Below are Medford township council candidates’ final pitches to Medford voters.
You have a choice on Nov. 7 in Medford. There are six fantastic candidates asking for your vote for three spots on town council. As you prepare to cast your vote, there are some things I would like you to ask yourself.
Do you want to continue using our tax money to aggressively pay down debt from past administrations while providing minimal service to residents? Or do you want a more balanced approach to paying down the debt while still providing the services residents need and expect?
Do you want one-sided control over the council? Or do you want a council that more closely matches the political make up of the residents of the town?
Do you want Medford to go it alone? Or do you want Medford to work with surrounding towns, Burlington County and our new Governor to share costs and equipment?
Your answers to these questions will guide your vote. I can promise that if you vote for me, I will listen to ideas and concerns of all residents and return services to a level on par with neighboring towns, all while maintaining financial stability with your tax money.
I have spent my whole adult life in service to my community as a teacher. I volunteer on the board of Deerbrook Swim and Tennis Club and as a meet coordinator for the swim team. I come from a family where my dad built his business from nothing into an international enterprise while my mom ran the household finances. My husband and I buy our cars with cash and have paid off our home in about six years. I am no stranger to serving others and being fiscally responsible.
As many coaches over time have said, you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse, nothing ever stays the same.
Medford, it’s time to make a choice. I believe we can do better, but whatever your choice, make sure you get out to vote on Nov.7.
Medford has a long tradition as one of the most desirable towns in our region. Much of that reputation is still very much intact. Great schools. Amazing neighbors looking after one another. An environment we cherish, appreciate, and protect.
Now, Medford’s at an inflection point. Your choice is between stay the course and innovation.
Through my career, I’ve been tasked to look at business challenges and find solutions. Doing so while building consensus amongst teams with different agendas and priorities. Sound familiar?
For this, my final pitch, I’ll talk about campaign promises.
First, I’ll promise to be a good steward of your money. To be more specific, I promise not to vote to raise taxes or take on new levels of debt (we have plenty of both). My father was a CPA, my mother a bookkeeper. Fiscal responsibility was wired since birth. They’d joke that they took their checkbook to the mailbox so they could pay the bills as they arrived. My wife and I have continued this behavior, and have always minimized debt and made repayment a top priority. We’re proud to be savers and proud that we paid off our starter and current homes in less than five years each.
Second, I promise that your services will be a priority again in Medford. Living within your budget is priority 1, yet it’s important to make investments that pay back long term. Maintenance vs. Replacement. Proactive vs. Reactive. I promise to set the bar at services in line with our neighbors, then find solutions to get there responsibly. We’ll set it at reopening park bathrooms. We’ll set it at snow plowing that make roads safe. We’ll set it at leaf and brush pickup that keep pace with what we produce. We’ll set these bars, and then put every option on the table to clear them.
Third, I promise to challenge us to innovate and collaborate. After five years of Medford first, we realize it’s perhaps more accurately Medford alone. If we look beyond our borders and work with neighboring towns, the county, and the state, we’ll gain new support, savings and mutual benefit. We’ll have new representatives (including a governor) in January. Ask yourself who you think is best suited to work with them.
Fourth, I promise to take seriously the often less than glamorous but critical tasks of protecting the township from risk. As we saw a few weeks ago with a discrimination settlement, if we don’t enhance our personnel policies, we threaten and delay the very recovery we are working so hard to achieve with self-inflicted wounds.
Finally, I promise to listen vs. promising not to interrupt. This is a local election. We are neighbors, friends, colleagues. There is no us and them, there is just us. I’m seeking your vote to represent you, not tell you what will and will not be. Medford is full of talented and successful people in many fields. This is a great asset, a source of untapped potential. We need to harness this. If you can bring forth an idea and are willing to show the benefit, and help find a way to pay for it, I promise you’ll have my attention and support.
Regardless of who you vote for, please vote. This campaign is a recognition that the process works best for everyone when you have a choice. You have six good choices, all honest men and women volunteering to represent you. Your vote truly is your voice. On Nov. 7, make your voice heard.
Incumbent Deputy Mayor Brad Denn
As a life-long resident of Medford and C.P.A., I have the unique combination of experience and skills to ensure our town is fiscally responsible, while preserving its unique character. Medford is a historical gem and has been a family-centered community for almost 250 years. I intend to continue the tradition of empowering our small businesses, encouraging our civic organizations and providing a safe environment to raise our families. I believe our greatest success is the success of our children. I want to pass on a preserved, rustic Medford, just like my parents passed on to me. I want to provide thriving opportunities for our small business owners so that they can pass that on to their children with pride. I want to ensure Medford is a fine place to do business and a finer place to call home.
