Meet the Candidates: Williamstown Council

Leading up to the 2020 election, The Williamstown Sun is running a three-week Meet the Candidates series. In this first week, candidates running in the 2020 election for Monroe Township Council provide some background on who they are and why they’ve chosen to run.

Name: Joseph A. Broderick

Occupation: Retired Civil Engineer

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Trustee and President of Holiday City Executive Board

I am a retired civil engineer with over 50 years in the construction management field running diverse construction projects ranging from $100,000 to 25 million dollars. I want to use my career experience to work with the Monroe Township Government to keep our taxes at an affordable rate, improve the township roadway system and work for the people in the township to make sure they have a voice and are recognized. The people need to know they can depend on us for their needs and provide the best government possible. I want our taxpayers to know we are concerned with their well being and to be sure they are happy with what we do for them here in Monroe Township. 

Name: Carolann Fox

Occupation: Accounting Personnel

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Clubs/Organizations: Chairperson of the Zoning Board of Adjustments; Open Space – Vice Chairperson; Vice President of MTAES

I am a life-long resident of Monroe Township where I am very active in community. My husband Thomas and I proudly raised our girls, Katelyn and Kristy, here. I have always been engaged in the community via Boards and Associations. Now is the time to dedicate my experience and enthusiasm to our Municipal Government.

As the Chairperson of the Zoning Board of Adjustments, Vice-Chairperson of Open Space along with being Vice-President of MTAES, I am prepared to focus on being a productive councilperson on day one. I’m an independent thinker with an open-mind that values my ability to listen to all the taxpayers and residents of our community. I will provide a voice for the taxpayers.

We have three major entities in our town; Municipal Government, Board of Education and Monroe Municipal Utility Authority. We need to share services between those entities, to start with, and then continue to explore and execute shared services contracts with surrounding municipalities.

Name: Ronald T. Garbowski

Occupation: Semi-Retired Construction Inspector

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Monroe Township Council- Member, Former Vice President & President; New Jersey Planning Official – Former Member; Monroe Township Zoning Board- Former Board Member and Former Vice Chairman; Monroe Township Parks & Recreation Commission-Former Board Chairman & Vice Chairman; Gloucester County Democratic Committee-County Committeemen; Monroe Township Democratic Executive Committee- Vice Chairman & Member; Williamstown Rotary Club- Former Member; Monroe Township Planning Board – Member; Monroe Township Youth Hockey League- Former Coach & Assistant Coach; Monroe Township Historical Society- Member; Monroe Township Public Library- Council Liaison; Knights of Columbus Council 3352- Member

I’m running for my 4th term as a councilman for the taxpayers. We can’t continue to expect our residents to pay higher and higher taxes. The past four years I’ve worked on the budget along with the mayor and other council members to hold the Municipal Tax Rate at a 0 percent increase. This has been done through ethical, organized and efficient government.

I’m a taxpayer just like everyone else. I hate paying taxes. Monroe Township has a large population of senior citizens who are on fixed incomes. It’s not fair to ask them to give up medication or other essentials to pay their taxes. That’s why we have to prioritize the essential services and public safety of our residents as the top priority.

We must continue to work diligently for our taxpayers. There is no reason we can’t keep our taxes under control. It’s a matter of proper budgeting, efficiency, shared services, consolidation and a government that is ethically organized. We plan to continue this course of government if the opportunity is granted to me and my fellow council members.  

Name: Joe Marino

Occupation: General Contractor

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Clubs/Organizations: Knights of Columbus, Elks USA #2132, Lady of Peace Parish, Monroe Twp. Council (President)

I’m a self-employed General Contractor and a life-long resident of Monroe Township. I have been married to my wife, Nicole, for 22 years, we have a son and a daughter. My son is in college and my daughter is in High School. We enjoy spending time at my son’s college baseball games, and my daughters cheer competitions and HS golf games. I’m passionate about Moving Monroe Further!

