337 Applegarth Road, Monroe Township NJ 08831
337 Applegarth Road, Monroe Township NJ 08831
As a member of the Township Council, I consider one of the most important parts of the job to meet with residents and hear their concerns. With our “open door” policy, I continue to hear about the need to keep our taxes as low as possible. I am enormously proud that our strong fiscal management has ensured Monroe has the second-to-the-lowest tax rate in the entire county. There is no other town in Middlesex County that offers so much to residents, while fighting to keep taxes as low as possible.
Many residents may be unaware that Monroe is among 360 municipalities in NJ that have been forced by the courts to build affordable housing. That is what you see on Applegarth & Route 33, as well Spotswood Englishtown Road & Mounts Mills. This is court ordered housing and our zoning was changed. That is not acceptable. We have also held developers accountable to these forced agreements. We have pulled building permits and have publicly shamed developers who are not living up to their promises
We have proven the way to keep taxes stable is by efficiency. We don’t spend a nickel more than we must, and it is evident in our low tax rate, compared to other Middlesex County towns. We also benefit from low interest rates, based on our AA+ bond rating. We have been successful in reducing health care costs, while other towns deal with year-over-year increases. We are also deliberative, fair and forceful in negotiating fair collective bargaining agreements with our municipal employees.
I am proud to have a wonderful career as a nurse. I love helping people. As a nurse, I have to make instantaneous decisions, based on experience, logic and care. It is very similar to serving the people of Monroe. They come first. They always have, and always will.
We are fortunate that Monroe has the 2nd-lowest tax rate in the County and the lowest sewer and& water rates in our region. Monroe enjoys a AA+ bond rating and less than a 1% annual tax increase over four budget years. We are also proud to be the 4th safest municipality in NJ. But we must ensure that Monroe remains affordable for our residents. We must continue this track of success, minimizing expenditures where possible, and making sure our municipal tax rate remains stable for years to come.
Monroe is ensuring we do not build any units beyond what is required by the state court. We have preserved almost 8,000 acres of land forever, as open space. We have fought to protect a bald eagle’s nest, halting a large development plan on Route 33. We have pulled a building permit from a national home builder who was not fulfilling its agreement with the Township. We will continue to fight development, where we can win, & are well on our way to fulfilling our goal of 50% open space in Monroe.
Monroe does what few other New Jersey towns can: We control spending. Under
Mayor Tamburro's leadership, Monroe has had zero tax increases for 3 of the past 4 years, the town has a AA+ plus bond rating from S&P, and we have a transparent, open and accountable budgeting process. We control spending, we invest wisely in programs and services, and we ensure our municipal taxes remain stable. Monroe is a success story; its playbook should be a statewide example of how to run a town correctly.
As a proud member of a family committed to serving, I embrace public service and the recognition that we are all blessed to be able to live in such a wonderful community as Monroe. It is a place we need to protect from overdevelopment & a place that we need to keep affordable for our residents. My wife and I raised our children in Monroe, and I appreciate the opportunity to give back. As a councilman, I am known for being calm, reasonable and deliberative and I am so grateful for our community.
I've been a proud resident of Monroe for 44 yrs. When I moved here the pop. was under 10,000. Today it approaches 50,000. This unrestricted growth has impacted our schools, traffic, our taxes. This growth is totally dependent on the current Master Plan (completed 2013). First order of business is to revise the Master Plan.
Another issue for Monroe is professional services. Both legal and engineering services are provided by outside firms. Old Bridge has an inhouse law dept...why not MT?
Monroe went to court early, gained an agreement to build 850 affordable units. Other towns fought the Supreme Court ruling and ended up with a bigger obligation, eg. S. Brunswick has to build 2200. The rule of thumb is a developer can build 4 market rate units for every affordable one. The Planning Bd is limited in what it can do to reduce the impact on schools (fewer 3-bedroom units). What MT can do is actively seek developers who will build a higher # of affordable units than the 1:4 ratio.
I've mentioned the first 2 opportunities already:
1. Revise the Master Plan to slow residential development and its impact on schools. The Board of Ed. represents approximately 60% of our property tax dollars.
2. Bring professional services inhouse as do other towns in Middlesex: Old Bridge, E. Brunswick.
3. Before taking property off the tax rolls and creating open space, make sure the properties are contiguous and have a plan on how that open space will be used for the Twp. residents’ benefit.
I moved to Monroe in 1975, ran for Council in Nov. 1979…and won. I served 2 terms (1/80--12/87). During my last 2 yrs, my colleagues elected me Council President. I was appointed in 1979 by Mayor Pete Garibaldi to the Planning Bd…and have served continuously. I've been reappointed by succeeding Mayors: Richard Pucci and Gerald Tamburro. Since 2013, my board members voted me in as Chairman of the Monroe Twp. Planning Bd. where I serve today. I'm CEO of a marketing agency I founded in 2007.