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HomeHaddonfield NewsMeet the Candidates: Haddonfield Board of Commissioners

Meet the Candidates: Haddonfield Board of Commissioners

For those planning on exercising their right as citizens of this country and of the borough on Nov. 5, we present the candidates running for seats on the Board of Education.

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Name: Robert A. Marshall

Age: 64

Occupation: Haddonfield Borough Commissioner; Attorney

Political Affiliation: Nonpartisan; Unaffiliated

Clubs/Organizations: Historical Society of Haddonfield, Chairman Buildings, Chairman Grounds, Co-Chairman Archives Center Fundraising and Building Committee.

I welcome comparison to other candidates.

My commitment to Haddonfield is demonstrated through continuing leadership roles producing results: creating The Gardens of Greenfield Hall, an asset for the Historical Society and a community focal point for special events; spearheading the reconstruction of the Maple Avenue Bridge – a design respecting history, complementing neighborhood surroundings and rejecting the initial design for an off-the-shelf federal highway project; work on behalf of our library, serving as the foundation for annual book sales contributing over $200K to children’s library programs and improving a building serving our community since 1919; co-chairing the Historical Society’s Archive Center Fundraising and Building Committee, raising over $950K.

Coupled with work on the Civic Association and Borough Budget Advisory Committee, I was also honored by the Lions as Haddonfield’s Citizen of the Year. I was especially proud of my appointment as your Commissioner, over a field of 24 candidates.

I attribute my drive and commitment to wonderful residents welcoming my young family, as well as my educational and employment background where, as a young attorney, I made the decision to dedicate myself to public service.

As Deputy Attorney General: enforcing laws governing land use, wetlands and open space protection, solid and hazardous waste management, drinking water supply and wastewater management; serving DEP’s Bureau of Southern Compliance and Enforcement in Camden, overseeing legal work in all counties and towns south of Trenton.

Uniquely, I was honored to serve in the Office of Counsel to the Governor during four administrations, both Democrat and Republican, then capped off my State government service as Assistant Commissioner for Sustainability and Green Energy, coordinating

environmental and energy issues, and recovery and resiliency efforts for energy, wastewater and water supply infrastructure following Superstorm Sandy.

As Commissioner for Public Works, Parks & Property, I will continue my long-standing service to this community: to be fiscally responsible with a tax-neutral Bancroft redevelopment plan that best serves the borough, Board of Education and open space preservation; to be transparent on stormwater and road improvements with priority for infrastructure maintenance; to protect housing diversity and minimize

teardowns that disrupts the character of our community; to support a thriving downtown business district.

I look forward to continuing my support for Haddonfield as your Commissioner and appreciate YOUR support on Nov. 5!

Name: Colleen Bianco Bezich

Age: 37

Occupation: Lawyer

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Clubs/Organizations: Haddonfield Zoning Board of Adjustment, Haddonfield

Celebrations Association, Haddonfield Lions Club, LUCY Outreach Board of Directors, lzheimer’s Association (Delaware Valley Chapter), Supreme Court of New Jersey District IV Ethics Committee, Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and South Jersey Perinatal Cooperative.

As the most knowledgeable and qualified candidate for Borough Commissioner, and as the mother of a preschooler, I am committed to making decisions that are in the best interest of Haddonfield for many years to come.

While earning my graduate degrees in law and public administration, I worked in municipal government, including grant writing and project management for our borough. I possess over 15 years of local government experience, including 10 years handling land use and municipal matters. In fact, I’m the only candidate to have managed an entire municipality, and served as a municipal attorney and redevelopment counsel.

Both my husband and I are Haddonfield business owners. And, since moving here, I’ve volunteered as a member of the Zoning Board, Haddonfield Celebrations Association and the Haddonfield Lions Club. I’ve also spent a great deal of time listening to YOU, and one thing is clear: we are at a critical juncture in Haddonfield, where decisions made today stand to impact us for many years to come. While there are no easy answers to the challenges we face, I am committed to turning these challenges into opportunities.

One such challenge is the Bancroft Redevelopment Plan. I will support a plan that is beneficial to taxpayers, balancing considerations for our seniors, school children, and community as a whole. I will prioritize limiting debt service and litigation costs, and minimizing negative impacts to infrastructure, municipal services and open space.

What else will I do if elected?

– Prevent conflicts of interest, improper approvals, and unlawful, unethical practices

– Provide oversight for our Boards and Commissions so that they function properly, and are representative of our capable and knowledgeable constituency

– Increase transparency via town hall meetings and digital communication tools

– Strengthen relationships with county, state & federal officials so as to increase grant funding and expand resources to address issues such as affordable housing, stormwater management and sustainability

– Improve accessibility and pedestrian safety by addressing issues such as lack of curb cuts at crosswalks

– Serve as liaison to the Haddonfield Board of Education so as to achieve better communication & collaboration with our district

– Address diversity, equity and inclusivity in meaningful, substantive ways

– Represent ALL taxpayers, whether here for generations or a few years, as if all matter equally and deserve the same level of attention, compassion, respect and service.

