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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Middlesex County Freeholders {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders is elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis. At an annual reorganization meeting in January, the Board selects from among its members a Freeholder Director and Deputy Director, who appoint Freeholders to serve as chairpersons and members on the various committees which oversee county departments. Committees include: Business Development and Education, Community Services, Finance, Infrastructure Management, and Public Safety and Health.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Roger Daley (Rep)

  • Mina Kolta (Rep) Systems Engineer

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    Leslie Koppel (Dem) Executive Director of RISE - A Community Service Partnership

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    Shanti Narra (Dem) Supervising Attorney - The Legal Aid Society

  • Priti Pandya-Patel (Rep)

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    Charles Tomaro (Dem) Sales and Marketing Professional with Clayton Block Company

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Biographical Information

What do you consider the most important challenges facing Middlesex County? What personal and professional experiences have prepared you for addressing these challenges?

What priorities would you like to see in the budget proposed in January, 2018, in the county? Are there areas in which the budget could be further tightened or areas that should be increased? Please specify areas in need of oversight or changes in funding.

How will you address public transportation, if at all?

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Current Elected Position N/A
Campaign Email me@minakolta.com
Education BS in Computer Science at Long Island University
I believe there is a lack of transparency and leadership. For transparency I am currently an engineer in the IT field believe that technology is the answer to bring about more transparency to Middlesex county. Resolutions, ordinances, budgets, even contracts should be made visible to everyone especially since it is the tax payer that funds all these things. As for leadership, I believe it is lacking in many areas in the county especially in New Brunswick. The Experience I have of managing people and being a team player will help me bring that leadership back to the county and help the county move forward.
For 2018, I would like to see less wasteful spending. Many issues arose in 2017 including the funding of a 22 story apartment complex. Funding should go to reducing property taxes and debt. Rather than fund unnecessary project like these we should be funding education health services as well as security in the county. These are the things that people expect from us. Infrastructure should also be a priority. We need to make sure our infrastructure is up to date but responsibly by enforcing bidding and other ways to assign jobs to vendors to ensure we get the most competitive rates. Also the size of the budget would be reduced if we enact these measures which would save us on property taxes.
As transportation issues arise we will work on ensuring that the system remains safe and up to date. Also ensure that we provide any necessary upgrades.
Current Elected Position Middlesex County Freeholder
Campaign Email updates@mcdonj.org
Education Masters of Public Affairs and Policy, Rutgers University
Middlesex County has held a Triple A Bond rating for the past 16 years. We received word recently that this excellent rating was reaffirmed. Maintaining this rating speaks to our financial strength, which in turn helps us offer a wide array of quality services and gives us the ability to keep down the cost of running County government. We must build on the strong foundation we laid in order to offset cuts in federal and state grant funding to critical programs, such as mental health care, transportation and education.

My tenure as Chair of the County’s Finance Committee, my years as a councilwoman in Monroe Township and my background in non-profit and business management have given me the tools to assess our overall budget while being able to pinpoint where efficiencies can be made.
We must assess every expense, continue to infuse technology into our daily operations to promote efficiency and identify sustainable revenue sources to offset continued Federal and State cuts to critical programs.
Middlesex County has embarked on updating its Comprehensive Strategic Plan, which includes transportation, recognizing the transportation needs of the community. All facets of transportation are being assessed, including roads, rail, bikeways and pedestrian routes. We are collaborating with the State in providing enhanced transportation opportunities in the County, including bicycle paths and ferry terminals to supplement NJ Transit rail and bus service. We also are working with Rutgers University to help enhance commuting options not only for its students and staff, but for the general public, utilizing the University's bus system. The Freeholder Board also is supporting Rutgers' bike-sharing project that would encompass all five Middlesex County campuses: Rutgers, Douglass and Cook in New Brunswick and Busch and Livingston in Piscataway. The County has begun the Livingston Avenue Traffic Calming project to make that roadway safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Current Elected Position Middlesex County Freeholder
Campaign Email updates@mcdonj.org
Education Georgetown University Law School, J.D., June 1992 Georgetown University – School of Foreign Service, B.S.F.S. June 1989
The safety of our residents must always be a priority. This becomes increasingly challenging as Federal laws change and Federal and State funding drops off. We must continue to work with our municipal partners, our law enforcement professionals and our healthcare providers and increase our volunteer ranks to ensure we are prepared to effectively prevent and respond emergencies of all types in the County.

