Fair Lawn News, the web-based information source, asked the candidates for their candid views on some subjects. Here are the questions, and the answers with the word limits set by the web-site.
1. Why do you think you would be a good freeholder? (200 words)
As a four-term Mayor and member of the Boro Council, as a practicing New York attorney, and as a 20 year resident of Bergen County, I have the skills, the ideas, the willingness to work hard, and the desire to help my fellow residents in resolving the pressing issues of the day. A local mayor legislates but also works to better a community. As Fair Lawn's Mayor, I wrote the first public advocate law in Bergen County. I'll do the same Countywide when I'm elected Freeholder to make sure no one is forgotten and left behind. I helped in the rebuilding of Fair Lawn's police force by making sure they had the right equipment, new police cars, bullet proof vests, and a desire to walk the beat. I'll do the same when you send me to Hackensack. Recreation amenities in Fair Lawn are now geared towards all of its citizens from Seniors to pre-teens; not only was Memorial Pool revitalized on my watch, but outdoor bocce courts were added, shuffleboard, outdoor ping pong, outdoor billiards with water slides added to appeal to all age groups, new showers and changing facilities to accommodate families with young children as well as adults.
2. What do you think are the top issues in the race? (200 words)
Quality of life in Bergen County. That includes open space for recreation and other amenities, quality education, reducing traffic congestion on our highways, making certain that county-wide services continue to be provided to all residents, regardless of where in the County they are located.. here are areas of the County where promises have been forgotten where towns have had to sue the County Executive and the Freeholders over their decades long failure to comply with court ordered recreational amenities. This is simply wrong. One of my opponents has spent a lifetime representing real estate developers before planning boards and zoning boards as a hired gun. My approach is different: allow and even encourage development, but not at the price of more congestion and less open space. There are areas in need of revitalization where the County can make a difference. For too long, "unfavored" areas of the County have been ignored. The county government in Hackensack needs to be brought to the people. I propose to do that after my election as Freeholder by setting up satellite freeholder offices across the county to make it easier for residents to have their complaints resolved, and bringing Freeholder meetings to the people.
3. What accomplishment as Fair Lawn Mayor are you most proud of? (200 words)
I have brought government to the people and made it more convenient. Our Council, at my innovation, goes "on the road" at least six months of the year, meeting at schools in different neighborhoods and bringing out people who have never been to a council meeting before. We made government more convenient by putting a drop box in the Borough Hall municipal lot, and adding a book depositary to speed library book returns. I wrote the law to create Bergen County's first Public Advocate to make sure that land developers and businesses could not get a "free pass" before the planning or zoning boards. I made certain that our budget priorities included bringing back foot patrol beat cops and enough new cars to keep Fair Lawn's finest abel to protect and defend. I'm proud to have made non-partisan appointments of Republican to key positions representing the taxpayers including the Public Advocate and Zoning Board Attorney slots. I'm proud to have given back to the people the needs of our volunteer departments such as a new fire engine (replacing a 17 year old outdated vehicle) and a brand new ambulance, funded innovatively at my suggestion with cell tower revenue.
4. How will you help Fair Lawn residents as a Freeholder? (200 words)
I will help the residents of Fair Lawn the way that I intend to help the residents of Bergen County, by being available to solve their problems, by doing so in innovative ways, by being willing to think "outside the box" in order to resolve an issue, and by being responsive to their inquiries, their needs, and their problems. I still answer my own e-mail and continue to hand-write answers to correspondence. I return telephone calls promptly, and try to stay on top of local and other issues relevant to our community. That translates well county-wide, and I envision doing the same thing in Fair Lawn, and Hackensack, by this time next year.
5. What do you think are the 7 Wonders of Fair Lawn? (7 sentences)
The 400 year old fishing weir in the Passaic River tops my list for the first wonder. The second is the Nabisco Cookie Factory, where 50 foot long Fig Newtons are cut into cookies with high pressure water hoses. Next comes Memorial Pool, where watching it get filled from a slow-dripped pipe makes me continue to wonder how they know it takes exactly eight days to fill, but remains so clean and clear after its refurbishment that you can see the bottom 10 feet deep. Fourth is Land & Sea and the Brunch Club (tied) for the quantity of good food that they can consistently turn out to feed Kathy and me, and it seems the rest of Fair Lawn. Fifth is the interchange of Route 208 and Fair Lawn Avenue, which I have used going North on 208, and South on 208, all as part of the same convoluted route to take my kids to Fair Lawn High School through the years. Sixth is the Davidson Pavilion of the Department of Public Works, a building requested for a generation and finally built on my watch a giant DPW garage facility that is a credit to all of Fair Lawn. Finally, back at Memorial Pool, the "portable" structures that make up the new air conditioned lunch room, the new changing facilities with showers, and home for the lifeguards and camp workers thanks to an idea that I saw in Conoga Park, California, when I took my son to meet his great grandfather 20 years ago; we saved taxpayers $2-million by doing that, and have a wonderful amenity to boot.
6. What are your 5 favorite web sites? (5 sentences)
Www.Fairlawn.org - The official Boro web site, which I am proud to say I was the initial sponsor of, with hundreds of thousands of hits since it was created and a state award-winner.
Www.electganz.org - An infomercial for my candidacy for Freeholder; the designer of the web site is my 20 year old son, Scott.
Www.AmericasStateQuarters.com - I came up with a plan that Congress enacted that has ultimately returned $5-billion to the American taxpayer the 50 state quarter circulating commemoratives; this web site tells its whole story, with pictures.
(Tie) Ebay and google. Addicted to both.