LITTLE SILVER CANDIDATES SPEAK

election_2011_wcandidatesBelow are the responses to questionnaires sent to the two mayoral and three council candidates (for two available seats) on the November 8 ballot in Little Silver. Candidates were asked to limit their answers to 100 words.

neff-signRobert Neff
Republican
Running for Mayor

Please tell us about your background: where you’re from, where you went to school, how long you’ve lived in Little Silver and what you do for a living.

I was born in Washington D.C., but have lived in the area for 45 years. I went to Point Road School as a child, and graduated from Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School, Middlebury College (BA with honors in American Literature) and Seton Hall Law School. After four years as a local newspaper reporter, I have practiced law for the past 19 years. I have lived on Winding Way South with my family for the past 17 years.

What do you see as the most pressing issues in town?

Very simply, battling taxes while providing needed services, and complying with Trenton’s budget mandates. Personnel expenditures comprise the largest portion of the budget, and as personnel chairman for four years, my committee succeeded in reconfiguring our employees’ obligations, eliminating some positions, and curtailing poor past employment practices. We have a very capable CFO and department heads who are putting together the next budget, and I will remain involved in that process.

What if any specific initiatives do you plan to push for if elected, and how will you go about putting them into effect?

Since becoming mayor, I have met or spoken with numerous mayors from the area and attended a Shared Services Summit in Freehold, and continuing to share services will be critical. I therefore proposed forming a shared services committee, and will follow through to staff it. Long-term, we have greater ability to revitalize the Parker House without burdening taxpayers, now that we have historic site recognition and can apply for grants. We will also continue to try to deal with the vacant properties near the train station (hampered by bankruptcies and other issues) in the coming months.

Why should voters elect you on November 8?

Four years as a councilman and three years on the planning board, together with my volunteer service in town and service for the state, have taught me that hard work, experience, responsiveness, and a little humility and creativity make for the most effective public servants. I have those qualities. Public service is in my blood, and I am confident that I can maintain a steady, experienced hand on the tiller for the next four years.

mihlon-signDane Mihlon
Republican
Running for Council

Please tell us about your background: where you’re from, where you went to school, how long you’ve lived in Little Silver and what you do for a living.

I was born in Red Bank at Riverview Hospital. My family moved to Little Silver in 1964 when I was two years old. I attended all Little Silver public schools and Red Bank Regional High School. I also went to Monmouth University (then Monmouth College) and University of Maryland. I have lived in my current home for two years and total time living in Little Silver is 24 years. I am an insurance broker specializing in health insurance with an emphasis on senior insurance products. My office is located in Shrewsbury, NJ.

What do you see as the most pressing issues in town?

There are several that many people have brought to my attention. Taxes, recreation and the “blighted” area of town by the former Exxon station.

What if any specific initiatives do you plan to push for if elected, and how will you go about putting them into effect?

Specifically I would look at our budget and look for ways to reduce spending while not sacrificing services. Also I would look at addressing the concerns that have been brought to my attention about recreation for our borough children. The “blighted” area of town needs attention and whatever I can do to help that I will do.

Why should voters elect you on November 8?

I believe that I bring many things to the people of Little Silver that would benefit them. I have strong business and management skills which would help Little Silver. As a small business owner I know about how to make a budget work. I have had strong success with the Little Silver Fire Company as an elected President, Vice-President, Trustee and Corresponding Secretary. I am willing to work hard for the residents of our town to continue to make Little Silver a great place to live and raise a family. I would like to thank all of the great people in Little Silver who have given me their support.

ohern-signDan O’Hern Jr.
Democrat
Running for Council

Please tell us about your background: where you’re from, where you went to school, how long you’ve lived in Little Silver and what you do for a living.

• Born and raised in Red Bank
• Graduate of Red Bank Regional High School
• BA Degree in Economics from Fairfield University
• University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Cum Laude
• Partner in the Red Bank Law firm of Byrnes O’Hern, LLC
• Little Silver Resident since 1996. Married with two children who attend Red Bank Regional
• Board Member Red Bank Regional Education Foundation
• Former Member of Monmouth County District Attorney Ethics Committee

What do you see as the most pressing issues in town?

The most important issue that we confront in Little Silver is the same issue that all governmental entities now face: how to survive in these difficult economic times. Municipalities are under tremendous financial pressure with reduced tax revenues and aid from the State.

I am proud of the fact that the three years that I have been on Council, we have, for the most part, held the line on municipal taxes, with modest increases in two out of the three years, and a reduction in the municipal levy one year. The fine line that we constantly walk is how to continue to provide the level of services that our residents have come to expect and at the same time control taxes.

What if any specific initiatives do you plan to push for if elected, and how will you go about putting them into effect?

One issue I would like to see addressed is the state of the properties located by the Train Station. While it is somewhat out of our control because some of the properties are tied up in bankruptcy- and there are also potential environmental issues- I would love to see that area cleaned up and developed in a way that is appropriate for Little Silver and that location. It is the gateway to our Town and it has been an eyesore for too long now.

Why should voters elect you on November 8?

I would hope that in my three years on the Council, and through my prior activities and involvement in the Community, that I have proven to be someone that the residents can trust to listen to all sides of an issue and make the right decision. As John F. Kennedy once said “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.” That is my guiding principle as a local elected official: to strive to do what is right and best for the entire community.

pardee-signJennifer Pardee
Independent
Running for Council

Please tell us about your background: where you’re from, where you went to school, how long you’ve lived in Little Silver and what you do for a living.

My name is Jennifer Pardee, I am an Independent Candidate running for Little Silver Borough Council. My husband & I have lived in Little Silver for 16 years and we have 2 children in the L.S. School District. I grew up in Summit, NJ and attended the Summit High School. I have a BFA from Univ. of Massachusetts and an MBA from Baruch College. I currently work from home for a local architect. Prior to having children I was a Project Manager for a Corporate Interior Design Firm in NYC.

What do you see as the most pressing issues in town?

I get to speak with a wide variety of residents while opening the Post Office Museum once a month. The biggest concerns I hear are Taxes, Personnel, and Traffic. I think 2012 holds a great opportunity, with the inevitable change in leadership coming to Borough Hall, to review every aspect of the way the Borough operates and a comprehensive review of each and every budget line item (including shared services, building efficiencies, outside consultants, Borough owned properties, etc.) We should also be looking to neighboring towns for ideas & brainstorm for new and creative solutions.

What if any specific initiatives do you plan to push for if elected, and how will you go about putting them into effect?

Traffic & Safety has long been a concern of mine. I have been a member of the Traffic & Safety Committee for 4 years. Unfortunately, most of our main roads are County roads and therefore not completely under our jurisdiction, but I would like to push Little Silver toward a more pro-active stance as some of our neighboring towns have.

I would also like to see an initiative to get more people on to the Borough’s Two River Alert System, possibly holding sign-up events at the Library, every 3-6 months, as a way of better communicating with all our residents.

Why should voters elect you on November 8?

I am running for Borough Council to do my part in making a difference for Little Silver. My only goal is to see Little Silver run as smoothly, efficiently and sustainably as possible. To this end, I would like to take part in more brainstorming, tapping into the knowledge base of our residents and completing “homework” diligently and thoroughly on every issue. As a registered Independent (as are 46% of registered voters in Little Silver) my decisions will be based on the information at hand and how it affects Little Silver and its residents.

Dan Levine
Independent
Running for Mayor

Levine did not respond to the questionnaire. But he did send us a flyer before we solicited his answers. You can read it by clicking here: dan-levine-for-mayor.

There’s no photo of his campaign sign because we didn’t find any.