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 Keenan’s written responses to questions posed to all four candidates recently by redbankgreen.
Name: Stephanie Keenan
Address: 260 Willow Drive
How long have you been a resident of Little Silver?
About 47 years, I lived in Red Bank for a few years, but otherwise Little Silver has been my home (or home-of-record) my whole life. When my husband retired from the Navy, we settled here in town. Our daughter is a proud second generation Markham Warrior and RBR graduate.
Where did you grow up?
On Monroe Avenue, in the house my parents still live in.
Where did you go to high school?
Red Bank Regional
Did you graduate from college? If so, which school, with what degree?
I have a B.S. from MIT and an M.A. from William and Mary.
Have your served in the military? If so, which branch and when?
I served as a Supply Corps officer in the Navy from 1988-1992.
What do you do for a living?
During years of moving around as a military spouse, mainly overseas, I started working as a substitute teacher with the DOD schools. I really enjoy working with the wide variety of different students and classes, and I am fortunate to be able to continue subbing, mostly here in Little Silver. I also worked as a planning engineer for the Navy when we were stationed in Iceland.
Please tell us a little bit about your community involvement efforts, if any.
I am currently serving on the Little Silver Board of Health. I also belong to the Little Silver Garden Club and the Rebecca’s Reel Quilt Guild in Middletown. I was a Girl Scout leader for many years, including a term as president of the London area overseas council.
Party affiliation: Democrat
How important is party affiliation to you? What does it mean to you to be a member of your party?
The hyper-partisanship that we see nationally has no place in local politics. However, I stand by the Democratic vision-that every individual is important, and that people should come before corporate convenience and profit.
Do you have a role model in public life? Who and why?
My family. My parents both worked, sometimes more than one job. But when something needed to be done; coach, scout leader, class parent… you could always count on one of them to step up and do it. And in our house the mantra was, “If you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain.” But if you want people to vote, someone has to step up to give them a choice in who to vote for.
Why are you running for council?
Little Silver is a great town. I actually resisted suggestions about running for office for years, because I’ve always been happy with our local government. But, over the past few years, it has become obvious that we need to consider Borough projects and policies with a more critical eye. A wider variety of perspectives on the council is the best way to anticipate potential concerns before actions are approved.
What are the most pressing issues facing the town, and how do you plan to address them?
Responsible spending is the most important issue facing every town in New Jersey. I want to ensure that we are spending our tax dollars in ways that have long lasting benefits to the maximum number of residents. Another major issue in town is the need to balance development with traffic, safety and environmental concerns. I want to be sure that we develop a comprehensive vision for roads and sidewalks before piecemeal construction cuts off any of our options.
What if any specific initiatives can voters expect from you if you are elected?
Although I am delighted that the town has started improving our sidewalks, I want to extend the current plan to identify unmet needs, especially those which require the cooperation of Monmouth County or New Jersey Transit…permission from them can take decades, so we need to start now. I also plan to advocate for local environmental initiatives, including support for reduction of single use plastics.
If there’s anything you’d like to add, please do so here:
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|