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

Somerville Borough Council members are elected for a three year term. The Council works with the Mayor to oversee the various Somerville Commissions.
  • Jason Kraska (Rep)

  • Jennifer Pearson (Rep)

  • Dennis Sullivan (Dem) Retired Public School Teacher

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    Frederick Wied V (Dem) Office Services Manager

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Biographical Information

What do you consider the most important challenges facing Somerville? What personal and professional experiences have prepared you for addressing these challenges? Lastly, how do you intend that the Somerville 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 Somerville Council 2015 goals are goals you think are properly identified as priorities.

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Qualifications/Experience 22 years Somerville Borough Council 15 years Somerville Planning Board
Campaign Address 8 South Richards Ave Somerville, NJ 08876
Campaign Email
Website none
Somerville needs to generate new revenue to keep taxes stable. Over one-third of Somerville is exempt from property taxes, putting a tremendous burden on the homeowner to fund essential services. My experience as Finance Chairman and Council Liason to the Planning Board gives me a thorough understanding of controlling spending while growing Somerville’s commercial tax base. The Borough Council must continue to be aggressive in promoting the redevelopment of underutilized land to maximize its full potential.
Despite a number of new apartments recently constructed or proposed, Somerville’s housing stock is getting older. Rehabilitation of existing homes is essential to maintain livability and increase property values, and homeowners should be given the opportunity to make essential repairs through an economy of scale. The current sidewalk program could be expanded to include such items as roofs, gutters and windows.
The operating budget must fund essential services with as close to a zero percent increase as possible. This can only be accomplished by negotiating responsible employee contracts that are fair to both the worker and the taxpayer. Every expense must be justified, and every borough fee must be updated to meet current market conditions.

The capital budget must continue to prioritize infrastructure improvements in roads, sewers and borough-owned buildings. A multi-year approach must be used to insure that the debt service generated by current bonding does not exceed debt being retired in any given year.
Qualifications/Experience Lifelong and 3rd generation Somerville resident, Somerville High School graduate class of 2006, member of Somerville United Methodist Church, former member of boy scout Troop 84, Somerville Baseball player, coach, and umpire. Current Library Board of Trustees Secretary. Current Somerville Zoning Board member. Candidate for Borough Council 2015.
Campaign Address 9 Lee Way, Somerville, NJ 08876
Campaign Email
The most important challenge facing Somerville to me is overseeing redevelopment while not ignoring our neighborhoods. The redevelopment of our community will help bring in more tax based properties. Over the long run, this will benefit all Somerville residents. However, other parts of town cannot be ignored in the short term. I have lived in Somerville all my life, and over the years I have seen the deterioration of our neighborhood infrastructure. If elected to Council, I will ask the tough questions to our developers of how this redevelopment will help the town as a whole.
A new proposal that is sorely needed is to continue to tweak the parking tax increase that was passed two years ago. This was a burden on Somerville residents and still is. While some progress has been made, including offering Somerville residents free parking in some of the lots, extending parking hours from 2 to 3 hours, and replacing the old meters, more needs to be done. If elected I would push for fixing the confusing signs and make it clearer that you do not have to pay for the full hour of parking. Further, I would extend the free parking program for Somerville residents to include more lots in the downtown area.
For the operating budget, my goal is to control spending with oversight of every expenditure. For the the capital budget, my goal is to use our redevelopment to get more tax paying properties in town. With more projects, we can obtain grant money for repairing our roads and infrastructure. Further, with more tax paying properties in Somerville, we can begin to stabilize taxes for all residents. logo


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