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Bradley Beach Borough Council {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

COUNCILMEMBERS-AT-LARGE – Full Term – Vote for FourThe Borough of Bradley Beach operates under the Mayor – Council form of government. The Mayor is the Chief Executive Officer of the Borough and is elected for a four year term. The Borough Council is the legislative body. There are four members elected at large for concurrent three year terms.

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    Randy Bonnell
    (N)

  • Harold Cotler
    (N)

  • Salvatore Galassetti
    (N)

  • Norman Goldfarb
    (N)

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    Al Gubitosi
    (N)

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    Tim Sexsmith
    (N)

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    John Weber
    (N)

  • William Psiuk
    (N)

Biographical Information

What are the major challenges facing the community/district and how would you propose to address them if elected?

What qualifies you for this position, both personally and professionally?

What factors are critical to the quality of life/education in your community and what would you do to improve or preserve them?

1) Controlling Taxes 2) Smart development 3) Infrastructure maintenance/updates

Bradley Beach needs a new approach to our budgeting process. While we have kept our tax rate flat for few years, some means and methods to achieve this have not been best practices. In 2017/ 2018 our debt service was reduced by $770,000. Only about $140,000 was truly returned to the residents in the form reduced 2017 spending allocations. The balance was rolled back into the budget. In 2018/2019 we also allocated an additional $220,000 from budget surplus to the revenue side of the budget. Since 2013, we've increased surplus to revenue from under $500,000 to $1,000,000. Too much focus has been placed on a flat tax rate. The real focus should be actual spending and revenue values, how we modernize our business model increasing efficiency, and doing more with the funds we have; instead we're hiding measurable spending increases with rainy day funds. The tax rate is just the measuring stick of our performance.

For far too long Bradley Beach has allowed extremely overbearing construction through poor planning and zoning practices. Its time to merge the boards and enforce the ordinances designed to protect the residents, rather than advocate for builders' and developers' unreasonable variance requests increasing their profit margins.

After a century of neglect to our sewer system upgrades were approve over my term. A real 10 year capital needs to be part of our diet.
In 2012 I began to take an active roll in the community. I attended every council meeting, served on the zoning board, and immersed myself in what makes Bradley Beach tick, and how to improve it for everyone. Personally, I have strived for the highest level of transparency in this effort for the voters since being elected to council in 2016. My hands on construction experience, and expertise in municipal infrastructure, development, and finance over the last 35 years is a vital component to running a municipality efficiently. Pairing this with Al Gubitosi's legal and accounting background, Tim Sexsmith's technical and personnel experience, and John Webber's municipal planning and environmental expertise, we will provide the strongest team to lead the Borough that Bradley Beach has seen in a long time.
In keeping with challenges facing the community from question 1, controlling taxes allowing young families the ability to succeed in Bradley, and long time residents to remain in Bradley, is critical. There may not be plentiful opportunity to actually reduce taxes, but there is opportunity to find better efficiencies so we can do more within the current budget we carry.

Development needs to be better understood and controlled as well. We are slowly losing open space and light, and experiencing significant increases is congestion of all types, all along the Jersey Shore. Bradley needs to become a flagship in preserving the local small town character which brought us all here in the first place. This can be achieved through better Zoning and Planning Board practices.

