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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Board of Chosen Freeholders is the legislative body responsible for the policies and directions of Union County Government. It is a nine-member board, which is elected at large. Each member serves a three-year term.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Angel Estrada (Dem) Retired...has extensive private sector managerial experience as well as public sector managerial work experience.

  • Candidate picture

    Angela R. Garretson (Dem) Employed at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, part of the college president’s cabinet.

  • Candidate picture

    Christopher Hudak (Dem) Kean University, Conference and Event Services

  • Peter Lijoi (Rep)

  • Mark Martini (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Patricia Quattrocchi (Rep) Retired Exec. Search Professional

Change Candidates

What are the three most important issues facing Union County?

Do you feel there is adequate public transportation within Union County? (i.e. to hospitals, churches, for food shopping)

Drug Rehabilitation is in the news. What should Union County do to assure treatment for its citizens?

Accessibility and responsiveness to the public is always very important to the voters. How do you propose to assure that?

*Investing in Union County’s Communities---As Democrats, we believe Union County does best when we invest in important programs that improve our quality of life---including our vast network of County parks; our transportation system as we do through our municipal Infrastructure grant program and our periodic maintenance program for our bridges, roads and culverts; our robust County educational institutions, which include the award-winning Vocational Technical Schools and Union County College; and our Open Space grant programs which fund recreation improvements, *Shared Services---the County has saved our municipalities millions in shared services in numerous areas of Public Works, Parks, and Human Services Departments. We’re improving public safety through our Dispatch Service which provides service to many municipal agencies and our life-saving EMS program, *Job Services--We've worked through the Union County Workforce Innovation Business Center to provide 2,000 new jobs for residents
While Union County is at the nexus of one of the region’s most powerful and effective public transportation and highway networks, the County Freeholder Board provides Paratransit Services to seniors in need, as well as the Route 22 Shuttle, which assists retail workers and shoppers with transportation in the retail corridor. We continue to study ways to make it better, and support a full-time one seat train ride through our suburbs on the NJ Transit Raritan Valley Rail line. Union County last year released the Union County Transportation Master Plan. The Plan provides the framework for transportation planning and investment for the County and municipalities in years to come. Participation by the public and municipal officials was critical to crafting a relevant Plan. To achieve this, we welcomed comments and guidance from municipal officials, residents and the business community. Added to the Plan is a public transportation map of Union County is a tool for residents to plan tri
Citizens of Union County battling substance abuse or addiction are eligible to surrender small amounts of narcotics without being arrested and gain access to recovery services free of charge under a new initiative launched this year by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Prevention Links, and the County Sheriff’s Office, Police Department, and Prosecutor’s Office. The Community Law Enforcement Addiction Recovery (C.L.E.A.R.) program is available to members of the public from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Union County Sheriff’s Office, basement level of 27 Elizabethtown Plaza in Elizabeth, and at Union County Police Department headquarters, 300 North Avenue East in Westfield. Additionally, the County this year also provided an additional $150,000 in inpatient beds to supplement this effort.
We continue to maintain many powerful communication networks, including our website (which includes a public input area for questions), a Facebook Page, an Instagram page, a Twitter page, a infoline for residents to call (877) 424-1234. Additionally, all residents may come to our public meetings and if they wish to view the meetings, they may do so online as well.
*Investing in Union County’s Communities---I will continue to support the Freeholder efforts in the following areas: we believe Union County does best when we invest in important programs that improve our quality of life---including the vast network of County parks; our transportation system as we do through the municipal Infrastructure grant program and the periodic Countywide maintenance program for our bridges, roads and culverts; the robust County educational institutions, which include the award-winning Vocational Technical Schools and Union County College; and the Open Space grant programs which funds recreational improvements. *Shared Services---the County has saved our municipalities millions over the years in important shared services in numerous areas of Public Works, Parks, and Human Services Depts. *Jobs---I will continue to support the UC Workforce Business Center, which has worked to identify 2,000 new jobs for residents in the private sector.
While Union County is at the nexus of one of the region’s most powerful and effective public transportation and highway networks, the County Freeholder Board provides Paratransit Services to seniors in need, as well as the Route 22 Shuttle, which assists retail workers and shoppers with transportation in the retail corridor. I will study ways to make it better, and support a full-time one seat train ride through our suburbs on the NJ Transit Raritan Valley Rail line. Union County last year released the Union County Transportation Master Plan. The Plan provides the framework for transportation planning and investment for the County and municipalities in years to come. Participation by the public and municipal officials was critical to crafting a relevant Plan. To achieve this, we welcomed comments and guidance from municipal officials, residents and the business community. Added to the Plan is a public transportation map of Union County is a tool for residents to plan trips.
