Two three-year terms on the Little Silver Borough Council are up for grabs in the November 6 election. On the ballot are four candidates: incumbent Republican AJ McNally; his running mate, Christian Smith; and Democrats Laura Clark and Stephanie Keenan.
Here are Smith’s written responses to questions posed to all four candidates recently by redbankgreen.
Name: Christian Smith
Address: 33 Paag Lane, Little Silver NJ
How long have you been a resident of Little Silver? My wife Linda and I have lived in Little Silver for 21 years.
Where did you grow up? I was born in Brooklyn and lived there until age 10, when my family moved upstate to Monroe, NY.
Where did you go to high school? Monroe-Woodbury High School
Did you graduate from college? If so, which school, with what degree? I have a BA in Economics from Boston University.
Have you served in the military? If so, which branch and when? n/a
What do you do for a living? I own a restaurant in Rumson, NJ called Val’s Tavern.
Please tell us a little bit about your community involvement efforts, if any.
I have been an active or social member of the LSFD since 2002. I have coached Rec baseball and basketball in town and coached Pop Warner and AYF football for 10 years and was a volunteer football coach at Red Bank Regional high school for one year. I am a founding board member of the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a non-profit organization that celebrates Irish heritage while providing grants to other local charity organizations.
For the past 12 years, I have served on the Little Silver Board of Education, of which I have been president for six years and also serve as head of the finance committee. I oversee a $15 million budget and have led negotiating teams for teacher and administrator contracts. Under my leadership, the Little Silver BOE has been awarded Master Board Certification, which is given to only a few of the most highly trained boards in the state.
Party affiliation: Republican
How important is party affiliation to you? What does it mean to you to be a member of your party? The Republican party has given us legendary leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan, so it’s very important to me. That said, I don’t believe that serving on the town council should be a particularly partisan endeavor. I believe in being fiscally responsible when you spend taxpayer money. Running a town costs money and our tax dollars must be responsibly allocated to support our police, firefighters, EMS, DPW, and town administrators. Our town cannot run without these vital services and we should all want our money to be spent wisely, regardless of one’s political affiliation.
Do you have a role model in public life? Who and why?
I have always admired President Ronald Reagan, who as an optimist always believed that America’s best days were ahead. He did not believe in big government but rather the power of the individual and the strength of American ingenuity.
Why are you running for Little Silver council?
I believe in the idea of service and it is one that I have tried to pass on to my four children. It is important to me to give back to the community in which we have been fortunate enough to raise our family, to donate my time, and to serve the public the best I can without an agenda in a way that is respectful to all sides of an issue.
What are the most pressing issues facing the town, and how do you plan to address them?
I believe that the economic development of our town is an increasingly pressing issue. Having lived in Little Silver for over 20 years, it has bothered me that store fronts and building lots have sat vacant for many, many years. As a fellow business owner, I want to see businesses come in and thrive in our town, providing local jobs and services that our town needs. The other side of that coin is making sure that when these businesses are looking to come into Little Silver, issues like traffic flow and pedestrian safety continue to be addressed.
What if any specific initiatives can voters expect from you if you are elected?
I will continue to work with State legislators like Declan O’Scanlon and Serena DiMaso to ensure that the specific financial needs of the Little Silver schools are met at the state level so that we can continue to provide our children with the finest public education available in New Jersey.
If there’s anything you’d like to add, please do so here:
I am asking for everyone to go to the polls on November 6th and exercise your right to vote so that I may have the privilege to continue serving our community on the Little Silver Town Council.
The Little Silver ballot can be found here. The locations of polling places by district are below.
|1||Borough Hall||480 Prospect Avenue|
|2||Women’s Club||111 Church Street|
|3||St. John’s Chapel||325 Little Silver Point Road|
|4||Women’s Club||111 Church Street|
|5||St. John’s Chapel||325 Little Silver Point Road|
|6||Little Silver Public Library||480 Prospect Avenue|
|7||Borough Hall||480 Prospect Avenue|