As an Eagle Scout I recognize public service as a privilege and I will continue to serve with integrity, transparency and humility. I ask for your vote on Nov. 7 as it is an honor to be reelected for four more years as your councilman. As for my running mates, Chuck Watson and Erik Rebstock, they are men of sound judgment and good moral character. As a team, we are focused on family, focused on small business and focused on Medford.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
In Medford, there are many of us not enjoying liberty or the pursuit of happiness, because our opinions differ from council.
A long time single party governing body will come to share similar thoughts and beliefs through a self-constructed echo chamber. Only new eyes, voices and ideas can change the groupthink.
America thrives if town governments can agree to compromise and cooperate legislatively. We are founded on the acceptance of diverse ideas and beings. If no new ideas are introduced, the government seizes to function vitally.
The insular nature of our current town council has provided no ideas for 1.) Improving plowing services. The 20 towns surrounding us have shared-service agreements with the county. 2.) Opening bathrooms for children, women and the elderly at youth sporting events. The young athlete’s grandparents don’t come to games to see their grandchildren because they know they won’t have a bathroom facility to use. 3.) Tax reduction by working with the board of education or the county government. That is where most of our tax money goes. 4.) Returning essential, affordable educational and sporting programs for children. Accessible affordable education benefits us all. And, 5.) citizen’s rights to rebut council’s views. We are paying for this ideology. As property values in the area begin to rebound, Medford continues to decline. Many of us can’t afford to stay here.
Our opponents will tell you they have done everything exactly the way the previous generation had in their own households. The sentiment is not applicable to managing a town. The homeowner is not trying to draw in new businesses, improve the quality of life or infrastructure or the greater good. The use of investment is a crucial part of any sophisticated plan to revive a main street, improve schools, maintain property values, and ensure continued interest in Medford by families and businesses. Managing a town requires analyses of future trends, tax incentives to select businesses to create a thriving town and tax base. Kelly, Stan and I understand personal responsibility and how to capitalize on opportunities to innovate and grow. The homeowner’s job is to earn enough to pay the bills on time. Stan, Kelly and I all came from modest means and are very frugal. Most people of little means are very good at managing their money. Running a home and managing a town are like comparing apples to oranges.
There have been no statements by the opponents asking what you want or think. The spirit of the town government has been taken over by politics and ideology. The team of Czyzyk, Clark and Goldman will continue to use creativity, energy and outreach to create the best Medford. We look forward, to working as a team with you and the entire government body. We want to hear from you. Vote Nov. 7. www.MedfordForAll.com
I believe that I am qualified by my education, life experience, and training to serve in a leadership role for our town. I earned a bachelor’s of arts in psychology, cum laude, from West Chester University and a Master of Arts in Ministry from the Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA. I have served in leadership positions as the Chief Operating Officer for a construction company for over 12 years and as a men’s pastor at the Fellowship Alliance Chapel in Medford for 10 years. These prior experiences have prepared me to serve on Medford’s governing body.
Moreover, I value community. Community is why I moved my family here 15 years ago, and community is why we’ve stayed. I am not a politician; I have no political agenda. With four children aged 12 to 18, I simply want to be a part of a dynamic township council that is dedicated to seeing our community continue to improve and to thrive. As an advocate of fiscal responsibility and complete transparency, as well as a decade-and-a-half supporter of our fine town and its great community-based events, MYAA (both as parent and four-sport coach), local ministries, our excellent teachers and schools, and our beautiful parks, I will work tirelessly to advance our community even further than what we have already achieved.
Incumbent Mayor Chuck Watson
This is my sixth year as a member of Medford Township’s Council and second year as Mayor. As a governing body, we have made the decisions necessary to put Medford in a substantially better place than it was in when I took office. Through sound fiscal oversight, we have balanced our budget each year, despite a more than $6 million budget deficit we inherited in 2012. Since overcoming this deficit, we increased services each year, revitalized Main Street, and made millions of dollars of improvements in road repairs, infrastructure, recreational facilities and emergency equipment, among other things. All of this has been accomplished without raising taxes in the last five years. By demanding fiscal responsibility in our government, we are now well on the way to long-term sustainability that, with smart decisions, can be accomplished without tax increases in the near future. We have also promoted transparency and resident input in government — live streaming all council meetings over the internet and archiving those videos, while allowing anyone who wishes to speak to do so uninterrupted during meetings. I am proud of everything we have accomplished and would welcome the opportunity to continue to serve my town and finish the work we have started. Please vote for me and my running mates, Brad Denn and Erik Rebstock, on Nov. 7.