This is the third post in a series of question asked by Bogota Blog NJ to the two candidates for Mayor and 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. Because the Candidates from the Democratic Party have supplied their answers as a group both parties answer will be group together. After that the first question the answers will alternate between parties. 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 for Council are Councilwoman Lisa Kohles, and her running mate Ingrid Brito for the Democratic Party. The Republican Candidates are Daniele Fede and Thomas Napolitano.The Candidates for Mayor are Republican Councilman Christopher Keleman. The Democrats Candidate is Mayor Tito Jackson. The Election Day is Tuesday 4-Nov. polls will be open starting at 6:00a and close at 8:00p
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.
First of all, I would like to see successful building on the Riverfront. That area is the start of much more to come. We need retables desperately for tax purposes! If this goes well we have done our jobs with great success and Bogota can be reborn. Secondly, Education! I want to see Bogota in the top 100 school districts in the state with two blue ribbon elementary schools with a top producer parochial school as well (currently we are number 200). If I can have a third, it would be to rebuild our municipal building, ambulance/rescue building, firehouses and of course, our DPW building with the top of the line equipment, trucks and the best parks in the county.
We need to plan for improvements to our buildings and grounds. They are in a state of disrepair and no apparent plan has been offered. We need to decide whether to keep or sell certain structures in disrepair and whether to consolidate in one larger building. We also need to continue to work on our Tree management plan and Sustainable Jersey practices. These practices better our community and save energy and costs. Grants are also available for projects.
As your Councilman for Borough of Bogota we will return to financial stability. This will require the Mayor and Council to work together to develop a budget without raising taxes to pay for unnecessary legal actions or irresponsibly borrowing any additional money. Our debt has doubled over the past 4 years and if we continue down this path we will never get out from under control of the State of New Jersey or the banks. The State has been forced to take over the Borough’s finances for the first time in our history. Let me show you what financial stability looks like:
- A balanced budget
- Smart development of our areas in need of redevelopment especially the Hess site
- Critical revitalization of our downtown
- Continued improvement of our Schools
- Stabilize taxes and reduce the current debt
- Create an atmosphere to attract businesses to our town
- Work with State leaders to improve transportation, the environment and our reputation around the State of New Jersey
- Stop all the negative press that embarrasses all of us and reduces property value
- Support leaders that understand sound financial business practices
The second thing I would like to see is a reunited Bogota where we work together to achieve our goals. This will require our government leaders to work with community leaders to establish a plan that involves creative ideas. I am a leader that knows that has the proven ability to bring people together. I have worked on major transportation projects that range from $1 Million to $2 Billion and have seen what happens when people work together in partnership. Our team on the New Jersey Turnpike Widening project has included hundreds of people on 30 different projects, worth $2 Billion. We will be cutting the ribbon this month and the project is on schedule as well as under budget. Together the good people of Bogota can become the envy of Bergen County.
note: Mr. Napolitano answer to this question has been edited to fit the form of the post . The content is wholly his response and unchanged.
Tito Jackson, Lisa Kohles, Ingrid Brito
Going back to Question #1, we would like to see the borough withdraw from the state mandated health benefits program and merge buying power with the school district. This will give us the ability to leverage our buying power in the private marketplace and create short and long term savings for both the borough and our school district. In our minds, this is a win-win.
Why are you a member of your political party and is there some ideas that the opposition party has that you can agree with.
Tito Jackson, Lisa Kohles, Ingrid Brito
We're Democrats because we believe government can be part of the solution. Our party, unlike the Republican Party, believes in creating societal safety nets for Americans, including charity care, welfare, Medicaid and other programs.
We believe in strong public schools, choice for women, and paying your fair share of taxes.
That’s what it means to be a Democrat – and we’re more than proud of that title.
I have been a member of the Republican Party since I was able to vote. Family values were always practiced in my home while I was growing up in this Republican controlled community. A small town like this should run with charm and grace and it should not matter what party you're affiliated with when your responsible for the safety of peoples lives and investments. I agree that both parties should always work together by adding their own perspectives on future projects and that all members from both show respect to each other and act accordingly with dignity and manners. In small town Bogota, I also agree with the Democratic Party that we put taxpayers first, obviously there's no other way.
I believe in fiscal conservatism and free enterprise. I have worked well with two Democrat mayors who continue to appoint me as I am dedicated and qualified. I provide respect to their office and treat all community leaders with respect. I am transparent and a court appointed mediator so I know how to listen, exchange ideas and work with anyone. Environmental issues are usually championed by Democrats so I certainly agree on the democratic platform when it comes to environmental regulation and protection.
My mother, a Roosevelt/Kennedy Democrat, convinced me many years ago to vote for Reagan. At that time in history our country was enduring a low point. We were experiencing high unemployment, an economic recession, a hostage crisis and a decrease in patriotism. My mother convinced me that the election was not about political party but about stopping the downward trend. Political parties can divide people; we are at a crucial time in Bogota’s history that we must unite our people. Courage, strength of character and leadership come from within the candidate not a political party. Great leaders have come from both major political parties and very often from our community. My daughter and I were recently at a Bogota Football game and a wonderful, young lady turned to me on line at the snack stand. She said, “You’re Tom Napolitano.” When I replied “yes”, she responded, “My Dad said you are a great man and you will do great things for Bogota.” I was obviously moved and thanked her for her kind words. I happen to know that her Dad and I are not of the same political party but we are both from Bogota! I hope we can all agree that this election is about a United Bogota for all of us.
I hope this series of post have contained some ideas the residents of the Borough would also like to know from the candidates.
Election Day is Tuesday 4-Nov. polls will be open starting at 6:00a and close at 8:00p. It is urge that all citizens exercise their right to be apart of the governing process but voting for the candidate the will best serve the people of Bogota, and the State of New Jersey.
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