey's state pension system has recently been named the worst-funded state retirement plan in the country and is arguably one of our largest financial problems. How do you propose to address our state's pension issues?

How can New Jersey meet our energy needs while protecting our environment? For example, would you support energy conservation, expansion of renewable energy projects, hydraulic fracturing, and pipelines, etc?

What would you do to promote job growth in our state?

Please indicate three additional state priority issues for you (not already listed in this questionnaire) and explain how you would address them.

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Qualifications/Experience 45 years experience as a Health Care Administrator across the Health Care Continum of care, including Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Continuing Care Retirement Communities. Former EMT/ Fire Commissioner
Our States high Property taxes have a detrimental effect on all segments of our society and the lives we lead, hitting especially hard working class middle income families and older adults. A budget must be crafted that gives property tax relief to those groups especially hit the hardest. Working across the aisle and with the Governors support, I know this can be done. As a Health Care Administrator, I have written and implemented many budgets, having to do more with less. I bring that experience and knowledge.
As a elder and the widow of a former State of NJ employee, I am a recipient of that pension. Therefore, I bring know first hand of the issues facing our States pension recipients. I believe that a new Governor in 2017 along with an Assembly and Senate working together will be able to make our States pension system, once more viable. However, this will not be an overnight solution. A big step in the right direction will have to include the proper funding of the States obligation to make the legally required payments to the system. I will work across the aisle to get this done.
A large and regrettably shrinking part of our State are the Pinelands and our Farms. These areas must be protected while also increasing jobs for our residents. I was a founding member of the Rancocas Nature Center and am a member of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. As a Burlington County Freeholder, I opposed the nomination of an individual to the Pinelands Commission as I knew that he would vote for the Pipeline to be build across the Pinelands. which he subsequently did. I support green and renewable energy which will create jobs as it grows. I am also a realist I understand the need for some pipelines. However, these can not be allowed to put lives and our environment in peril. We must continue to protect our environment which I believe can be done along with job growth.
As a State that is home to outstanding Universities and Colleges, we have a built in resource of individuals who we should be doing more to keep employed, instate, after graduation. We are positioned geographically to be home to tech and other growth industries. My goal is to make our States taxes and business system programs user friendly to encourage economic growth. I am also a believer in town centers that cater to small businesses and encourage residents to shop locally. We must bring a laser focus to the creation and sustaining of the technology industry sector in our state. Our State government and leaders need to take more of a lead to accomplish this.
As a supporter of Burlington County's Christian Caring Center, as a former Hospital Social Service Director and Burlington County Freeholder, I have had direct experience and seen up close the issues of Homelessness. Increased Social Services and affordable housing are two ways that Government can help resolve this issue. District 8 most likely has the highest number of Veterans who make it their home. Many of them suffer service related illnesses and disabilities. Bringing enhanced and much needed services to them is a priority for me. My Masters Degree is in Education. I have taught on the college level as Adjunct Faculty. More important, as a descendent of immigrants, I know the importance of Education and the doors that it opens. Education must be made affordable and accessible.

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