I would like to continue my work on Council. These last four years we’ve been able to hold the line on any municipal tax increase while improving services. I’ve been on the Redevelopment Committee for four years and helped create revitalization areas in the township to help bring in some needed businesses, and offer short term tax relief. I’ve also chaired the committee to renovate the much needed Cecil Fire Station, that is currently under construction.

During my time on council, I worked closely to implement shared service partnerships with our School’s Board of Education and our Municipal Utility Authority. In addition, I was on the committee that introduced a joint solar initiative with our Township, Schools and MUA for phase one on solar installations. This will provide an immediate cost savings to each entity.

Name:  Steven J McKinney

Occupation:  Resolution Team Leader – Critical Situation Manager

Political Affiliation:  Democrat

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Williamstown Fire Company; Monroe Lacrosse Club

I’m proud to call Williamstown my home for 22+ years. I have two daughters who attended Monroe Township Public Schools and graduated from Williamstown High School (Kamryn ’17 and Kate ’18).  My wife Kathy has worked in the field of education for 26 years and is currently an assistant principal at the Williamstown High School. As a member of the IBM team, I’m a Resolution Team Manager who works with clients with the purpose of improving services and creating proactive plans for future endeavors.  I’ve been a volunteer firefighter for 34 years and a member of the Williamstown Fire Company since 1998 (at one time serving as assistant chief). I’ve also been involved with Monroe Township youth sports programs as a coach for lacrosse, soccer, and t-ball.  I’m proud to be a co-founder of the Monroe Lacrosse Club (est. 2011). Establishing this club has provided our community youth with opportunities to play lacrosse at the community, high school and college levels.  Having served my community since the age of 18, being a member of council would be another opportunity to get involved. It is my desire to sit on council and be part of the team that continues to move Monroe forward with common sense and fiscal responsibility.

Jay Reed

Council Ward 2

Age:61

Occupation: Retired, DOD 

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: International Association of Approved Basketball Officials Board 196

People ask me, “Why?” My answer: My family has always been involved in politics since we moved here in 1968. My dad was a former president of the Democrat Club. For 35 years, I served as a DOD employee and couldn’t run because of the Hatch Act. Now it’s time to serve the town I’ve lived in for 50-plus years and replace the 7-0 that doesn’t have any checks and balances. in the paper. 

Edward Ruiz

Political Affiliation: Republican

Edgar, a man who loves God, his neighbors and his community wants to represent you as your new Councilman . He has been married for over 30 years with two daughters, one son and eight beautiful grandchildren. He retired from the New Jersey Department of Corrections where he had a long career serving in the K9 Unit. As a canine handler he helped his department and the public safety serving with Patrol/Narcotic and Explosive Detection Canines. As a member of the Police and Fire Chaplains Program, Edgar shows his appreciation for Law Enforcement and his community. Edgar served in the New Jersey Army National Guard and will continue to defend the flag and the United States Constitution. With your support and your vote Edgar will be a watchdog for your best interest and your hard earned money. Vote Edgar Ruiz 2020.

Name: Chelsea Valcourt

Occupation: Student at Rowan University

Political Affiliation: Republican

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: N/A

I have such a deep passion for Monroe Township and I seek to solve the chronic problems that prevent so many residents from seeing the Monroe Township I see. I believe that we live in the perfect place for businesses to thrive and I am appalled by the lack of businesses, local and commercial, that we have here. We can do better by working directly with these local business owners to develop a system that will allow for business growth in our Township; after all, our slogan is “Come Grow With Us.” I have also been hurt to see a certain ignorance towards residents’ concerns that I seek to correct. Politicians should be servants, therefore a reflection of the people they represent. It is just bad business not to personally investigate each complaint, concern and comment that the public has in a timely and respectful manner. Lastly, I seek to expand the sense of community we have during town festivals into our everyday life. As a lifelong resident I have seen the joy, excitement and compassion our community displays during our Fall, Music and Art festivals. I aim to further that by providing more community-oriented opportunities, particularly for our children and young adults. I’m running because I love Monroe Township and care about its residents. I only aim to do right by them.

 

Candidate Blake Edwards did not respond to The Sun’s Meet the Candidates request by deadline.