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Franklin Township Council Ward 1

The Franklin Township Council is responsible for adopting ordinances; reviewing revising and adopting the budget; levying taxes; authorizing bond issues and establishing general municipal policies. The Franklin Township Council election chooses one Council member to represent Ward 1. Each Council member serves for a 3-year term.Note: The wards are labeled by color. Look at the legend below the map to identify the ward in which you reside.Click this link to view the Ward map: https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/home/showdocument?id=13322
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Theodore (Ted) Chase (Dem) retired, township Councilman

  • Laxman Kanduri (Rep)

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

What do you consider the most important challenges facing Franklin Township? What personal and professional experiences have prepared you for addressing these challenges? Lastly, how do you intend that the Franklin Township Council will address these challenges?

What, if any, new proposals for local ordinances and/or resolutions do you think are needed, and please explain why you believe this is so.

A municipality has two budgets - the annual operating budget and a capital budget. What are your priorities for each of these budgets? Please specifically address whether the Franklin Township Council's 2016 goals are goals you think are properly identified as priorities.

Qualifications/Experience retired professor (1969-2007) of biochemistry, Rutgers University Franklin Township Council, 2010-to date Planning Board, 1996-to date Board of Zoning Adjustment, 1972-6, 1981-5 Environmental Commission, 1996-2009; since then Council liaison. Council liaison also to Open Space Committee, Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, Agricultural Advisory Committee, Kingston Village Advisory Committee Council committees: Financial Oversight, Economic Development, Land Use and Open Space, Public Works leader, township Green Team for Sustainable Jersey certification Trustee, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, D&R Canal Watch (Democratic) county committeeman, 1972-to date; alternate delegate, Democratic National Convention, 1972
Campaign Address 159 Old Georgetown Rd, Princeton, NJ 08540
Campaign Email tchase@sebs.rutgers.edu
Website none
Economic development: attracting businesses to our business zones (G-B, CB, M-1, M-2), especially adaptive reuse of empty office buildings in the CB zone. An empty building pays less taxes than a fully used building, and less property tax paid by businesses means more paid by homeowners. We seek bigger and better businesses along Hamilton St, in mixed use buildings with apartments above.

Affordable housing: continuing to make possible affordable housing for low and moderate income residents, preferably close to public transportation, while minimizing associated market-rate housing so that impact on the school system is minimized.

Climate change: doing what the township can to lessen use of fossil fuels, preparing for more extreme weather events. Infrastructure: maintaining township infrastructure such as water mains, sewer lines, roads, open space.

Williams/Transco's proposed 206 compressor on their natural gas pipeline

What has prepared me: a professional career in science, 22 years on the Planning Board, 14 years on the Environmental Commission and 8 years as Council liaison to it; membership in many environmental organizations.

What is Council going to do about these? Economic development: zoning changes to allow more uses in the CB zone (we have already made changes to the Hamilton St. Business District, which have resulted in new construction); aggressive marketing of the township (Vince Dominach has been appointed Economic Development Director). Affordable housing: continuing development of apartments and townhouses in the redevelopment zone along Rte 27; requiring 20% affordable units in any other development. Climate change: installing a charging station at the municipal building, purchasing electric vehicles, more solar cells on township buildings. Infrastructure: relining the Little Rocky Hill water main along Rte 27, allowing more pressure; continue repaving roads. Continue to oppose the 206 compressor, especially required permits from NJDEP.
New proposals: I am working on a Complete Streets resolution, requiring the township to take into account the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists when building or rebuilding streets (Somerset County and many municipalities already have this policy in place). More active recreation facilities, particularly soccer fields, perhaps at Consolata (where we are encouraging construction of a YMCA indoor recreation center, with an indoor swimming pool); township soccer players have been asking for more fields for years. Continued acquisition of open space for passive recreation. Energy aggregation: buying electricity for all township residents from one supplier, with an option for 100% from renewable sources, which could give residents a 10-15% saving on electricity. Funding water line replacement: an ordinance for a charge on water bills to fund replacing 1% of our water mains annually, instead of bonding for this (bonding adds expense).

Further ideas will come from continued participation in Sustainable Jersey.
We actually have four budgets: the water dept. and open space have separate budgets (the sewer authority is separately run by Council-appointed commissioners). Council agrees that these have appropriate priorities.

Budgets are developed by township staff - department heads, the manager; Council's role is mostly to review and sometimes remove items (such as vehicles). But I want to budget for climate-friendly capital items such as an electric charging station and electric vehicles (e.g. for building inspectors). A major capital item (of the water dept. budget), already approved in principle, is relining of the Little Rocky Hill water line (NJ Dept. of Transportation wanted us to repave the entire Rte 27 roadway if we replaced the line.) This line was installed in 1967 and does not stand water pressure above 20 lb/sq. in. It will also be connected to township water lines (currently supplied from South Brunswick). An even larger item is the acquisition of the Consolata Fathers property, preventing dense development. We must fund this in part from sale of the existing buildings, in part from the Open Space budget. Acquisition initially from general township funds preserves flexibility in how the land is to be used; only what remains open can be funded from the Open Space trust fund. Another capital item is installation of sidewalks along streets near the Middle School (former high school) so that children may safely walk to the school. The operating budget primarily funds salaries of township employees (the police force comprises over half of these). We keep township staff as lean as possible while maintaining township services, in order to keep the tax rate stable. If we were to increase staff, it would be two more police officers specifically assigned to Hamilton Street. The present two officers are a compromise between four and none. An added position is Economic Development Director - but this was just a promotion of the Senior Zoning Officer.
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