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Franklin Township Council Ward 4

The Franklin Township Council is responsible for adopting ordinances; reviewing revising and adopting the budget; levying taxes; authorizing bond issues and establishing general municipal policies. The Franklin Township Council election chooses one Council member to represent Ward 4. Each Council member serves for a 3-year term.Note: The wards are labeled by color. Look at the legend below the map to identify the ward in which you reside.Click this link to view the Ward map: https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/home/showdocument?id=13322
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Estelle M. Mitzen (Rep) ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH AND SAFETY PRODESSIONAL

  • Carl Wright (Dem)

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Biographical Information

What do you consider the most important challenges facing Franklin Township? What personal and professional experiences have prepared you for addressing these challenges? Lastly, how do you intend that the Franklin Township Council will 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.

A municipality has two budgets - the annual operating budget and a capital budget. What are your priorities for each of these budgets? Please specifically address whether the Franklin Township Council's 2016 goals are goals you think are properly identified as priorities.

Qualifications/Experience I have a BA Psychology and an MBA. I have held the position of secretary for Red Knights Chapter 20 for 6 years, been a member since 2006. I am an Environment, Health and Safety Professional for a NY utility and have worked on various teams and received awards for efforts in many projects related to EHS excellence and cost cutting.
Campaign Address 3 Orchid Court Somerset, NJ 08873
Campaign Email Stella66@icloud.com
Website https://www.facebook.com/estelle.m.volpe
The most pressing issue and what I continually hear from folks, is the high cost of living in NJ, specifically property taxes. Most people know that when they retire they will have to leave NJ because they simply won’t be able to afford to live here. What’s worst, young people are leaving the state for the same reason. This is a real and ever present concern and if the Democratic candidate for Governor should win he intends to increase taxes even more. Presently, the Franklin Town Council has all democratic members representing their constituents very well. However, this town is made of more than just democrats. There are many folks out their whose voices are not being heard because there is no one representing them. The best outcomes come when people of differing views come together to work out the resolution of a problem. If only one view point is tolerated than we aren’t getting the best possible outcome. Someone has to stand up for everyone else in the community whose views are not being represented. Folks who are working and living and paying taxes towards the betterment of this community have voices that should be heard. I truly believe that where and how I was raised and the work I have performed since college have given me a solid foundation to qualify me for running for Ward 4 Town Council for Franklin Town. I grew up in a town very similar to Franklin on Long Island. I worked hard to put myself through College while working almost full time. I have a BA in Psychology and earned an MBA while working a day job giving up every Saturday for 2 years. My goal was to do something that added value and had meaning. My first position was working in an Environmental Testing lab . I did that for 11 years and then I was asked to apply for a position working in Environment, Health & Safety for a NY Utility. The last 18 years I have worked towards EHS excellence keeping people safe while maintaining and following EHS regulations.
The most important aspect about myself that i want to convey is that I am not a politician. I don’t have a crystal ball and I am not proficient in sound bites to capture attention. In regards to new proposals and or local ordinances i have no agenda for increasing the burden on living in our community and therefore I have no notion to add new proposals or local ordinances at this time. This is just one aspect of being a town council member where I think that it is vital that more than one view be heard. Right now on the town council there are only Democrats and coupled with a Democratic Mayor, who is hearing any other viewpoint? We all know that democrats seem to enjoy big government. I am no fan of unnecessary government control. It stifles economic growth in the private sector and burdens taxpayers. I would prefer to have an equal balance of views on our towns council so that we are not governed by just one ideology. With folks who represent every taxpayer we have a far better chance at a healthy balance of government. When there is a safety concern, or a serious environmental issue where there is a need for the town council to enact an ordinance or proposal with a better mix then decisions can be made that work for all of the folks who live in Franklin. I have made a career in helping people work safely and abide by environmental regulations working in a very regulated area. I still have the same desire that I had when i started, to do something that adds value and has meaning. This is how I would approach any news proposals or local ordinances.
If elected I hope to look at opportunities to continue to keep our community one of the best places to live. I come from a town where they overbuilt. This put a huge burden on all of the services, electricity, water, schools, police, fire, roads etc. I see that happening here. Every morsel of land is being gobbled up and being built on. One of the most delightful aspects of living here is that in a few minutes I am in farm country. It’s a lovely lifestyle that needs to be preserved. Before you know it the farms will be gone and once they are gone they don’t ever come back. We need to ensure that they do not allow overbuilding in the community which will forever change this town in every aspect. I would like to see the environmental impact studies on the building that they have allowed and the traffic studies for all of the extra traffic that local folks will have to endure because of that building. I am interested in where the money goes from our taxes. How well is that being spent and where we can make cost cuts to save taxpayers money. I am currently involved in this in my day job and you would be amazed to see how much can be saved in small ways that add up to large amounts of money that could go back to taxpayers with as little impact to services as possible. Many times when you are inside looking at yourself you don’t see the low hanging fruit. A new set of eyes with a fresh perspective may indeed be able to see what they are currently missing. The budget needs a thorough review and where there is room for improvement to save tax payer dollars we need to review those options and take advantage of them.
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