Finally, Bradley Beach needs to start focusing on the long term health of our infrastructure. Since I was elected in 2016, we have put substancial maintenance and repairs into our antiquated sewer system for the first time in 100 years. We need to finalize a real 10 year capitol plan, which John Webber and I have been pushing for, and place a higher value on "have to" projects, which have historically taken a back seat to the feel good "want to" projects.
WE NEED TO MAINTAIN THE PROGRESSIVE CHANGES WE HAVE STARTED. My track records of successes include: stabilizing and lowering our taxes; championing the borough’s use of organic, natural pesticides to maintain town parks and public spaces; rebuilding our community after Sandy. We secured at least four million dollars in grant funding for Bradley Beach projects; revitalizing our Main Street; sharing services with neighboring towns and reducing costs by making strategic acquisitions. We will continue to think outside the box. We have the knowledge, and the desire to continue to improve our great town. • Obtain grants to improve parks, playgrounds, bike lanes, & Recreation Dept. • Continue fiscally responsible infrastructure replacement & lake maintenance • Decrease our expenditures using shared services • Improve handicapped beach access and establish FREE beach Wi-Fi • Improve lighting on the boardwalk at night and at crosswalks • Continue to provide a safe town for our children, families, and neighbors • Continue to Eliminate toxic chemicals and Protect the Environment • Improve Senior Activities, Support the Library, School and Main Street • and LOWER your TAXES
As a physician I have been trained to listen, and carefully consider the problem before searching for a solution. As an MBA, I have been trained to be a truly critical thinker. Consider the problem and visualize alternatives. I understand Bradley Beach as a 35 year resident. . Over the past decade, we have • Lowered the municipal tax rate by 3.22%, and decreased the debt • Improved services, including: o Fire Department – new fire truck which replaced 40 year old truck o Volunteer First Aid squad – new Ambulance –replaced 1980 vehicle o Police Department –state of the art dispatch to keep us safe o Public Works – you can see how good the town looks • Undertaken infrastructure repairs replacing 100 year old sewers. ALL WITHOUT RAISING YOUR MUNICIPAL TAXES This success for OUR COMMUNITY was accomplished through hard work, encouraging shared services, utilizing grants, and paying attention to detail. You can see the results. • Saved hundreds of thousands of dollars on garbage pickup • Bought the North Yard instead of paying ever increasing rent. • Rebuilt the bulkhead on Fletcher Lake and built Lake Terrace Park, • Rebuilt the railing on the boardwalk using FEMA funds after Sandy • Redesigned and improved Riley Park and Bocce courts using grants, • Partnering with SC Johnson to pilot thin plastic recycling. • Our surplus has grown to $2 million(from $460 thousand) through sound fiscal management
This election is about our community. Are we a town comprised of neighbors, friends and family — a community — or a town filled with people who twist facts like pretzels and manipulate social media for their personal and political gain? Are we a town that comes together to help neighbors in need and to solve challenging problems or a town that turns neighbor against neighbor using social media to spread false narratives? Aren’t we a town of gentlemen and gentle-women? We think so. We are Bradley Beach! However, in this election, we have chosen a path of being good next door neighbors and not social media combatants. Unfortunately, certain people are acting in their own self interest on NextDoor . We will not be manipulated through backstage puppetry or be subjected to harassment and ridicule. We volunteer, go to meetings, church, and synagogue, and help when and wherever we can. All of you know us and where we live. You can talk to us, and know that we have told you the truth in the past, and always will. We care about Bradley Beach and do what is best for the entire town, with no hidden agenda. We have always taken the higher road, the moral road. . People are known by what they say, what they do, and with whom they associate. We can proudly say we have gone door to door and tried to see each of you and continue our conversations. We will champion your rights and continue to renew and improve Bradley Beach – while not raising your taxes!
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Bradley Beach faces significant challenges due to poor management or neglect. To maintain affordable living while providing excellent services, we must improve in THREE areas:

• AFFORDABILITY: Taxes are too high. Current leadership says they’ve held taxes “stable” over time. In fact, we should have benefitted from large reductions in expenses when we retired debt and shifted some medical costs to the State. Instead of reducing appropriations, we’ve increased budgeted expenses year after year. We must scrutinize new spending allocations and better manage costs through expanding shared-services, and by more aggressively pursuing Federal and State Grant funding.

• INFRASTRUCTURE: Borough sewers are over 100 years old. Amazingly in the last 50 years, improvements in our sewers have largely been ignored. Most concerning is the fact that we allocate unusually large portions of compensation and benefits to the Sewer Utility – inflating Sewer costs without delivering infrastructure improvements.

• TRANSPARENCY: Borough leaders need to be strong “public servants”. Today, too many decisions are made without engaging the public. Meetings “announce” decisions already made. Public comment is often a formality – not a sincere attempt to listen. We’ll drive transparency by expanding public workshops and communications through social media. Better solutions for parking, over-development, beach concession awards, prisoner-sharing, and budget planning when we listen to our residents
Professionally, my background is in Accounting and Law. I’ve worked as a CPA and an Auditor and earned a J.D. from the University of Connecticut, School of Law. For the past 30 years I’ve worked as an “Employee Benefits” consultant for two large, global organizations. My role has been to serve the Human Resources and Finance Departments of large corporations, helping them solve cost challenges and develop long-term strategic plans for their programs. The problem solving skills that I’ve developed helping “Corporate America”, the technical training and experiences I’ve accumulated in finance and law, and the ethical standards that I’ve embraced in my profession -- all position me well to better manage Borough spending and tackle the challenges we face.

Personally, my wife, four sons, four daughters-in-law, and five young grandchildren enjoy the beauty and “sense of community” that Bradley Beach provides. We have actively volunteered – my wife in the “Ladies Auxiliary” and “Bradley Food Pantry” and me as a current Planning Board member and on various sub-committees or teams supporting the Borough. I’ve led negotiations to secure revenue for the Borough from the event manager of the Lobsterfest. I’ve also been a vocal public advocate for improved waste and recycling processes to protect the environment, to improve Main Street – and for stronger financial management and budgeting processes for the Borough.
There are many factors that are critical to improving our quality of life. Our beaches and lakes are Bradley’s natural “jewels”. We can better protect these precious resources by strengthening controls over managing litter, waste and recycling. Rationalizing our ordinances to make sure that loose debris is contained and providing more education and alternatives to the public for disposal is critical. We can improve access to our beaches for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Also we should assess the feasibility of expanding lifeguard hours during the summer season to encourage the safe use of our beaches for residents who arrive later in the day.

