BRICK TOWNSHIP — Mayoral candidates for Brick Township were asked a series of questions by The Ocean Star prior to the election on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Both mayoral candidates were given the opportunity to answer the following questions: What are the biggest challenges that Brick Township faces and how would you address them? How do you feel about the direction that Brick Township is currently going? How important is it to you personally to hold a position in Brick’s government? And is there anything else you’d like to say to residents prior to the election?
The two mayoral candidates in Brick Township are: incumbent candidate Lisa Crate, Democrat; and newcomer John Catalano, Republican.
What are the biggest challenges that Brick Township faces and how would you address them?
Mr. Catalano: “First, overdevelopment. Our land use committee will take a vigilant look at the most pressing ordinances affecting our overdevelopment and make sure that they are being strictly enforced.
“I will suggest new ordinances, if any should be needed, concerning over development.
Second, traffic and congestion. Since most of this problem stems from our state and county roads that run through Brick it is imperative to have an open discussion with both the state DOT and our County Commissioners. Pinpointing the most congested areas and focusing on them with the appropriate partners will start the conversation to see what relief can be given.”
Ms. Crate: “The most important challenge I face as mayor is properly managing Brick’s $115 million budget. In my first year as mayor, we delivered a budget with zero municipal tax increase. Unfortunately, the school and county taxes, which are not under my control, did go up, but Brick’s municipal taxes were kept flat. It hasn’t been easy, but my council, led by Councilman Vince Minicino, has been able to keep taxes under control while maintaining and even improving many of the services to Brick residents.”
How do you feel about the direction that Brick Township is currently going?
Mr. Catalano: “One of the greatest things about Brick, and the thing I love the most about it, is the people. We work together to maintain a vision of the future centered around safety and community. Recently, Brick Township has seen a rise in criminal activity and this situation requires immediate attention and action. We will accomplish this through meetings with our public safety committee, the Chief of Police and other law enforcement officials from the Township, County Sheriff’s office and County Prosecutor’s Office. I want to bring our Township back to being one of the safest places in America to live.
“In closing, I am confident that under my leadership, I will run a government that is efficient, effective, and fiscally sound. Continuing to ensure that Brick remains affordable for our senior citizens and young families.”
Ms. Crate: “Brick is a wonderful place to live, and I want to keep it that way. We’ve made a lot of progress in the last 10 years under Mayor Ducey, and I want to continue moving Brick in the right direction. We have kept taxes stable, improved public services and restored our hometown pride. A recent town survey we conducted showed that over 80 percent of Brick residents said we were headed in the right direction, so I feel very proud about that.”
Is there anything else you would like to say to residents prior to the election?
Mr. Catalano: “All that Brick has become, and all that Brick will be is rooted in the talents, dedication and hard work of the people. A significant shift we need is to return to receiving the rightful state funding for our schools. Brick Township places a great emphasis on both academics and athletics, and it is imperative that we receive our adequate fair share of funding to encourage families to choose Brick as their place to raise their children.”
Ms. Crate: “As someone who takes so much pride in Brick, we simply can’t go backwards. We want to keep Making Brick Better and a vote for our team will do just that. I am grateful for all of the support.”
How important is it to you personally to hold a position in Brick’s government?
Mr. Catalano: “I have enjoyed my time in the Assembly fighting for fair and just laws that would support the life that we all want to enjoy. This is the life that the residents of Ocean County deserve. I have always had the desire to be Mayor of Brick and my heart strings are pulling me to that. My experience in the Assembly has equipped me with the expertise and connections to be the leader that Brick Township requires. I remain committed to fighting the detrimental impacts of school funding cuts, which significantly contributes to our tax burden. I will always support the rights of parents to ensure that they have the knowledge they need regarding their children’s experience in our schools.”
Ms. Crate: “Being an elected official is an honor and a privilege. I first ran for council at the suggestion of then Mayor John Ducey. Since then, I’ve continued to work for the people of Brick. I’m running for re-election because I love this town and I’m proud of our accomplishments. I believe my council team and I have the knowledge, experience and character to keep Brick moving in the right direction.”
This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.
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