Meet the Candidates: week three

Here at The Sun, we want to keep you informed about the local election coming up on Nov. 5.

We asked the candidates two questions for this weeks’s Meet the Candidates series, 1.) How do you ensure the township’s continued growth through either redevelopment or other improvements? and 2. ) Imagine you are elected to council and four years have gone by. How does the town look to you now?

Below are their answers.

Susan Shin Angulo:

1. How will you continue to handle the Woodcrest Country Club/Fair Share Housing situation?

I am adamantly opposed to development of any kind at Woodcrest Country Club. This property is one of the last and largest remaining green spaces in Cherry Hill. I stand united with Mayor Cahn, my fellow council members and the residents of Cherry Hill in doing all that I can to see that the Woodcrest Country Club property is preserved and protected forever.

2. Imagine you are elected to council and four years have gone by. How does the town look to you now?

Cherry Hill is a thriving and successful community that is on solid ground for the future. As a councilwoman for the past four years, I have worked hard to ensure that the actions we have taken create a sustainable future for our township. In four years, I see Cherry Hill continuing to thrive, I see taxes remaining stable and I see our residents continuing to enjoy the high level of services.

Jim Bannar

1.) How will you continue to handle the Woodcrest Country Club/Fair Share Housing situation?

As a councilman, I have been and will remain fully committed to the preservation of the Woodcrest Country Club property. If re-elected, I will continue to do everything I can to see that this historically significant and environmentally sensitive space remains open, green and undeveloped.

2.) Imagine you are elected to council and four years have gone by. How does the town look to you now?

The township is headed in a very positive direction. We approved a budget for the second straight year with a zero percent tax increase while maintaining all of the important services that our residents enjoy. That trend will continue. Over the course of the next four years, I see a continued commitment to our roads and infrastructure, businesses will continue to choose Cherry Hill, and our government will continue to be run efficiently and effectively.

Stephen Cohen, John Galie, Dan Loveland, Nancy O’Dowd

1. How will you continue to handle the Woodcrest Country Club/Fair Share Housing situation?

When we saw the numerous press conferences and indignant exasperation on the part of Cherry Hill and Camden County officials over the purchase of the Woodcrest property (remember the “Over my dead body!” comment that made headlines?), members of our team reacted with some skepticism. Dr. Stephen Cohen did some research and found the township’s 2009 and 2011 “Housing Plan,” which was created solely by the all-Democrat township government and which clearly states that if the Woodcrest property ever became available, it would be used to help satisfy the Fair Share Housing situation (you can view the documents on our website www.chgop.org). So either the mayor and council members didn’t know what was going on in our township, or they were trying to mislead the public. Whichever is true, it is reason enough to vote for a new group of council members who are not beholden to any current political leadership or any political boss to provide oversight and protect the residents of Cherry Hill.

Once we are elected, we will be privy to any and all information pertaining to the Woodcrest situation. We cannot predict what we will find, but we commit to giving our best efforts to negotiate with all parties to minimize the impact of any new development on our community. We will craft the Master Plan to reflect and encourage meaningful real growth that maintains the residential and commercial expectations of residents and businesses. We will not sacrifice neighborhoods for the profits of developers. The current situation is the result of the many years of one-party rule, and now we are facing the consequences.

2. Imagine you are elected to council and four years have gone by. How does the town look to you now?

If all four of us are elected, this is what we envision: The municipal taxes have been reduced by 15 percent through elimination of wasteful business practices, proper surplus management and appropriately shared services with nearby municipalities. More seniors are relieved to be able to stay in their homes. Our efforts to reduce the property tax impact on senior citizens enable them to retire here.
There are fewer empty properties and businesses, and fewer houses are for sale. We have preserved open space and have established the enforcement power of the Township Master Plan, which would impact all current and future development.

The newly formed Neighborhood Council representatives have provided information to us, and we have acted on this information, so that most road repairs, hazardous trees and other maintenance issues have been addressed. We have a great program of cooperation with local businesses that fund arts fairs, children’s activities and other community events so that taxpayer dollars can be directed to projects that provide safety, security and convenience to our residents. We have great shopping and restaurants, and more of our hard-working residents, who now are fleeing to live in Burlington County and Pennsylvania, have decided to stay in vibrant, affordable Cherry Hill.

There is an alternate future for our township if the present council makeup is retained. Our opponents have said that they will not vote to join the county police force and fire department. We have asked them to pass an ordinance that would place those questions on the ballot for a referendum. They refused. We assume that they are concerned the voters would reject the merger. Otherwise, why not allow residents to have the final say?

After four more years under the current council, the foreclosure rate and short sales continue at an alarming rate. The property along Brace Road will have a 152-unit apartment complex if the township prevails in court.

As we integrate with the rest of the county, our taxes will go up to support the services and obligations of regional integration. There will be continued uncontrolled growth with increasing taxes and congestion. The high-density growth will change the character of our town and not for the better.

David Fleisher

1. How will you continue to handle the Woodcrest Country Club/Fair Share Housing situation?

There is no grey area here. Woodcrest Country Club should not be developed, and the mayor and Council are united to fight any development of that site. Period.

2. Imagine you are elected to council and four years have gone by. How does the town look to you now?

Cherry Hill is a town that continues to have the courage to reinvent itself. We have great neighborhoods, and our economic development initiatives are paying dividends.

Four years from now, I hope to see even greater momentum of citizen involvement and partnerships with our businesses and community groups.

The strength of our township always has been, and will be, the strength of our neighborhoods and community groups.

I pledge all of my energies to keep the township running efficiently, and all of us are proud to call Cherry Hill our home.

The best is yet to come.

Carole Roskoph

1. How will you continue to handle the Woodcrest Country Club/Fair Share Housing situation?

I stand united with Mayor Cahn and the current council members in their fight against development of Woodcrest Country Club.

As they have consistently stated, the Woodcrest Country Club property should be preserved and should remain green and undeveloped forever.

If I am elected to Council, I will join Cahn and Council in their fight to keep Woodcrest Country Club preserved as open space and to prevent any development on that property, whatsoever.

2. Imagine you are elected to council and four years have gone by. How does the town look to you now?

In four years, I know that I will be pleased with the progress Cherry Hill is making. We will have maintained services while keeping costs and taxes steady. Young families will have continued to choose Cherry Hill, investing in our neighborhoods and the homes they live in.

The bike and pedestrian Master Plan will be progressing, making Cherry Hill safer and greener. Cherry Hill will continue to be a great place to live and work.