LECKSTEIN: IMPLEMENT PAST STUDIES

sb_lecksteinNAME: Marc A. Leckstein (Democrat)

AGE: 37

OCCUPATION: Attorney

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN: 10 1/2 years

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town?

a) Revitalization of the downtown district

b) Keeping taxes down

c) Consolidation of Public Services

2. What specifically are you planning to do to address those issues?

As someone running for Council, rather than being an incumbent, I am looking at these issues from the outside which obviously places me at a informational disadvantage. What I do know however is that not much has been accomplished in any of these areas over the course of the last several years. A lot of taxpayer money has been spent on studies for each of these items. Where are the results? What is the point of obtaining study after study if you never actually implement any of them? If elected to council I will work toward putting these studies to proper use and ensuring that our  money has not been wasted.

3. What will be the challenges in getting these goals accomplished?

Sorting through the various studies and finding ways to implement them in a manner which will benefit the Borough while not further exasperating our municipal budget. No one in Sea Bright will  win if the Council spends money that the citizens of the Borough can’t afford to give. We are all in this economic crisis together — so we all need to work together to successfully solve the problems.

4. What expenditures, if any, do you see as ripe for trimming in order to keep the budget growth under the mandated two-percent cap?

The municipal budget needs to be carefully scrutinized so as to ascertain areas that can be trimmed without sacrificing the quality of life Sea Bright residents have become accustomed to. Operating  costs need to be brought down without negatively affecting existing services. It is also imperative we do not cut any vital services simply for the sake of saving money. If elected to Council I promise to  take the existing budget and examine it line item by line item so as to ensure it is tailored in a fashion that meet these criteria.
5. Do you see any potential sources of revenue that need to be tapped?

Our downtown business district is our biggest asset as well as our largest not fully tapped revenue source. There is so much unrealized potential in the downtown. Sea Bright should be the jewel of  the New Jersey Shore and I want to help make that a reality. We need to work to make Sea Bright attractive to new businesses so that there are no longer any empty storefronts in the Borough. In a  beach community like Sea Bright, there is simply no excuse for any building to be vacant.

6.What, if any, municipal services should be consolidated among towns?

Consolidation is something which needs to be seriously considered by every municipality in this state. If we are going to consolidate however, we need to be very careful so as to make sure the services being looked at can be properly reorganized while maintaining the levels of service that already exist.

7. What is one thing voters need to know about you, but may not?

I have had the honor of serving as the President of the Fountains at Sea Bright Condominium Association for over ten years and during that time I have learned how to work well as part of a group. I  was a member of the team which helped rebuild the Fountains after the tragic fire of February 2007. It is my hope to bring that experience to the municipal level and help transform Sea Bright in a  positive direction as well.

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Sea Bright Questions:

1. Considering current economic conditions, what should Sea Bright be doing with regard to its beachfront properties?

Sea Bright needs to be further emphasizing its beach front properties. This includes proper redevelopment of the Peninsula House parking lot and proper revitalization of other downtown buildings.  With the addition of proper attractions and amenities along the beachfront, people will most definitely come to Sea Bright and spend their money here, thereby benefiting the entire Borough.

2. What, if anything, can Sea Bright do to improve the commercial viability of the downtown?

I have had the privilege of serving on the Borough’s Planning Board for the past year and based upon the projects that have come before us, I know new businesses want to come to Sea Bright. We  just need to find ways to attract more of them. If the beach front is properly developed, those businesses will come! As I indicated earlier, there is simply no excuse for there to be any vacant store  fronts in such a beautiful beach community like Sea Bright.

3. What, if any, concerns do you have about the impact of the new Rt. 36 bridge in Sea Bright, and what should be done to address those concerns?

I was very much opposed to the building of the new Rt. 36 bridge. It is just amazing that the State insisted on building a new bridge which joined two municipalities which had made it very clear that  they didn’t want it. With that said, the bridge is proceeding along what appears to be a good pace and Sea Bright, resilient as always, seems to be adjusting properly.

What I am actually more concerned about is the construction of a new bridge between Sea Bright and Rumson. Based upon its location, that project, if not done right, will have far more of an  impact on our downtown district than the Rt. 36 bridge ever could have. We need to be proactive as a Borough and ensure that we are well ahead of all aspects of those plans. If we ready ourselves and  communicate properly with our businesses, we should be able to avoid any crises during any such construction project.