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Independent Candidate: Status Quo Not Enough

Judd Mandell is running for Township Committee.

The following is a Letter to the Editor from independent Township Committee Candidate Judd Mandell.

The recent controversy between Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Suraci sheds light upon  the true problem with partisan politics: it is ineffective for our town and detracts from focusing on real issues. As a candidate for Township Committee, I found it striking how challenging Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Suraci were with one another regarding the business administrator position.

Mr. Ferrera may end up being the best Township Administrator we ever have, but the process of his appointment is questionable and raises concerns to town residents. As residents of this town, we are all responsible for how transparent our local government is because we are all in this together.

My slogan is Helping Hillsborough's Future because the status quo will not be enough to maintain quality of life in Hillsborough. My candidacy offers the opportunity to elect action through civil dialogue instead of political bullying. I have good listening skills and can interact with fellow committee members to approach issues in logical and thoughtful ways. It's my intention to serve the whole township–parents, business owners, students, farmers, and local organizations–to work together towards a thriving Hillsborough. I want to know what you care about. Email me [juddmandell@comcast.net] and tell me or talk to me when you see me in your  neighborhood.

Great towns have great vision. When our township committee has a clear vision for the town center or the GSA depot which are two major areas of  development that will affect us all, it will be able to attract interested  businesses. As I’ve introduced myself to residents, I’ve been unable to find residents who have a good sense of what the town’s master plan is. Even if the master plan is terrific, there hasn’t been enough communication and therefore people keep asking what the delayed 206 Bypass is supposed to improve. I aspire to add an increased level of transparency and communication to the existing Township Committee.

A Hillsborough resident since 2003, Judd Mandell lives on Fieldhedge Drive with his fiancé Jennifer and daughter Haley and sons Colin and Conroy. He owns Landscape Better LLC, a sustainable landscaping business based in Hillsborough. He has a degree in environmental planning and design from Cook College, Rutgers University and is a certified artisan of decorative concrete. Judd has been a volunteer township recreational soccer coach since 2007. He has created educational programs for Woodfern Elementary School to enrich children's minds and artistic skills, to celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day. He is a founding board member of Borogreen, an avid hiker and adventurer. He will build a sense of community for all residents of Hillsborough.

Kelly August 13, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I agree that partisan bickering is inefficient and tiresome. I've long wished that we had a viable third party in this county (even a fourth!) so that each party/candidate must take his or her own stance on an issue instead of just taking the polar opposite to the other party. I'd like to find out what Mr. Mandell considers his top issues, and where he stands on them? Will there be any organized events or forums where residents can have a chat with him?
PatchFan August 13, 2012 at 03:43 PM
But, isn't that Mr. Mandell just engaged in with this letter? He repeated Mr. Goldberg's bickering on the same issue.
Judd Mandell August 14, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Hi PatchFan, That was just what I had hoped to avoid. Multiple perspectives allow for a clearer town vision. We are more than a party affiliation, we live in the same town, send our children to the same schools, and visit the same stores every day. That is what I want to talk about- not Mr. Ferrera's appointment- but the way we envision our lives in Hillsborough. Do we want to live in a place where our kids can come back to after college? Do we want clean air, fresh water in our wells, a healthy, safe neighborhood for our children, and thriving businesses? The actions we take now have outcomes, so lets plan for them. What are your ideas? What do you care about?
Judd Mandell August 14, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Hi Kelly, I appreciate your comments. Judd Mandell's Top Priorities: 1. Community and School Partnership 2. Planning for the Future Growth and Future Generations 3.Town wide visioning sessions and learning circles at local host sites. I will be hosting events throughout Hillsborough beginning in early September. I will post the town wide invites here on Patch and other township calendars. I hope you can join us at 1 or 2 of the sites.
Marcus Ward August 14, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Mr. Mandell, Have you ever attended a township committee meeting? or asked to serve on a township committee? Seems like a great way to get involved and not be on the sidelines.
Curt Carnes August 14, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Judd, Do you really need to ask – “Do we want to live in a place where our kids can come back to after college? Do we want clean air, fresh water in our wells, a healthy, safe neighborhood for our children, and thriving businesses?” – Unless one is insane, of course this is what “we” want. Are you saying our current TC is not capable of delivering this? Really? Have you noticed how much Open Space has been preserved in Hillsborough? How about the fact we were named the 23rd best small town in America in 2007? Also, as far as I’m concerned there is no doubt (even you allude to this) that Anthony Ferrera is the best candidate to become our Administrator, so why are you making such a fuss about this? Would you have rathered the TC found someone not a qualified, just so the appointment didn’t seem so political? Would Mr. Goldberg have even written his letter if he received that appointment, or would the "method" used then been A-Okay, at least in his mind? Outside of that Judd, I congratulate you on throwing your hat into the ring and posting here under your real name, unlike many others who elect to hide their faces, but are more than happy to spew their drivel! One of America’s greatest strengths has always been the ability of people to face each other, and also politely and respectfully agree to disagree. Good luck, and God Bless you.
Judd Mandell August 15, 2012 at 03:12 AM
To Dispatch1234, Yes, I've been to TC, PB, and BOE meetings. These experiences convinced me that a non-partisan approach can provide better decisions. That is what I will do for Hillsborough.
Judd Mandell August 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Curt, I recognize Hillsborough for being a gem in Somerset County and beyond. The status-quo doesn't move us ahead.. We have great expanses of open space, yes, but we can manage and utilize them more effectively to reap benefits. The current committee is certainly capable, I will increase the scope of vision on our TC. Thank you for your good wishes.
Curt Carnes August 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Judd, thanks for your reply. How can our Open Space, or for that matter any space inside of Hillsborough be managed and utilize more effectively to reap more benefits? How do you plan to increase the scope of vision of our current TC, and what “vision” will you champion? Also, how do you plan to increase the level of transparency and communication of the existing Township Committee? They already meet and conduct all business in full view of the public twice every month. Their meetings, right along with the PB’s meeting are televised, and the minutes of all their meetings are easily obtainable on the Township’s web page, along with a wealth of other information, including the Master Plan. Can I ask how you voted on Q3, and Q5? Also, who have you voted for in the local elections over your past years here?

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