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Monday, November 2, 2015

Questions for Candidates


   On Tuesday 3- November the State of New Jersey will hold its General Elections.  The local races are:

 For Mayor:
 - Incumbent  Mayor Chris Keleman  Republican
 - Councilwoman Lisa Kohles             Democrat
 This is for a full term of three years

For Bogota Borough Council:
- Councilwoman Daniele Fede Republican
- Francisco Miranda                 Republican
- Councilman Rob Robbins      Democrat
- Hector Rodriguez                   Democrat
This is for two full term of three years. The top two Candidates with the most votes will win the seats to the Bogota Borough Council.

 For Bogota Borough Council:
- Michael Connors                   Republican
- Ingrid Brito                             Democrat
This is for a one year term to fill the seat vacated when   Mr.Chris Keleman was elected Mayor in 2014

For Bogota Board of Education:
- Eileen Lewis
- Asia Burnett
- Jo-Ellen Granquist
- Michael Leong
- Incumbent Trustee Kathryn Van Buren
- Michael Cabana
This is for three, three year terms.The top three Candidates with the most votes will win the seats to the Bogota Board of Education.

The races for Bergen County

For Board of Freeholders:
- John Mitchell                       Republican
- Kenneth Tyburczy               Republican
- Incumbent Steven Tanelli    Democrat
- Incumbent Tracy Silna Zur  Democrat
- Richard Siegel                       Green

This is for two full term three seats on the Board of Chosen Freeholder.  The top two Candidates with the most votes will will the seats

 For Board of Freeholders: 
- Daisy Ortiz- Berger                               Republican
- Incumbent Thomas Sullivan                 Democrat
- Peter Rohrman                                      Libertarian

This is to fill the seat vacated when   Mr. James Tedesco was elected to County Executive in 2014

The New Jersey State Race  for the 37th District
For the General Assembly:
- Joseph Fiscella                                 Republican
- Gino Tessaro                                    Republican
- Incumbent Valerie Vainieri-Huttle  Democrat
- Incumbent Gordon Johnson             Democrat

Poll will be open from 6:00a to 8:00p Polls are located at the at :
-- For Districts 1& 6 it is the Bogota Recreation Center at 162 W. Main St.
   Districts 1&6 is that part of the Borough located West of the Railroad tracks.

-- For Districts 2&3 it is the Gym of  Bogota High School at 1 Henry Luthin Pl.  please use the door towards the back of the building on the North side of the Building.
  Districts 2& 3  is that part of the Borough located East of the Railroad tracks & North of Beechwood Ave

--  For Districts 4&5 it is  in the Gym of the Roy Bixby School at Maplewood & Fischer Aves.
     Districts 4 &5  is that part of the Borough located East of the Railroad tracks & South of Beechwood Ave.

Ward Dist. Address
1 Bogota Recreation Center - 162 West Main Street
2 Bogota High School Gym - One Henry Luthin Pl. (Left Rear of Bldg)
3 Bogota High School Gym - One Henry Luthin Pl. (Left Rear of Bldg)
4 E. Roy Bixby School Gym. Maplewood & Fischer Aves
5 E. Roy Bixby School Gym. Maplewood & Fischer Aves.

 In late September  Bogota Blog NJ sent a series of Questions to both Candidates for Mayor. The questions were also to be answered by the Candidates for Borough Council.  Bogota Blog NJ did not receive answers for all the Candidates.  A choice accepted by Bogota Blog NJ. The posting of these answers is not an endorsement  for any one Party, or Candidate. All answers are in the Candidate's own words and not edited by Bogota Blog NJ. The Candidates take full responsibility for their answers.

 How has the County over site of the Borough’s budget  effected the day to day operations of the service in Bogota.  Has there been additional budget reduction mandated by the County, and has there been any need to  delay payments to any services.

 This Question was written in error:  The main point was to asked if the STATE  placing  2% maximum tax increase had any effect on the Bogota Borough Budget. Bogota Blog NJ apologises for the error and any confusion it produced.

-  Over  ten years ago the the Borough was in line to received a large grant to study the pedestrian  railroad crossing at Ft. Lee Rd.  The US Dept. of  Transportation has guide lines to establish a “ Quiet Crossing”  is there a way to reapply for a grant to reduce the noise of the trains at adversely affects the residents , and businesses that sit along the railroad tracks.  

 Ms. Brito: I would work with officials from CSX and the NYS&W to explore ways to help reduce train noise by the implementation of quiet zones. With train movements through our borough increasing to some 30 a day, I find that the horn noise is impacting the quality of life of our residents. We need to work collectively to address the train noise issue.

-   A new apartment complex in Teaneck is nearing completion  they wanted to have access to,  little used, Martin St.  Has the developer  of that site offer to assist the Borough in upgrade that roadway  along with  Maple  Ave to help offset the increase in traffic  on the Bogota section of Queen Anne Rd 

Councilman Robbins: To my knowledge, The Martin street roadway was only to be used for emergency service only. The flow of traffic on Queen Anne Rd. was a big concern and if I remember correctly, the fencing was to have a lock box for access during an emergency only.