I support the CLEAR program: Citizens of Union County battling substance abuse or addiction are eligible to surrender small amounts of narcotics without being arrested and gain access to recovery services free of charge under a new initiative launched this year by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Prevention Links, and the County Sheriff’s Office, Police Department, and Prosecutor’s Office. The Community Law Enforcement Addiction Recovery (C.L.E.A.R.) program is available to members of the public from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Union County Sheriff’s Office, basement level of 27 Elizabethtown Plaza in Elizabeth, and at Union County Police Department headquarters, 300 North Avenue East in Westfield. Additionally, the County this year also provided an additional $150,000 in inpatient beds to supplement this effort.
I support the County's efforts to provide public outreach through its many powerful communication networks, including the County website (which includes a public input area for questions), a Facebook Page, an Instagram page, a Twitter page, an infoline for residents to call (877) 424-1234. Additionally, all residents can come to Freeholder public meetings and if they wish to view the meetings, they may do so online as well.
*Investing in Union County’s Communities---As Democrats, we believe Union County does best when we invest in important programs that improve our quality of life---including our vast network of County parks; our transportation system as we do through our municipal Infrastructure grant program and our periodic Countywide maintenance program for our bridges, roads and culverts; our robust County educational institutions, which include the award-winning Vocational Technical Schools and Union County College; and our Open Space grant programs which have funded improvements in virtually every municipal park in the County. *Shared Services---the County has saved our municipalities millions over the years in important shared services in numerous areas of Public Works, Parks, and Human Services Departments. Now we’re improving public safety through our Dispatch Service which provides service to many municipal agencies and our life-sa
While Union County is at the nexus of one of the region’s most powerful and effective public transportation and highway networks, the County Freeholder Board provides Paratransit Services to seniors in need, as well as the Route 22 Shuttle, which assists retail workers and shoppers with transportation in the retail corridor. We continue to study ways to make it better, and support a full-time one seat train ride through our suburbs on the NJ Transit Raritan Valley Rail line. Union County last year released the Union County Transportation Master Plan. The Plan provides the framework for transportation planning and investment for the County and municipalities in years to come. Participation by the public and municipal officials was critical to crafting a relevant Plan. To achieve this, we welcomed comments and guidance from municipal officials, residents and the business community. Added to the Plan is a public transportation map of Union County is a tool for residents to plan trips o
Citizens of Union County battling substance abuse or addiction are eligible to surrender small amounts of narcotics without being arrested and gain access to recovery services free of charge under a new initiative launched this year by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Prevention Links, and the County Sheriff’s Office, Police Department, and Prosecutor’s Office. The Community Law Enforcement Addiction Recovery (C.L.E.A.R.) program is available to members of the public from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Union County Sheriff’s Office, basement level of 27 Elizabethtown Plaza in Elizabeth, and at Union County Police Department headquarters, 300 North Avenue East in Westfield. Additionally, the County this year also provided an additional $150,000 in inpatient beds to supplement this effort.
We continue to maintain many powerful communication networks, including our website (which includes a public input area for questions), a Facebook Page, an Instagram page, a Twitter page, a infoline for residents to call (877) 424-1234. Additionally, all residents may come to our public meetings and if they wish to view the meetings, they may do so online as well.
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Taxes and spending of course top the list, it is understood. The responsibility of county government is the safety, health and welfare of the residents. SAFETY - Though things have improved over the last several years there are still improvements to be made to the public safety/emergency management procedures throughout the county’s municipalities encouraging them to work together. HEALTH - One area that could be addressed more stringently is vaccinating school age children. These shots are required by the state to attend school and provided free of cost by the health depts. of the municipalities and also by the county. Residents of central Union County are not offered the same convenience of location as those living in Elizabeth or Plainfield. WELFARE - Though the county has tried to assist with job training for county residents the short coming is in meeting the actual needs of employers not what the county decides an employer needs. The training should fit the requirements.
Public transportation is not what it once was in the 50’s and 60’s. I am disappointed that the proposed bus program has not yet been instituted to provide a direct connection across the county following a North and South Ave express route. It was a concept presented in 2011-2012 by NJ Transit with the county, while I was mayor of Garwood. It seemed like a good concept, I would hate to learn that it was shelved. Also, as the parent of a now adult son who is visually impaired and does not drive I experience first-hand his frustration of getting from Rahway to Westfield to his job daily. Improvement is definitely needed here.
This falls under the area of Health. The county should by all means have a program available. However, those afflicted with the illness have to want to get help and get clean. They must be willing and committed to do the hard work necessary to get well. Without the desire and help reentering the community with the proper tools the treatment programs fail.
As a mayor and as a manager in private business I always maintained an open door policy for employees and the public. I brought our town up to date with a new telephone system to put voicemail in place and maintained a policy of always calling residents/employees back and used email as well, encouraging staff to do the same. If I could not answer a question or provide a solution to a problem I always let people know I would find out for them and did follow up either myself or having the person who could provide a solution get back to them. It does not take a lot of time and is worth the extra effort to provide answers, solutions or sometimes just a kind word of encouragement or recognition for a job well done.

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