Two three-year terms on the Shrewsbury Borough Council are up for grabs in the November 7 election. On the ballot are four candidates: incumbent Republican Councilman Erik Anderson; his running mate, Kim Doran Eulner; and Democrats Shane Berkelaar and Dan Scaggs.
Here are Anderson’s written responses to questions posed to all four candidates recently by redbankgreen.
Name: Erik Anderson
Age: 41 Years Old
Address: Shrewsbury, NJ
How long have you been a resident of Shrewsbury? 35 Years
Where did you grow up? Shrewsbury
Where did you go to high school? Red Bank Regional High School
Did you graduate from college? If so, which school, with what degree?
The Catholic University of America – Politics (BA)
Rutgers School of Law, Newark – Juris Doctor
Vermont Law School – Masters of Studies in Environmental Law
Have your served in the military? If so, which branch and when? No.
What do you do for a living?
I am an owner and partner with the law firm Reardon Anderson, LLC. Our firm is located in Tinton Falls on the border with Shrewsbury and employs 8 people. As an attorney I am very proud of the work we do — fighting for the rights of Superstorm Sandy victims and working to help grow small, local businesses.
Please tell us a little bit about your community involvement efforts, if any.
I joined the Council in 2016. Currently, I am the Chairman of the First Aid and Fire Department Committee, member of the Finance and DPW Committees, liaison to the Shrewsbury Board of Education and a member of the workgroup for shared services and consolidation. Prior to joining the Council, I served for six years on the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Also, I coach recreation soccer. In addition to being involved with Shrewsbury, I serve on the Board of Directors for the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce and the Red Bank Rotary Club and as a Trustee for the Monmouth County Bar Association.
Party affiliation: Republican
How important is party affiliation to you? What does it mean to you to be a member of your party?
Having worked in federal, state and local government, I find that political affiliation plays a lesser role in the workings of municipal government. That being said, as a Republican I believe in smaller government and lower taxes. Local government must be focused on providing excellent services to its residents and keeping costs for those services as low as possible. As Councilman, I am committed to putting taxpayers first.
Do you have a role model in public life? Who and why?
My mother, Margaret. She has instilled in me the importance of hard work, being kind to others and never letting obstacles prevent you from achieving your goals.
Why are you running for Shrewsbury council?
I am running for re-election to Shrewsbury Council to give back to a community which has provided me so much over the years – the place where I grew up and where my wife and I are raising our three boys. As a member of the Council, I work to preserve our town’s quality of life while reducing municipal operating expenses. As a Councilman, I will continue to fight to ensure the most efficient town services for the lowest cost possible. I will always put taxpayers first.
Also, I believe that in order to preserve our special community, it is imperative that steps be taken to share and consolidate services with other surrounding municipalities. Due to the size of our town and the “political winds” in Trenton, if we do not embrace sharing and consolidating, I am concerned that there will be a push to make Shrewsbury part of another, larger town. Everyone can agree that this is not in the best interest of our community.
What are the most pressing issues facing the town, and how do you plan to address them?
Property taxes and smart development are at the top of my list.
I will do everything I can to lower property taxes for my neighbors in Shrewsbury. The only way to achieve meaningful savings is through consolidating and sharing municipal services with adjoining communities. We have already taken steps to begin this process, such as jointly purchasing a street sweeper and jet truck with Oceanport (saving Shrewsbury over $100,000). Moreover, we are working with other towns to share and consolidate aspects of services such as public works, police, dispatch, first aid and fire departments.
With regard to smart development, it is critically important for Shrewsbury to continue planning for growth which balances the history of our town with the realities of today. In addition to protecting our historic district, Shrewsbury must continue working to attract businesses that are compatible with our community. For example, I introduced a recently enacted zoning ordinance banning businesses, such as pawn shops, tattoo parlors and vape shops, from operating in the Borough.
What if any specific initiatives can voters expect from you if you are elected?
If re-elected I will continue to work for municipal shared services and consolidation to save taxpayers their hard-earned money. The time is right for Shrewsbury and local communities to join forces without reducing constituent services or public safety. By taking these actions, we will save precious property tax dollars for so many residents. If Shrewsbury and the surrounding communities fail to get serious about municipal shared services and consolidation, it is very likely that Trenton will take action on this issue which will not benefit Shrewsbury.
Earlier this year, the opening of a Seabrook House addiction counseling center drew protests about its location on White Street. Is that location appropriate? Why or Why not?
First, I believe that there were other locations within Shrewsbury which would better suit Seabrook’s mission, while meeting the needs of the community. I am not happy it is located so close to our elementary school. However, Seabrook House does provide a service which is greatly needed in New Jersey. Under State, Federal and local law, Seabrook’s current activities are permitted in their current location.
If there’s anything you’d like to add, please do so here:
It has been a privilege to serve as a Councilman in the community which has provided so much to me, my family and neighbors through the years. I look forward to continuing to put taxpayers first and fighting to preserve the attributes that make Shrewsbury such a special place. My wife and I are now raising my three boys — two of whom now attend Shrewsbury Boro School. I will do everything I can to make Shrewsbury even greater for all who live and work here, as well as for future generations.
Find the Shrewsbury ballot here. Polling places are listed by district below.
|1||Shrewsbury Borough Fire House||783 Broad Street|
|2||Shrewsbury Borough Municipal Building||419 Sycamore Avenue|
|3||Shrewsbury Borough Fire House||783 Broad Street|