Through my professional and volunteer lives, I have built a skill set that more than prepares me to work to protect the wellbeing of Middlesex County’s residents and helps me make the decisions necessary to do so. I am a supervisor in the Criminal Defense Division with the Legal Aid Society of New York, and am an active member of the North Brunswick Township Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and trained in Search and Rescue, Fire Safety and Disaster Medical Operations.
Because our population continues to grow and our federal and state funding for programs of all kinds continues to decrease, we must work with our municipal partners, our neighboring counties and the other members of the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) group to work cohesively to protect our residents. Building and maintaining strong partnerships increases our ability as a whole to safeguard the County. I would prioritize working even more closely with all these groups through inter-local and shared services agreements, such as our state-of-the-art emergency radio system, our agreements for Medical Examiner services, public health services and fire inspection services. These allow us to provide excellent services at lower costs.
Middlesex County has embarked on updating its Comprehensive Strategic Plan, which includes transportation, recognizing the transportation needs of the community. All facets of transportation are being assessed, including roads, rail, bikeways and pedestrian routes. We are collaborating with the State in providing enhanced transportation opportunities in the County, including bicycle paths and ferry terminals to supplement NJ Transit rail and bus service. We also are working with Rutgers University to help enhance commuting options not only for its students and staff, but for the general public, utilizing the University's bus system. The Freeholder Board also is supporting Rutgers' bike-sharing project that would encompass all five Middlesex County campuses: Rutgers, Douglass and Cook in New Brunswick and Busch and Livingston in Piscataway. The County has begun the Livingston Avenue Traffic Calming project to make that roadway safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
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Current Elected Position Middlesex County Freeholder Deputy Director
Campaign Email updates@mcdonj.org
Education Harvard University - Institute of Politics Rutgers University Business Management Major
We must continuously invest in our infrastructure and build a robust economic development plan to ensure that residents receive the quality services they need, that we attract visitors to boost our tourism sector and that we retain and attract businesses to ensure that good, high-paying jobs and opportunities are available to our residents.

My experience on the Freeholder Board, on the Edison Township Council and as a local businessman puts me in the unique position of seeing where opportunity lies and the strengths Middlesex County has to offer. This knowledge especially helps me fulfill my current duties as Deputy Director of the Board and Chair of the Administration Committee, which helps set the road map for the County’s internal operations and outreach to our municipal and private partners.
The Board of Chosen Freeholders is committed to boosting our local economy and the economies of our 25 municipalities so that we may provide the best place for people to live, to work or to visit. We do this by investing in our roads, parks, arts, culture, technology and secondary schools. I would prioritize continued investment in our Capital Improvement Master Plan, which encompasses all these areas, and building even stronger partnerships with our municipalities to share services where we can, like we do now with emergency communications, digital tax mapping and open space purchases.
Middlesex County has embarked on updating its Comprehensive Strategic Plan, which includes transportation, recognizing the transportation needs of the community. All facets of transportation are being assessed, including roads, rail, bikeways and pedestrian routes. We are collaborating with the State in providing enhanced transportation opportunities in the County, including bicycle paths and ferry terminals to supplement NJ Transit rail and bus service. We also are working with Rutgers University to help enhance commuting options not only for its students and staff, but for the general public, utilizing the University's bus system. The Freeholder Board also is supporting Rutgers' bike-sharing project that would encompass all five Middlesex County campuses: Rutgers, Douglass and Cook in New Brunswick and Busch and Livingston in Piscataway. The County has begun the Livingston Avenue Traffic Calming project to make that roadway safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

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