The mayoralty and three seats on the Fair Haven Borough Council are up for grabs in the November 6 election.
On the ballot are Republican Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who is running unopposed; incumbent Republican Councilwoman Betsy Koch and her Republican running mates Jim Banahan and Jacquie Rice; and Democrats Evan Hughes, Cameron Spector and Carolyn Williams.
Here are Lucarelli’s written responses to questions posed to all Fair Haven candidates recently by redbankgreen.
Name: Benjamin J Lucarelli
Address: 33 Katherine Street, Fair Haven
How long have you been a resident of Fair Haven? 26 years
Where did you grow up? Rumson
Where did you go to high school? Avon Old Farms School
Did you graduate from college? If so, which school, with what degree? Yes. Ohio Wesleyan University, BA History
Have your served in the military? No. If so, which branch and when? N/A
Please tell us a little bit about your community involvement efforts:
Since 1986, I have been extremely active in the community. In addition to countless volunteer opportunities for local initiatives and coaching youth sports for twenty-five years, I’ve served in a formal capacity on the Boards of various local organizations:
Monmouth Day Center, President
200 Club of Monmouth County, Treasurer
Two River Theater
Fair Haven Long Range Planning Committee
Navesink Country Club
Shrewsbury Sailing & Yacht Club
In addition, I have raised over $2 million for local charities through development and as a live auctioneer.
Party affiliation: Republican
How important is party affiliation to you? What does it mean to you to be a member of your party?
In Fair Haven, party affiliation is secondary. First and foremost is serving the needs of our community, now and in the future. My party affiliation is anchored by the long-standing tradition of fiscal prudence and lean government, which are the core principles of the Republican Party.
Do you have a role model in public life? Who and why?
George Washington: perspective
Dr. Martin Luther King: courage
John F Kennedy: vision
Ronald Reagan: for calling it the way he saw it
My father: for teaching me how to listen
Why are you running for office?
Public service is an integral part of my life. Serving as Councilman from 2009 until becoming Mayor in 2012 has been an extremely rewarding experience. I’ve worked tirelessly on countless endeavors to preserve Fair Haven’s charm and to maintain its character. Local parks, river access, streetscapes and the safety of the community have all been paramount.
What’s your opinion of the proposed borough acquisition of the former Sunoco station for constructing a new borough hall?
The acquisition and development of the Sunoco site as a Police Station and Borough Hall is critical to replace Fair Haven’s functionally obsolete facilities and to better serve our community, now and in the future.
What are the most pressing issues facing the town, and how do you plan to address them?
Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety will always be a chief concern of mine. Also, the environment, specifically the storm water systems of Fair Haven and all towns that share the Navesink Watershed. These are important issues that I am extremely passionate about.
What if any specific initiatives can voters expect from you if you are elected?
I look forward to continuing the hard work of investing in the capital stock of the town and delivering services in the most efficient manner possible. To keep and maintain the small-town feel of Fair Haven as a place to raise and educate a family is especially important.
If there’s anything you’d like to add, please do so here:
We are living in difficult and uncertain times. Politics at the State and National level have become polarized and divisive. This is driven in part by social media, which is having a corrosive effect upon democracy. It is vital that every citizen take the time to educate themselves on the issues and get out and vote. I am always eager to speak directly with members of the community, and appreciate all of the support I’ve received so far. It is an honor to be Mayor of this town.