Name: Kathryn M. Raiczyk

Age: 66

Occupation: Sales at Lord and Taylor

Political Affiliation: Unaffiliated

Clubs/Organizations: Trustee for The Historical Society of Haddonfield, Treasurer and Financial Chair of The Haddon Fortnightly, Christ the King Parish lector and teacher of Religious Education, Rutgers Alumni Association (former Treasurer Camden), Haddonfield Civic Association.

Running for election to Commissioner in Haddonfield is a decision that may have some residents perplexed – but not those who know me.

Having been raised and educated in Camden County among encouraging and intelligent residents, I know what can be gained with hard work and determination. I am pleased at progress which hard-working, diligent women and men have experienced over my lifetime. More needs to be done.

One may ask, “What are your qualifications?” Qualification does not necessarily come with a specific degree. I am well rounded in my education with a bachelor’s degree in Biology, courses in Business and 4 years of Political Science. Just as important as education, so are my 50-plus years of business experience.

Starting as a clerk with working papers at a corner store, I moved to a union supermarket corporation where I stayed for decades performing cashier, bookkeeping, price integrity and customer-service manager responsibilities. I later transitioned to union construction accounting. The business experience of negotiating with the public, unions, management and lawyers and witnessing changes in policy over time is evidence of the interaction of politics and government. Basically, I have been preparing for this chapter in my life – without consciously choosing this path – until now.

Appreciating education, I continued intermittently, scheduled between being a single working mom and my volunteer responsibilities. Seldom having time for reading, I now belong to 3 book clubs and read 20 books a year, exclusive of required school reading and what I read on my own. The rewards of reading, continuing education and the ensuing discussions are enormous, and I am thankful that I was able to budget time and money for this opportunity.

What are the important political issues and initiatives? I like living in Haddonfield. I am happy with most boards and most policies that have developed over time, as vigorous and thoughtful industry is apparent. It is when too much thought becomes manipulation that I will avoid. Haddonfield has a drainage issue. Haddonfield needs no more real estate. Taxes need to be kept steady. COAH needs more work. Haddonfield schools are one of the best in the area. You can spend all the money in the borough on education, but visible reinforcement at home is key. Acceptance of diversity, awareness of bullying behavior and drug and alcohol abuse, respect for teachers and administration, are just as important.

 

Name: Gregory D. Peltz

Age: 60

Occupation: Sales territorial manager, Bradley Caldwell Inc.

Political Affiliation: Registered Republican

Clubs/Organizations: Haddonfield Alumni Association, HMHS Wrestling Alumni Club

Haddonfield has three commissioners, each of whom have set roles. The open position I am running for is Commissioner of Public Works, Parks and Public Property – the specific position I once dreamt as a Haddonfield Memorial High School student of someday filling.

Now, 41 years later, I believe myself to be the most qualified candidate to fulfill this role. I am passionate about this commissioner seat, and this seat only.

During my time at HMHS, I was the first student selected to work for the Haddonfield Board of Education and operated my own landscaping service in the borough and surrounding towns. During my time at Delaware Valley University, I was involved in student government. I received a bachelor’s degree in Ornamental Horticulture. Therefore, I have extensive knowledge in the study of plants and insects. Some instrumental knowledge to this commissioner role includes plant disease, landscape construction, care of trees, and topographical survey.

For example, my ability to survey different elevations, and identify natural and man-made features, would be beneficial in perfecting our stormwater management. This degree proved to be worthwhile as I co-founded the Beautification Committee for Sloatsburg Elementary School (Sloatsburg, N.Y.). Presently, I am a territorial sales manager for Bradley Caldwell Inc., after some years running my own landscaping business and managing ChemLawn’s tree and shrub division.

This election has given me the opportunity to reintroduce myself to the townspeople after some 15 years living and working in New York. I’ve been going house to house to hear directly from the people what their concerns are. These concerns coincide with mine, many of which have been issues since my family first moved to Haddonfield in 1946.

Elect me as Commissioner because I have the background, education, and passion to solve these longtime issues: stormwater management, road and tree maintenance, Bancroft property management, and property tax relief specifically concerning seniors. My education and work history allow me to think more intricately into public works. For example, there is much about the Leaf Law that has yet to be addressed. The health concerns of the unmasked leaf collectors, the proper recycling and reprocessing of the leaves, and the interpretation of fines concerning leaf violations. The Commissioner of Public Works, Parks and Public Property oversees many workers, and with my education and experience I feel confident being responsible for those said workers.

 

BOB HERPEN
BOB HERPEN
Former radio broadcaster, hockey writer, Current: main beat reporter for Haddonfield, Cherry Hill and points beyond.
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