A Seat at the Table
Unity of Purpose
We need a committee that is unified around the goal of making life for the residents of Washington Township better. I stand ready to work with anyone who is committed to this goal.
Investing in Infrastructure
What is the cost of deferred maintenance? Barring a catastrophic failure, it's hard to pin down because it comes to us in so many different ways. Roads that are not properly maintained are rougher and uneven. Your shock absorbers, suspension system, and tires wear out faster. Cars that drive over them use more gas which creates more greenhouse gas emissions (Rutgers). When we do not prioritize routine maintenance, we run the risk that the roads we have built will fail and we will have to spend more money to replace them than we would have on proactive maintenance (NJDOT).
Pipes that carry drinking water corrode over time. If they are not replaced, they will leak leading to low water pressure and eventually burst leading to boil water advisories and road closures (Jersey Water Works). Clean potable water is a human right. It is one of the fundamental obligations of a municipality to ensure its provision for all residents.
Deferring maintenance keeps taxes low in the short term but increases costs in the long term. The Biden administration has proposed the most ambitious infrastructure bill in American history. Who better to work with our Democratic representatives in Washington to ensure that our township gets a fair share of this money than a fellow Democrat?
What Are We Getting For Our Taxes?
What is a fee but a tax by another name? Instead of raising taxes in Washington Township, the Township Committee has instituted fees. Fees to use township playing fields with higher fees for teams composed of fewer than 80% township residents (Parks and Recreation Areas., Chapter 137 § 137-5* (2011)) and fees to use the recycling center (Solid Waste, Chapter 168 § 168-15* (2020)). Fees hit those least able to pay the hardest (NJLM). Parents who have children in multiple sports during a season pay that same fee multiple times.
Ever since I moved to town 20 years ago, services have been declining. At one time, Washington Townships offered bulk trash pickup for large items like furniture and appliances. We could have a hazardous waste drive to collect items that that can catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic. It sometimes feels like we are not getting any services for the taxes we pay. It is time we look at reviving and expanding the services the township offers.