Meet the Candidates: Mayor of Cherry Hill

Nov. 5 is rapidly approaching. If you’re still unsure who will get your vote for mayor, here’s some background on the candidates to help you cast your vote:

Name: Nancy Feller O’Dowd

Age: 66

Occupation: Advanced Practice Nurse in Geriatric Psychiatry

Political Affiliation: Republican

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Cherry Hill Republican Org., Republican Jewish Coalition, American Assoc. for Geriatric Psychiatry

I am running for mayor to prioritize the needs of residents. The runaway train of development in our township has benefitted the developers over the residents. Increased traffic on major roads has led to drivers cutting through and speeding in our neighborhoods. We have seen an increase in poorly maintained roads and sidewalks, abandoned and foreclosed properties, car break-ins, burglaries and other issues affecting quality of life and property values. Remember when our neighborhoods were clean, safe and well-maintained? That is my vision for Cherry Hill.

I was previously a member of the Cherry Hill Board of Education. Our three boys graduated from our public schools, and they now have careers in medicine, law enforcement and business due to the outstanding education they received in Cherry Hill. The mayor has an obligation to promote safety, security and excellence in Cherry Hill. We must bring back the excellent academic reputation that our school district once enjoyed. I see two issues that we need to address immediately: 14 of our schools have major security gaps; our school taxes continue to rise while buildings are falling apart and causing safety hazards to students and staff. PILOT projects (payment in lieu of taxes) give special deals to developers, which redirect millions of dollars away from schools and place a greater burden on residential taxpayers. This program must be changed.

The township adopted a Master Plan calling for 16 neighborhoods to become “areas in need of rehabilitation” slated for high density housing in single-family neighborhoods—with all the work allowed to go to favored developers selected by the township, and further burdening our infrastructure and schools. I will put a stop to this plan immediately.

It’s time to take an independent look at township spending to see where savings can be returned to the taxpayers. The council approves a resolution to pay bills each month, but doesn’t include any information as to what we are paying for. It’s time for an independent audit that is shared with the community. Let’s see where our money is going.

I believe everything starts with the residents. What does my opponent have to offer that will make Cherry Hill a better place to live? The status quo is no longer acceptable.

And don’t forget, we will bring back our iconic Cherry Blossom Parade and beloved Cherry Hill fireworks in 2021!

Please vote for our team on Nov. 5.

Name: Susan Shin Angulo
Age: 49
Occupation: County Freeholder
Political Affiliation: Democrat

Club/Organizations you belong to: JCC, Cherry Hill Democratic Club, Christ Our Light Church

My family immigrated to the United States in 1974 to pursue the American dream. Not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate what it means to live and raise a family in Cherry Hill. I look around and see beautiful, close-knit, safe neighborhoods, lush parks and playgrounds, excellent schools, engaged residents, passionate community leaders and a welcoming and progressive community. I am running for mayor so that I can be sure that Cherry Hill, a community that has been so wonderful to me, continues to be a safe, welcoming, affordable and desirable place to live.

As a young child, my father escaped North Korea only to become an orphan a short time later. He was alone and very poor. Yet, he never surrendered to his circumstances. Despite his difficult situation, he wanted his life to matter. He joined the South Korean military, fighting alongside United States troops during the Vietnam War. My father is my inspiration.

Using their life experiences, my parents instilled in me the values of hard work, family, education and dedication to community. This is why I entered public service. I wanted to have an active role in making the community where I live a place that my family, my neighbors and my fellow residents are proud to call home.

After volunteering with a number of local causes, in 2009, I was elected to Cherry Hill Township Council, where I served until 2015. In 2015, I was elected to the Camden County Freeholder Board, where I oversee public works and other important county projects.

If elected mayor, I will make sure that the township continues to prioritize the things that matter to our residents — neighborhoods, taxes, open space, smart growth, public safety and small business. I will work hard to make sure Cherry Hill is affordable so that my children can live here as young adults and raise a family.

I am passionate and committed to the core values that make our community such a great place to live and, as mayor, I will make sure that Cherry Hill continues to embrace a rich tapestry of multiculturalism, religious tolerance and inclusiveness.

For these reasons, it would be my honor and privilege to serve as mayor of this great town.