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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Questions for Council Part #3


This is the  third and final post in a series of question asked by Bogota Blog NJ to all four candidates running for the two available seat for Bogota Borough Council. The order in which the answers appear for the first question is determined by how the answers were received by Bogota Blog NJ. After that the first answers will be by a different candidate.   I hope this is a fair, informative, and useful series of posts to be held over the next few days. There will be two questions with answers per post per day.
  The Candidates are Councilwoman Wanda Uceta, School Board Member Christopher Keleman School Board Member John Mitchell, Councilman Arthur Konigsberg. Election Day is Tuesday 5-Nov. polls will be open starting at 6:00a and close at 8:00p

-Question #5

- There has been the idea to reopen the Ft. Lee Rd  railroad crossing to vehicular  traffic. In your opinion what would be the advantage, and  disadvantage of this. Also the Federal Railway Association allows for “ Quiet Zones” at graded crossing should the Borough adopted  this policy  for the Ft. Lee Rd crossing. 

John Mitchell
I am in favor of opening up Ft. Lee Road.  In doing so we are allowing any 
current business’s and potential business’s to be able to get the needed 
traffic flow.  We need to be somewhat more business friendly in order 
to have businesses ease the tax burden.  We cannot keep going back to a limited 
number of home owners to pay all our bills.  “Quiet Zones” are a must, I have heard over 
and over again the residents desire to quite the railway noise.  Here is an area where we 

can do this from the very beginning -- install a “Quiet Zone”.

Arthur Konigsberg
The idea to reopen the Ft. Lee Rd. R.R. crossing to vehicular traffic must be examined very carefully.There are pros & cons on both sides of the issue.It would hopefully ease traffic on Main St.,help businesses by Ft. Lee Rd,perhaps create redevelopment & raise property values in the area, & allow better access for our emergency response teams.Opposing views may state the change will possibly cause more complaints regarding increased traffic in the Ft.Lee RD. area,& the need for possible additional traffic lights to control the higher volume of vehicles.  Regarding creating a”quiet zone” in that area,the positive benefits of  peace & quiet must be balanced by the safety issues for our neighbors crossing that area when trains approach.The train’s horn forces people to be aware of their location. Could the town be liable if any accidents occur? The issue must be carefully considered.    
Christopher Keleman
At this time, I do not agree opening up the Fort Lee Road Crossing.  I was told that one of the reasons for opening up this railroad crossing was because of the flooding on the River Road overpass.  Well, lets fix the flooding problem.  I’m afraid the by opening up Fort Lee Road, we are opening up a ton of potential problems.  There is not a great number of business that will open up because many of these storefronts have turned into apartments, and parking would be a problem... Fort Lee Road is not a wide street!  Now on the western side of Fort Lee Road which is known as the antique center, these buildings are old.  I don’t think that any of these landlords have the extra cash to renovate any of these storefronts into proper fast food establishments because in order to get in code will take big money.  I am a deli owner in town, my business lacks the NJ state code fire systems.  In order for me to upgrade my kitchen so I can cook or turn on a gas oven would cost me a ton of money and that’s just for the suppressions system and the stainless hoods.  Traffic would also be a nightmare, now did anyone come up with the answer of this question, what happens with the traffic when a train comes by?  What is the traffic build up than?

Wanda Uceta

The idea of opening up fort lee road is not a new one.  It has been suggested for years.  All one needs to do is look at 100 feet on either side of the railroad crossing to know why.  The area has been in steady decay for the 50 years.  What was once a vibrant business and main thoroughfare was closed in 1938.  The opening of fort lee road back to vehicle traffic would do a number of things.  It would also create another route across town for emergency vehicles during bad storms, with redevelopment comes “free” grant dollars for street and building reconstruction.Regarding making the crossing a federal railroad administration/DOT “QUIET ZONE” that is a possibility that would have to be looked at.  We must remember that along with a “QUIET ZONE” comes the liability to the town should a vehicle be struck or an individual injured when the trains cease using their horns at the crossing.

Question #6
- Why are you a member of your  political party and is there some ideas that the opposition party has that you can agree with.

Arthur Konigsberg
I am a proud member of  the Democratic Party because of its ideals.It is progressive,open minded,concerned with the welfare of others,& broad based among many different cultures &groups.This is extremely important in a town like Bogota, where there is great diversity,yet we all share in our similar hopes & dreams for our children & families; safety, security, good  services, enriched lives.In difficult economic times,the Democratic team is trying to hold the line on taxes by approving responsible development,obtaining grants when possible for road repair or other improvements,& we work with other towns or cooperative groups to merge services or  obtain discounts for big purchases.I would  happily cooperate with the other party if plans or ideas would be presented that would improve our quality of life      or help reduce taxes .We are all neighbors.We should all try to do what is best for our community.

Christopher Keleman
The Republican Party in town has not been to favored in the past couple of years.  I am running as I am, but I support anything that is beneficial to any resident or volunteer.  Remember it’s the people first!  I am one of those “people” and I wont be influenced, or have I ever been by any member of any party.  That’s what I am and that’s why I am respected by so many.  For those who do not respect me because of a “political party” well, I’m very disappointed by them because before I was even considered a candidate, we all celebrated holidays, birthdays, weddings, communions, graduations, H.S. sporting events, parties and many of those supported my business.  Well, its sad and what can I say, I guess we did not have the type of friendship I thought we did.  Life is funny and how disappointed I am.    As to what both parties do agree with, well we all love Bogota and that say’s it all.  We might all love it, its own special way, but deep down inside each and one of our hearts, besides family, Bogota is comes in second.   I bleed our school colors, purple and gold, I love my town and I respect our Borough Hall, all our first responders and our professional service men and women who clean our town daily and protect our streets and provide our town with activities and such, as a candidate and as your next councilman, I would never turn a back, change a mind nor ever not support any of those who have plenty of times transported a sick family member, took out a house fire, or maintained my street so my children, parent or wife can drive in the snow and sleet.  For any of those who say I don’t, shame on you!
Wanda Uceta
I am a member of the bogota democratic party
 because I believe in the progress we are now making.
The value of our citizens and who are my neighbors and my desire to make Bogota a wonderful place to live and raise a family.  I am open to a democratic form of government where we can lower our taxes, decrease spending and improve our quality of life.
I will gladly reach across the aisle to the other party to make this happen. 

John Mitchell

I am a member of my party as I have Conservative values.  I think at no other time in our history as seen with the recent government shut down the need for ALL of us to work together for the good of the people. I am hoping this upcoming Bogota election everyone votes for change as our current Council which is all one party doesn't seem to working on a united front.  

What I can agree with in the Democratic party on a national level are some of their 
programs which allow persons who find themselves struggling in this economic times some
help to get them back on their feet.

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