Meet the Candidates for the 2016 Cherry Hill Township Council Special Election: Week 4

Carolyn Jacobs and Rick Short are running to fill a one-year unexpired term on Cherry Hill Township Council this fall. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Rick Short

1.) Make your final pitch. Why you should be elected to town council?

It’s week number four. This is my last chance to get your vote.

I have a question. Is today’s South Jersey political machine out to help you, or are they just about gaining power, making money and doing inside deals thru your vote? I find it truly amazing that political parties have voting down to a statistical science. Even down to my run for Cherry Hill Council. The Democrat Party has it down to a statistical science, based on the June primary numbers, that my opponent doesn’t need to do lawn signs or door-to-door campaigning. They believe they own your vote, although they did not earn it, they still believe they own it. Quite sad!

I ask you to consider voting on issues this Nov. 8. Someone will be calling from your party. They will be calling you at 4 p.m. or 7 p.m. on Nov. 8. You will be asked to vote for your party nominee. Please consider this year voting for me. I will fix issues in Cherry Hill.

Rick = Helping Residents

I have always tried to help Cherry Hill residents. I’ve have listened to public comments during council meetings for over four years and testified dozens of times in support of residents. I have successfully had red light cameras turned off in Cherry Hill, even though those intersections were the most profitable in America. Yes, it’s very sad that Cherry Hill was the richest red light camera in America. The cameras didn’t make us safer.

I argued to keep the Cherry Hill Municipal Building out of Kingston development so Carmen Argentina would not lose his house of 55 years, to eminent domain. The culmination of the seemingly unending battle with the township for our community identity was the terrible Aug. 8 B4 Gas Station disaster in the Garden State Development. That decision — by a unanimous vote of all the town council — stands to destroy housing values in the vicinity of the new buildings. I am on the residents’ side. I’ve testified at the public microphone dozens of time. I know how scary it is to voice your opinion for the first time, and to challenge the town’s position during a town council meeting.

I plan to make several busy Cherry Hill intersections safer for drivers and pedestrians. One of Cherry Hill’s deadliest intersections is at Chapel Avenue and Route 41. It sadly has grave monuments to mark its danger, and I will make it safer.

I plan on asking the NJDOT to change some entrance and exits to the Wegmans parking lot to reduce traffic gridlock.

I plan on asking that the one annoying traffic light next to the two churches on Springdale Road be fitted with traffic sensors embedded in the ground. Politicians have been talking about it for years and no one has gotten it done.

Short = Schools

My greatest Cherry Hill challenge will be working to improve our 19 Cherry Hill school facilities. I am fighting to get millions more in school funding. Please review my Facebook page to see my current accomplishments. Remember the better our school structures, the higher our property values.

Never in the history of Cherry Hill politics has one candidate, for just one Cherry Hill Council seat, ever produced a more aggressive list of town goals. I will not be a party line statistical vote.

Thanks for reading my plans. I hope you vote for me.

Carolyn Jacobs

1.) Make your final pitch. Why you should be elected to town council?

I don’t think that you will find a bigger booster for Cherry Hill anywhere. I’m a long-term resident who is so very grateful for all that Cherry Hill had to offer to me and to my family. We moved here because we found it to be affordable and close to transportation to our jobs in Philadelphia, had award-winning schools, ample recreational opportunities, farm-fresh markets and great neighborhoods. Now that I have retired, I feel it is my duty (as well as my pleasure) to give back to the community that I love.

I’ve chosen to do that in several ways. I sought out a position on the township planning board so that I could make a difference in ensuring that developers were keeping Cherry Hill’s best interests in mind for both residential and commercial developments. Those who have been to a planning board meeting have heard me argue for development concessions that reduce environmental impacts with the smallest possible impact on nearby property owners. They have also heard me explain every one of my votes, always keeping in mind whether the benefits of granting variances to the zone plan had any detriments to the public good. The public good is always at the forefront of my thoughts.

I’ve also been fortunate to have been nominated and elected to fill a vacancy on township council this past year. During my time on council, I have worked hard to learn how our municipal government functions. I have met with all of the department heads and many of the township employees and understand how hard they work each and every day to make sure that you have the best government possible. Over this past year, I have also attended as many township events and meetings as possible to get to know you and to hear your concerns. It has truly been a pleasure to work with Mayor Cahn and his strong and committed team including the police and fire departments, the administration in the municipal building and the other members of the township council to improve the lives of us all. It is vitally important that this extended team works in concert for the benefit of each and every person who lives in Cherry Hill, who works in Cherry Hill or stops by to take advantage of our shops, restaurants and recreation facilities.

Is it all perfect? Of course it isn’t. There is always much to do. I pledge to work hard to make sure that residents are as well-informed as possible about what is going on in town. We certainly have the tools to do so; the Mayor’s weekly briefings, Cherry Hill’s Facebook and Twitter presence and the township website listing upcoming meetings as well as posting agendas and meeting minutes. I will continue to advocate for more resident input to development opportunities and development proposals. I promise to listen, always. I promise to advocate for the ongoing, strong relationship between the township and our schools that has just allowed us to create beautiful (and safe) turf fields for both of our high schools. I promise to advocate for out seniors as well, making sure that this is a town in which they feel comfortable as they age in place. In short, I believe my constituency encompasses our very youngest to our very oldest, without exception.

Please come out to vote on Nov. 8 and remember to look to the bottom of the Democratic column to find my name. I pledge to continue to work as hard in the next year as I have in the last year to make a positive difference in the life of Cherry Hill.