Along with our beaches and our lakes, Main Street should be another of our “jewels”. Unfortunately parking is unmanaged, garbage and recycling can be an eye-sore, and we are at risk of over-development. We must build a strategic plan to improve parking including “striping” parking spaces and repurposing Borough properties to create new space. Our ordinances must be more flexible to meet business owners’ needs and provide greater guidance to insure pedestrian safety, cyclist safety, and streetscape aesthetics. Borough leadership must also do more to encourage foot-traffic on Main Street and better promote our merchants.

If we can enhance beach access and safety, protect our natural resources, and continue to support a vibrant Main Street, we will enhance the quality of life for people of all ages and economic status.
Tax Stability - A key element of maintaining tax stability is understanding costs and how resources are allocated. The borough CFO and Administrator have both stated that due to the nature of the work, it is impossible to accurately account for worker’s time. Imagine running a business and not knowing how your employees spend their time? My focus will be on improving how we track and allocate time to gain better insights into the drivers of costs. Then work with the departments to streamline their processes.

Another aspect is ensuring the borough performs periodic ‘zero based budgets.’ Currently when drafting the annual budget, the borough relies on the allocations from previous years to set the new allocations. A zero based budget ensures budget allocations are based on actual spending needs.

Over development – Over development, especially in the north end of town, is having a detrimental impact on our resident’s quality of life. This is due in large part to the borough Zoning Board’s willingness to grant multiple variances for proposed construction projects. As a member of the council I will work to appoint zoning board members who appreciate the impact their role exerts in controlling development.

Parking – The parking problem in Bradley Beach continues to get worse. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet for solving the issue. As a member of the council, we need to explore multiple potential solutions and apply them to strategically in town.
I proudly served for 9 years in the US Navy Nuclear Submarine Service, including 6 ballistic missile deterrent patrols. I graduated magna cum laude from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and I am a certified quality control expert. I have worked extensively in the commercial nuclear power industry implementing federal quality control programs where I successfully improved organizational performance by reducing both human errors and industrial safety accidents. I currently work in the maritime industry as a Marine Surveyor and I am in the process of opening a local craft distillery.

My wife Susan, and I have lived in Bradley Beach since 2001, and both our sons attended the Bradley Beach Elementary School. Additionally, I have also served the borough as Secretary of the Environmental Commission, and as a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment
Bradley Beach is approximately three quarters of a square mile, but more importantly than its small size is its small town feel. Everything in town is easily accessible by foot or bike, whether it is the beach, our vibrant Main Street with a variety of entertainment options. Maintaining that small town feel is essential to maintain our quality of life. To maintain that feel we need to • Control over development. • Foster input from our residents when making decisions that impact them. • Promote smart Eco-friendly policies to help preserve our amazing natural resources. • Promote community involvement, whether it’s serving on our boards/commissions, volunteering, or getting involved in the decision making processes.
• For taxes, I voted against the town budget for the last two years because we can do a better job of reducing spending. I will support a budget process based on what we actually spent last year. • For parking challenges, I support painting lines on the street marking the edges of parking spaces. I will call for a real parking study that tells us how many houses don’t have driveways etc. That will inform our Master Plan and land use decisions going forward. • For overdevelopment we should merge the Planning and the Zoning Boards so we speak with one voice regarding development. The zoning rules are very liberal, so liberal that people should not need or ask for variances, let alone multiple variances like the Zoning Board sees on a regular basis. • To prepare for climate change and sea level rise we need to extend the bulkhead from Third Avenue to the Avon border. This will protect the southern third of town from storms. We need to close the gaps in the dunes at the beach entrances, and then build stairs and ADA ramps over the dunes.
My wife and I made Bradley Beach our home 14 years ago because it was affordable. I intend to keep it that way. Both of my children are in the public school here so I have a vested interest in a better community. With three years on the Council already I have shown my ability to get things done, especially environmental initiatives. I work full time for a coastal environmental group so keeping beaches clean and tourist-friendly is really my job. Eleven years on the Planning Board gives me insights into land use and controlling overdevelopment. Seven plus years on the Environmental Commission has shown me how to get projects done or initiatives enacted that help the whole town. The years on these Boards and Commissions, plus three years on the Council demonstrate my commitment to making this town better.
Bradley Beach is a walkable community which is one of the things that makes it so enjoyable. We need to make sure we are enabling alternatives to driving. Shade trees are one thing that make walking in a community such as ours even more aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable. We need to do something to replace our Shade Tree Commission. The last Council disbanded it with nothing to replace it and no plan. We need to get serious about shade trees in the public right-of ways.

Having a strong base of volunteers that want to help the town is also critical to our future. We need a town government that makes people feel welcome if they want to volunteer and that values their contributions.
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