@Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli
Having a dialogue and engaging our community has always been my number one priority. Whether it is working with civic associations or nonprofits in our county that are assisting residents in their time of need these conversations are vital to make government work for residents. Throughout the pandemic, I have intimately worked with local organizations such as the South Jersey Food Bank to help provide food to families in need.
Due to the suddenness of this pandemic, our next priority is to prepare ourselves for future health crises or unexpected financial results due to global and national issues. We are still battling two other public health epidemics simultaneously- the opioid epidemic and gun violence, but the COVID pandemic has taken center stage for the county.
Public safety has come a long way in our county. We have made progress with our crime rates as homicides and violent crime have declined. I want to make sure those numbers continue to trend down, and people feel safe in their communities.
Throughout my time on the Freeholder board, we have made it a priority to be a leading example of shared services. We will continue to explore those options while making sure we do not cut services to the community.
Freeholder Jon Young
Camden County has made it a priority for years to include various organizations and local governments in our decision-making process. Whether we are hosting public meetings for community feedback for park projects or I am joining a civic association to talk about our response to COVID dialogue is vital.
One of our main priorities for next year is to evolve and adapt our budget to the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to make sure services that are needed the most continue without interruption. We will also continue to make progress and not take our focus away from two other significant challenges, scourge of the opioid epidemic and gun violence.
The growing national and global public health crisis, COVID-19, has yet to go away. As a governing body we must stay vigilant in defeating the virus and making sure the public is safe and well informed of our actions from the county.
Shared services is an important aspect to maintaining a tax conscious budget. The county has and will continue to explore opportunities for shared services.
I have always enjoyed being active in my community. I was appointed to the Haddon Heights Borough Council in 2019 for the remainder of an unexpired term as the only Republican member on Council. I served as the Council Liaison to the Haddon Neighbors Committee, the Haddon Heights Shade Tree Commission as well as the Small Explorer’s Park in Haddon Heights. I am also a former Jaycees Vice President and have over 15 years of community engagement and fundraising for many various charitable organizations, such as TREE Inc., Abilities Foundation, Board of Governors for the New Jersey Federation of Republican Women, Haddon fortnightly and Haddon Heights Neighbors Committee. I look forward to building relationships and serving Camden County.
I believe our top priorities would be taxes and infrastructure. Our residents currently pay some of the highest taxes in the country and as a result we have a mass exodus out of the state. Residents would not be in favor of any tax increases, so we have to ensure that funds are being spent wisely. Our aging infrastructure needs to be addressed and I have some ideas that could achieve this goal while minimizing impact on our taxpayers. For more information, please follow us on Facebook and consider joining our next Meet the Candidates Forum .
We have two major issues facing our residents today. The economic impact of the COVID-19 lockdown is a major concern as many residents have lost their jobs and many small businesses are adversely affected since they are forced to close while large corporate chain stores remain open. Another major issue we need to address is the systemic injustices in law enforcement. We need to build stronger relationships between residents and their local police departments. For more information, please follow us on Facebook and consider joining our next Meet the Candidates Forum .
My opinion is that shared services are worth looking into as a means to save money, on a case by case basis. The needs of different communities vary greatly. I have seen some instances where the shared services agreement seems to be working well but it is still relatively new. I would consider shared services if the majority of residents would benefit from the agreement.
I am an active community member and mother of five. As a mental health professional and BCBA, I work collaboratively with NJ Children's System of Care, state and county case management divisions, DCP&P, as well as, public and private school systems. I spent several years in various roles as part of the Collingswood Junior Women’s Club and serve the community as a volunteer soccer coach who holds a national certification in coaching children of all abilities. I have participated in a number of local and national charitable organizations including the Special Olympics. I am currently an active member of local,county and state Republican clubs, including the New Jersey and Camden County Federation of Republican Women.
Without a doubt some of the main concerns regarding budget in Camden County include inflated taxes and faulty or incomplete infrastructure projects. New Jersey has the highest property tax in the nation. Our roads, water systems, and sewer systems are failing and the longer we wait to address these issues the larger the bill to fix the outdated systems is growing. To be addressed would be tax breaks for special interests, the financial grip of unions, public education costs, public employee costs, public health benefits costs, and tax waste per municipality.
We are definitely living during unprecedented times. On the wings of COVID and issues pertaining to civil liberties, I feel it necessary for our citizens to come together and focus on community relations. We need to foster positive interactions between our law enforcement officers and the general public, mutual support, respect, and understanding. As our local small businesses continue to be stifled, we as communities are going to need to step up and support not only the opening of our local businesses but their recovery and continued success. There are any number of initiatives that can be implemented in both situations to strengthen our communities and assure that they continue to thrive financially as well as collaboratively.
My opinion on the implementation of shared services at both the county and municipal level is that they are definitely integrations that must addressed on a situational basis. Shared services can prove economically savvy in some situations and overwhelming and disastrous in others. I do not believe there is a one size fits all answer.