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Manville Borough Council {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Mayor of Manville and the Borough Council are responsible for creating resolutions and ordinances in Manville. All Council positions are elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle.

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  • Candidate picture

    Suzanne Maeder
    (Rep)

  • Ted Petrock III
    (Rep)

  • Ronald Skirkanish
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Roberta G. Walters
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What do you consider the most important challenges facing your municipality? What personal and professional experiences have prepared you for addressing these challenges? Lastly, how do you intend to 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.

Do you think municipal government has a role in keeping students safe in our schools? If yes, what do you think municipal governments should provide?

Campaign Address 921 Louis Street Manville NJ 08835
Campaign Email manvillenjgop@gmail.com
Website ManvilleGOP.com
The three most important challenges facing Manville today are 1) rising property taxes, 2) lagging local economic development, specifically along our Main Street corridor, and 3) our public’s safety.

Rising property taxes: go to any door in Manville and ask what that taxpayer is worried about on a local level and you will certainly hear this answer: property taxes are too high. To be fair, this is not a problem isolated to Manville, but I do believe that I hold personal and professional experiences that will specifically aid Manville in this struggle.

Property taxes go up because of two major factors: not enough ratables in town producing tax dollars for the municipality, and too much spending on the municipality’s part. As part of Manville’s Joint Land Use board and the President of the Board of Health, I have extensive knowledge and experience working with both private sector developers and government agencies as they work to increase the economic viability of local municipalities. I am ready to put these experiences to work bringing ratables to Manville to help increase our overall top line. To the second factor – too much spending – my answer is fairly simple. I’m the budget-keeper of my family. And as anyone with children knows, balancing the competing priorities of everyday expenses, extracurriculars, college savings, retirement savings, home repairs, and fun funds requires a keen eye and an understanding that if you don’t know where every dollar is doing, you’re in big trouble. Local municipalities are no different: we need to know where every dollar is going, every single month. It’s not hard, it’s just work. But I’m ready to put in the work to make sure that Manville’s taxpayers know that their money is being spent on the right things at the right times.

Local economic development – specifically our Main Street: In the last 18 months, I was honored to be a part of Manville’s Main Street Redevelopment committee. Manville was lucky enough to secure the added bonus of Local Planning Services, an office of New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs, who came to not only educate the committee but work with us hand in hand to develop a robust redevelopment plan for our Rustic Mall site and our Main Street corridor. I learned a lot in my time on that committee, and with my background as an educator, I am ready to put into action both education for our consumer base, our local business owners, and our municipal leaders so that they can make the right decisions that will effectively stimulate business along our Main Street. I would love to spearhead a “Better Business, Better Buyers” campaign for Somerset County, specifically targeting the smaller businesses along the Main Streets not only in Manville, but other municipalities, helping those business owners to learn and use best business practices that they may not even know about. But it doesn’t stop there: I believe we need to educate our buyers to how they can help their own communities by buying locally, and how their communities will thrive with even a 10% shift in spending dollars locally rather than online.

Public safety: I have been the President of Manville’s Board of Health for the past 5 years, and in that time I have learned a lot about Manville’s public health. In that time the Board of Health has consistently provided free rabies shots and free flu clinics every year, but we recently received the results from Somerset County’s Community Needs Assessment. This Assessment looked at the raw data from Manville and provided us with a picture of where we could be doing better, specifically in the areas of obesity, mental health, and access to care. I am extremely passionate about these issues and want nothing more than to see Manville become a leader in Somerset County in how it tackles these problems. I would love to work with the Recreation Department in spearheading a local nutrition and exercise classes, while using public events to connect those with lack of access to care to providers willing to help. Part of the access to care problem involves language barriers, so another project I would love to see get off the ground would be a language partnership program, a volunteer-based translation service for those needing medical care.
Right now Manville’s biggest need, in terms of local ordinances, is a word called “codification.” Basically, Manville has yet to completely digitize its collection of ordinances since 1929, and this creates major legal obstacles in a variety of sectors. Two years ago, I actually worked with the Board of Health attorney to codify the entirety of the Board of Health’s code, and in the past year I have been working with the Joint Land Use attorney to codify the Zoning and Land Use chapters of our ordinances as well. This is a lengthy, arduous process, but well worth it for our posterity, and well worth it for our town’s legal defenses. Once that process is done, really the next step is going through the code with a fine tooth comb and eliminating ordinances that are simply out of date or ineffective. You can’t expect to be able to move forward without a firm foundation, and I aim to ensure Manville’s foundation is as solid as it can be.
Absolutely. Most importantly, a municipal government should have a gracious, effective working relationship with the local municipality’s Board of Education and Superintendent. Once that working relationship is established, and the two bodies understand that there is an alliance here, rather than a tense peace treaty (as there so often is in New Jersey municipalities it seems), the municipal government can be extremely effective in finding solutions to the Board of Education’s problems that would otherwise be more ineffectively solved. Student safety should be a priority of both bodies, and both bodies should knowingly seek to work with one another on that front.
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Campaign Address PO Box 42 Manville NJ 08835
Campaign Email manvillenjdems@gmail.com
Website www.manvillenjdems.com
Manville has fallen behind other municipalities within Somerset County as it relates to infrastructure and revitalization. We have not had the same resurgence of our Main Street that many other areas around us has and this has led to our Main Street and Business District looking old, unwelcoming and not conducive to building business. As a result, we cannot attract the business and merchants needed to help revitalize our community and expand our tax base. In addition, the failure to revitalize Main Street has delayed the building of the former Rustic Mall property which remains empty and a symbol of failure. I have over 13 years experience as a project manager and have led multi-million dollar efforts that crossed many business lines, and I supervised (and continue to supervise) large teams that cross global boundaries . I have the experience, temperament and desire to make things happen and to work with others in a professional, thoughtful manner. As someone who has spent most of her career meeting deadlines and budgets I know I can be part of the solution to work with the landlords, business owners and others to begin to clean up Main Street and get the Rustic Mall property owners back to the table.
I would want to review those ordinances around public safety. I believe public safety is critical and we have an opportunity to review the existing ordinances to find areas for improvement and where we can make positive change.
Yes but this is often an area that can invoke some passionate discussion. In my personal opinion, I believe it is the responsibility of the municipality to work jointly with the school board as a partner in developing a strategic safety plan. As any plan would utilize police, fire and rescue it would be critical they be part of the process. The municipality would also be involved with ensuring safety in the maintenance of public lighting and pedestrian walkways around schools and areas utilized by students.