Fair Haven voters will go to the polls Tuesday to elect two members of the borough council, each for a three-year term. redbankgreen reached out to the four candidates on the ballot — Jonathan Peters, Christopher Rodriguez, Shervyn von Hoerl and Rowland Wilhelm— with a questionnaire, and all four responded. Below are Jonathan Peters’ answers.
Here’s the ballot: fair-haven-ballot-2016. Polling stations for districts 1, 2 and 5 are at the Knights of Columbus, 200 Fair Haven Road; districts 3, 4 and 6 are at the Community Center on Fisk Street.
Name: Jonathan Peters
Address: 100 Park Avenue, Fair Haven, New Jersey
Where did you grow up? Staten Island, New York
How long have you been a resident of Fair Haven? 17 years
Where did you go to high school? Tottenville High School
Did you graduate from college? If so, which school, with what degree? Yes – I hold a Ph.D. in Economics from The City University of New York.
Have your served in the military? If so, which branch and when? No
What do you do for a living? (Job title, employer, brief description of your responsibilities): I am a full time Professor of Finance at The College of Staten Island. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses and research in the areas of Economics, Finance, Urban Planning and Environmental Science. I am currently the Program Director of the Business Data Analytics Program where I work with various data related projects – most with a focus on regional planning and social justice. I specialize in transportation systems, government management and toll roads.
Please tell us a little bit about your community involvement efforts, if any: I currently serve on the Borough Council and am the Council President. I also serve on a number of county and statewide committees on public finance and am studying environmental issues in the Pinelands in South Jersey. In my spare time, I am active in teaching sailing at the River Rats.
Party affiliation: Republican
How important is party affiliation to you? What does it mean to you to be a member of your party? Party affiliation is useful to help voters understand a general philosophy as to how an elected official will provide leadership. I am a Republican because I am a fiscal conservative and I believe that elected officials need to carefully consider how public resources will be spent and how much to tax the community. I also believe in the U.S. Constitution and freedom – so I prefer a government that leaves people alone as much as possible.
Who do you plan to vote for in the presidential election and why? Donald Trump and Mike Pence. I believe that we need to address a number of long standing problems in Washington and I think that they have the best shot at making that happen. Washington politics is too ossified – where people come to Washington to change things and then wind up becoming part of the problem. We really need to do an overhaul of some of our programs and I am looking for a leader who can provide an objective view that is not from a Washington insider.
Do you have a role model in public life? Who and why? Yes – Theodore Roosevelt – he believed in the freedom of the people – but also respected the role of government as a referee on society’s problems. He fought to pass laws to improve food and drug safety, pursued monopoly firms and broke up anti-competitive business trusts. He worked to create the Antiquities Act that allows Presidents to designate national monuments and then he went and protected 230 million acres of national forests, monuments and parks. Not a bad record.
Why are you running for Fair Haven council? I believe that I can continue to serve the people of Fair Haven and help the borough improve further. Over the last 12 years I have worked to control taxes, raise grant money, invest in our downtown and preserve our open space. I have a number of additional plans including further improvements to our community – including better roads, bike lanes and sidewalks, new parks, public spaces and recreational areas.
What if any specific initiatives can voters expect from you if you are elected? Yes – we will continue to improve our waterfront parks, we are in the process of rebuilding our tennis courts in partnership with Rumson-Fair Haven High School and are working on a number of environmental preservation projects – including McCarter Pond improvements and improvements to the Navesink watershed.
If there’s anything you’d like to add, please do so here:
I hope the people of Fair Haven will allow me to continue working on these issues and will support my reelection. I think Rowland Wilhelm and I have a range of ideas that will further improve the quality of life in the borough.