Hometown: Point Pleasant Beach
Occupation: College professor
Top 3 Issues: Property tax reform & relief; School funding; Improved healthcare through adequate safe staffing for hospitals and nursing care facilities.
Free-time activity: “That’s simple. Baseball, baseball, and baseball. I’m a Yankees fan, I’m having a fun time this year, and I just love it. I can watch it day-in and day-out and I never get tired of it.”
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I’m often asked why a 67-year-old grandfather would want to run for the Assembly, the answer is simple: based upon my eight years as Mayor of Point Pleasant Beach, I believe that I can make a difference and help to solve the problems plaguing the State.
If I am fortunate enough to get elected, I will not be going to Trenton to advance my own interest or further a political career. At 67, you know enough to recognize that a political career is not part of your future so you don’t need to worry about what’s best for a particular political party. Instead, you can focus on what’s best for the people. That’s why I am running as an independent.
I chose my campaign slogan -- Integrity-Experience-Leadership --- for a reason. I believe that those three qualities are what every candidate for office should be measured against. Respectfully, I believe that I possess all three.
Every politician should possess integrity, sadly not all do. Many run not to serve but instead to enrich themselves. Others run to advance the agenda of a particular special interest group. I never profited from my position as Mayor, and I will not profit from my position in the Assembly.
My professional background and my time as a Mayor have provided me with the experience and expertise that other candidates in this race simply lack. I am the only candidate who has actual experience governing under some of the most difficult conditions imaginable. As a “Sandy Mayor,” I dealt first hand with the aftermath of the greatest natural disaster to ever strike New Jersey and had Point Pleasant Beach open for business six months after Sandy hit. I have dealt with budget issues; negotiated with public sector unions and multi-million dollar businesses.
I have served as Vice President of the Ocean County Mayors Association and as a member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors. On numerous occasions, I have testified before Assembly and Senate committees.
The most important issue confronting the State is our over-reliance on property taxes to pay for services, including the education of our children. My plan for property tax relief involves the development of local non-property tax alternative revenue sources that will remain in the municipalities in which they are raised thus directly reducing property taxes and the facilitation of voluntary shared services agreements and the voluntary consolidation of municipalities and school districts.
Alternative revenue sources will not only lower property taxes thus making the State more affordable, they can provide relief to municipalities hit hard by State aid cuts.
Some other issues that I intend to pursue are safe staffing ratios to insure that our sick and elderly do not suffer because of a lack of qualified professionals attending to their care, and financial reforms that will make it illegal for members of the Legislature to provide legal, engineering or other professional services to municipalities and counties within their districts. This common-sense reform is long overdue.
I want to thank you for listening and ask that you go to Barrella2019.com for further discussion of the issues and how you can make a difference.