George and Nancy Youngkin have lived in Medford for two decades, have volunteered in many capacities and are now hoping to represent the Democratic Party on the town council following the November election.
They recently announced their candidacies to take over the council seats currently occupied by Jeff Beenstock and Chuck Watson.
Currently, no other Democrats are running for the seats.
“Medford is really ready for the change that they asked for last election,” Nancy said. “I think it’s time that we get more representation across the board.”
There has been no diversity in the party rule for a dozen years, she said.
George ran last year, unsuccessfully, for a council seat as an independent.
“More people have come out and become informed on the issues,” George said.
He was encouraged by the amount of people who voted at the April 17 referendum.
The Youngkins say they voted “yes.”
“We were in support of the referendum,” Nancy said. “But for us, it wasn’t about trash. It was about people. We were concerned about where further cuts were going to be taken.”
George believes he and his wife would work well as a team.
“We’re always willing to do what it takes to help out the township,” he said.
Meanwhile, Beenstock said he and Watson were selected from a group of 13 Medford residents who were seeking appointments to the council.
“Our appointments coincided with the election of three new council members. The five of us have worked as a cohesive unit since the beginning of this year to bring about dramatic change in Medford Township,” he said.
The council’s accomplishments so far this year have included the adoption of a pay to play ordinance, the approved referendum, transparency in proceedings and civility at town meetings, Beenstock said.
“Mr. Watson and I will continue to dedicate ourselves to work for the residents of Medford as long as we are afforded the opportunity to serve on council,” he said.
The Youngkins believe it’s time to break the one party rule in Medford.
“I just felt like it was time for somebody different to step up to the plate,” said Nancy.
Beenstock, however, believes stability is key for Medford to continue to mend from years of financial troubles.
“Mr. and Mrs. Youngkin are long time residents who undoubtedly also have the best interests of Medford in mind. I commend them for their decision to get involved,” he said. “However, the effort to get Medford back on track began this past January with the service of an entirely new governing body. While we have come a long way in a short time, (but) it will take more than one year and a lot more hard work to complete the task.
“I believe it is necessary to maintain the continuity of this current council in order to keep Medford moving in the right direction.”
“In this township, we’re well-known and accessible,” said George, who has spent 16 years on the zoning board, including nine as chairman. “When there’s a job to be done, we always try to help in some capacity.”
In the end, Medford voters will have the last say, said Beenstock.
“Ultimately, the voters will decide whether Mr. Watson and I keep our seats on council,” he said. “I am hopeful that we will be judged favorably on our record and the work we have done this year.”
The Youngkins sent the following press release on April 12:
George and Nancy Youngkin announce their bid for seats on the Medford Town Council.
The husband and wife team will be running as Democrats and say they’re aiming to restore balance on a council that has been dominated by one party.
“One party rule has placed Medford in its current financial crisis,” said Nancy Youngkin. “I have seen this town award contracts and payments to politically connected firms for too long. I, like many of my neighbors, have had enough. We are being asked to make sacrifices, yet the insiders are still collecting our dollars. It’s time that somebody finally put the people first.”
George Youngkin also seeks to restore values to our local government.
“Medford is a terrific place to live and raise kids. The town is safe, the public schools are excellent and the commitment to open space and historic preservation has kept Medford beautiful. Recent economic hardship, due to mismanagement and giveaways, have now threatened the very qualities that brought many of us here so long ago.”
Mrs. Youngkin added: “George and I are gravely concerned for the future of our town. The safety of our citizens, programs for our kids, and basic services that a community requires do not need to be eliminated so that the Republicans can use our tax dollars to pay dues to the special interests financing their county wide campaigns.”
The Youngkins are long-time residents and active members of the community.
“I believe volunteering is vital for a healthy and prosperous community,” said Nancy Youngkin.
Nancy volunteers her time with her children’s school, the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program and Medford Celebrates — an organization whose mission is to help fund and support major Medford public events.
George Youngkin volunteers with the Boy Scouts and has served as a board member of the Medford Youth Athletic Association.