-  297 Palisades is moving forward.  The Peninsula  is at the beginning stages  of  development, and the old AT&T  is being transformed.  What can Borough Government do to start interest   slipper factory  and other properties along the Hackensack River to encourage their development. 

 Ms. Brito:  The borough needs to works towards providing attractive incentives to developers to bring new business and ratables to town. We have several fallow areas in our community along with some that are ripe for reasonable redevelopment. This will generate revenues of unused properties such as the 297 development which has proven to be a win win investment for all us.

-  There have been a number  positive  images of Bogota in the last several years. The Bogota Police Emergency Services Youth Academy,  demonstrating that the Students of community  are showing an interest  in  leadership and  volunteerism. The Bogota Community Alliance with  “ Miss Bogota” allows young Women to be proud of themselves and where they live. Beautiful Bogota  has started to give the residents a chance to help maintain  and highlight the appearance of Bogota.  How can the Borough  Government  assists these, and other groups,  to continue to grow  the visibility  of Bogota to the rest of the State. 

 Councilman Robbins:    I believe volunteerism is the key to community awareness in a small town. The Youth Academy for one, shows the dedication of our Law enforcement giving back to the community and educating our youth. I have known members of the Bogota Community Alliance for a few years now and am also a member. Their dedication to community awareness is to be commended also. Bring back Bogota pride with the Bogota Beauty Pageant has not only given a voice to our young women in this town but has brought many families together and increased awareness of other volunteer organization in town such as Bogota Beautiful. As with all community awareness projects, it is slow going at first but after a few years Bogota Beautiful has grown into a stable organization growing from a few flower pots on Main St. to preparing a Community Garden. More and more residents are beginning to see Bogota as a community and are taking pride in not only giving back but increasing pride in where they live.

The Town Council should assist these organizations as much as they can. Enhancing these programs can only increase community awareness and pride.  We should pool our resources together and look for grants to assist these programs and help them grow.

 Councilwoman Koles:  Bogota has always been a community based on its hometown roots.  Groups such as “Bogota Beautiful”, “Bogota Police Emergency Services Youth Academy”, “Bogota Community Alliance”,  “Bogota’s Green Team”, along with our recreation groups such as the “Bogota Buc Boosters” are the fabric of this small and diverse cultured community.  These programs allow our youth to show pride in themselves while developing life skills that will nature and help them grow into productive adults.  It is up to us as elected leaders to light the path for them and provide opportunities for new programs such as one week “Civics” summer program for our youth which I would like to partner with the Bogota Library to implement.  This will give Bogota’s youth as well as adults too on how local government works.  They would visit the different borough departments, the municipal court and speak with our elected leaders to understand how a small town functions.  I would like to see more support for our existing programs as well to include searches for grant funding geared to these nonprofit groups.

-  What would one , or two ideas you would like to see implemented within the next five years , and how would they be beneficial to Bogota.
 Councilwoman Koles:    As your newly elected mayor I have several “fresh” ideas to bring to the table of our local government.  I would like to start a “Capital Project” committee made up of a cross section of department heads, elected officials and borough residents to look at and prioritize capital projects, those that have a life span of five years and more. With the constant turn over and rotation of elected officials and professionals, it would be prudent to have a stable committee to track these projects as to their importance while using our tax dollars.  Another idea of mine would be to start a “Volunteer Bogota Improvement Committee”.  This grass roots committee would look to enlist the volunteer services of Bogota residents, both skilled and unskilled to take on small projects, such as painting streets signs and curb markers, refreshing borough buildings, changing out street signs, etc.  All one has to do is ride through town and see that the community needs a facelift.  I have many other ideas such as forming a cooperative purchasing group with other towns to get better pricing on all the things we use.

 Mr. Rodriguez: 1. If elected to the council I would like to work towards further transparency by televising our council and planning board meetings. I see that some of the infrastructure is in place in the council chambers from our previous administrator, so it should not be too costly to complete it.  I feel that because our chambers is limited in size that this would afford the residents of the entire borough to watch their local government from the comfort
of their living rooms.

2. I would also like to explore more efficient ways to make purchases.  There has always been the rule of savings with economy versus size. I would like to see a local co-op formed of municipalities to make bulk purchases at vastly reduced costs.

3. I would also like to fund a line in the municipal budget to help out residents with sidewalk damage due to damage caused by the roots of borough shade trees. Home owners are currently on the hook for these costs which can run from $100 to $300 on average. Why should the resident bear these costs when the damage was from a borough owned and planted tree.

  Ms. Brito:    As an elected official, I would seek new grant opportunities on the local, state and federal level as well as partner with other communities to take advantage joint grants. I would seek to hire an administrator with grant writing expertise to take advantage of all existing opportunities.

- Why are you a member of your  political party and is there some ideas that the opposition party has that you can agree with.
   This question was left unanswered by all the Candidates

  This is meant to  allow the Voters in Bogota  to have a chance to read some thoughts of the Candidate. This is not an  endorsement  for any one Party, or Candidate. 


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