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VOTE411 Voter Guide

18th Senate District

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 Assembly Members, as well as a number of county and local elected officials.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. (Dem) Lawyer

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    Lewis Glogower (Rep) Retired Global Director of Telecommunications, Current Retail Store Owner

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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.

Twitter @PatrickDiegnan
Qualifications/Experience Completing my 16 year in the New Jersey legislature. Served as Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. Presently serve on the Senate Budget and Vice Chair of the State Government Committees.
We must encourage consolidation of services on the local level. For example, it is inefficient for each town to have their own tax assessor, tax collector and Chief Financial Officer. Funding the school formula is an essential element of property tax relief. We should put into place 'Zero based budgeting' where every line item is evaluated on an annual basis. Fiscal reform must occur so that taxes are raised on a more equitable basis with the resulting revenue dedicated to property tax relief.
Reforms must be put into place in cooperation with public unions. We must protect the pensions of those who are already retired and those who have years of service in anticipation of receiving identified benefits. However reforms are necessary for new hires.
Energy efficiency and conservation are both good for the environment and for the economy. I do not support fracking.

Actually the state's economy has improved over recent months. We must make our state business friendly while protecting workers rights and the environment. One of the frequent complaints that I hear from business and industry is the unpredictable nature of approvals on the local and county levels. We must include business leaders in important policy decisions.
(1) Making college affordable. I support expanding the Stars program.

(2) Improving our infrastructure. Our roads, mass transportation, water and sewer infrastructure must be addressed.

(3) Improve access to quality health care to all of our residents and in particular preserve women's health care programs.
Qualifications/Experience Managed multi-million dollar budgets. Expert in multi-tasking Decision maker Excellent interpersonal skills Believe in communication as a priority Professional contract negotiator Community active
The number one cause of high property taxes is the school tax. I believe that we need a complete reform of school taxes as well as school district audits. After speaking to a school district controller, I could not believe the waste and mis-management of funds. I also believe that we need to take a strong look at the avid districts. I do not understand why they cost three times as much per student as non-avid districts yet have a graduation rate of only 50%. The money does not filter down to the students.The non-avid districts are subsidizing this through their property taxes. We also need to look at the property tax assessment platform on both a State and County level in order to aid the local tax situation. State and County audits are required to cut waste and assign spending monitoring
Forbid borrowing against pensions by government agencies and unions. force the repayment of all existing loans. Perform audits to find out where all of the missing funds are and who is to be held responsible. Assign interest accruing penalties for all late re-payments. While we should honor all current agreements that we signed off on, going forward, pension plans should be replaced with choices, which would include 401k plans with limited matching funds.
I would support energy conservation, expansion of renewable energy projects, hydraulic fracturing, and pipelines, etc all on an individual case basis. Both short term and long term effects need to be considered. Every location has different concerns and these need to be addressed, and resolved with both the residents and environments considered as priorities. There is a very delicate balance to this and no one answer can address all of the concerns. For each case we should come up with the best, most educated decision and put forth a referendum to those directly affected.
Review and eliminate all unnecessary regulations on small businesses. Eliminate duplicate taxes. Initiate applicable NJ taxes on all online purchases, creating an equal playing field for our in-state businesses. Look into creating a tax break offer, with a term limit, for corporations of a minimum size not currently in NJ to consider moving here. Increase taxes on long term vacant business properties until they are leased. This will force rates down and new businesses will be more able to afford to start up. Improve our education systems in order to attract new families. Tax breaks for first time home buyers.
We need to grow Inter-cultural and Interfaith programs and encourage police participation in order to create more cohesive neighborhoods with common goals. We need to encourage youth participation in everything from chess, science, math, and language clubs to youth sports. This should not be limited to the school systems. Our children are in need to exercise their minds and bodies. Many are too complacent and sedentary, with limited social and analytical skills. We need to look into how we can activate those who are not contributing members of society. Training, education, and apprenticeship programs are one method to accomplish this. We can also have tax saving incentives by restricting via qualifications, limiting, or eliminating certain entitlements.

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