RED BANK: MICHAEL CLANCY Q&A

red bank nj michael clancyRepublican council candidate Michael Clancy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

On the ballot are: incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Pearl Lee; and council candidates Michael Clancy (R), Allison Gregory (R), Kate Triggiano (D), Sue Viscomi (I) and Hazim Yassin (D).

Here are Clancy’s written responses to questions posed to all candidates recently by redbankgreen.

Name:  Michael Clancy

Age: 36

Address: 293 Spring Street Apt B

Where did you grow up? Toms River, NJ

Where did you go to high school? Toms River High School North

Did you graduate from college? If so, which school, with what degree?

Rutgers University New Brunswick Rutgers College BA in Biological Sciences

Rutgers University Newark Rutgers Executive MBA -Marketing

Have your served in the military? If so, which branch and when? No

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank?

Since January 2015.

Do you own real estate in town?

I am currently in the process of purchasing a home.

What do you do for a living?

I am Sales Representative for Medtronic, specializing in implantable cardiac devices.  I am also a part-time CrossFit Coach.

Please tell us a little bit about your community involvement efforts, if any.

Currently I am a Commissioner on the Red Bank Housing Authority and the Chairman of the Red Bank Republican Party.

Party affiliation: Republican

How important is party affiliation to you? What does it mean to you to be a member of your party?

I have been a lifelong Republican and I will mostly likely be a Republican for the rest of my life. We are the party of freedom, liberty and most importantly limited government. At the local level it is not about party, it is about the person running for office. I am not running to impose national issues on Red Bank, I am running because I have seen years of mismanagement by our Borough Government, and the need to fight for the tax payers of Red Bank.

Do you have a role model in public life? Who and why?

Ronald Reagan, because I see a lot of myself in him. He was a former college football player who later in life turned to politics. He was a man who never quit, as it took him 3 tries to get elected. Then once he was elected his critics still insisted he would fail, but he was a man of vision and never broke stride. Reagan inspired American and united the country. He never sought praise and gave all the credit to God and the American people. He is the type of leader I strive to become one day.

Why are you running for Red Bank council?

Ever since I completed my MBA I have had a passion for economics and public policy. I hate seeing mismanagement in government and there is no where we have more of that than Red Bank. I also have profound need to give something back to the community and fighting for the tax payers of Red Bank by serving on council is great way to do that.

What are the most pressing issues facing the town, and how do you plan to address them?

Taxes and spending. Implementing the management report, with special focus on privatization of certain services or entering into shared service agreements with neighboring towns or the county.  Solving the borough debt crisis. Cutting the red tape in borough hall that is putting a strangle hold on the business community.

What if any specific initiatives can voters expect from you if you are elected?

A thorough fiscal discipline in borough hall, an up-down reorganization for borough management, and improved service from the borough.

What criteria should voters apply to your initiatives to determine if you’ve succeeded?

Very simple, they can check their municipal tax bill.

What do you think of the Government Strategy Group’s  Management Enhancement Report issued in June?

I have known for sometime, how poor our municipal government was operating, but the report made it clear it is much worse that I had thought.

Should Red Bank embark on a charter study or take other steps toward a new form of government?

Yes, our form of government is old and antiquated and is not serving Red Bank residents’ best interests.

Should Red Bank switch to nonpartisan elections?

Yes. Partisanship has created a toxic environment in Red Bank. There is not a Democrat or Republican way to fill a pothole, so we should put our difference aside and get the job done.

Does the borough need a parking authority? Why or why not?

I think we should wait for the results of the parking study before coming to a conclusion, but my first inclination is, yes. The Borough has mismanaged parking in Red Bank for at least the last 30 years. When Menna first ran for Council in 1988 every candidate agreed parking was a problem and 30 years later the problem has only gotten worse. A Parking Authority would take some of the politics out of the decision making, allowing the authority to have some independence with the ability to make quicker and more responsible decisions.  The Authority would have a separate budget paid only from the revenue from parking, and board members traditionally are appointed from the business community, which would allow the authority to operate much more like a business than another dysfunction government entity.

Does Red Bank need a downtown parking garage?

We have a severe parking shortage in Red Bank and need a long-term solution. I am going to following the recommendations of the parking study, but I make a promise to Red Bank voters that I will never vote for a parking garage that costs one penny of tax payer dollars.

Should the borough-owned White Street parking lot be made available for private development? Why or why not?

A flat surface parking lot is the least valuable use of municipal land.  There are many other uses that lot could be used for that could bring far more revenue into Red Bank and they should all be explored.

Is the borough becoming over-developed? Please explain.

I do not believe so.  There are plenty of areas that have sat vacant or abandoned for years which could be redeveloped into something spectacular that would add to the charm and character of the community. Re-development around the train station is much needed and could provide a huge influx of tax revenue into the town without causing significant overcrowding or impact on the borough school system. I believe Red Bank should apply for a transit hub designation and should be strategic in the development around the train station.

Do you support the creation of a redevelopment agency? Why or why not?

Yes, I firmly support the creation of a redevelopment agency.  After multiple members of the community spoke against, when it was introduced at a recent council meeting, I was the lone person who spoke in support of it. I have seen other towns utilize redevelopment agencies with great success. The bureaucracy in Red Bank has been very difficult on developers and a development agency would be a good first step in helping them navigate the process. No one wins when an approved viable project gets held up waiting on permits or in litigation for not following a complicated process.

Should the borough water utility be privatized? Why or why not?

There are too many unknowns to answer this question currently. I believe as a first step, an assessment of the water utility to determine the value should be completed.  I have heard that it is worth somewhere between 25 and 50 million dollars, but that could be just speculation. In general, I am for privatization whenever possible, but financially it must make sense before we sell it off. Considering the dire condition of the public works facility and the municipal building, selling the water utility may be a viable option to pay for much needed improvements.

Is Red Bank business-friendly? Please explain your answer.

No. Borough Hall is an absolute nightmare to deal with. Every new and current business is met with hostility and unreasonable red tape. I have talked with dozens of business owners over the last few years and each one has a different horror story about dealing with the Borough. When elected, improving the service at Borough Hall will be one of my primary concerns.

Is Red Bank resident-friendly? Please explain your answer.

In some ways Red Bank is very resident-friendly. We have great parks, great events, and an easily assessible town with many activities to do on a daily basis.  On the other hand, our taxes and water and sewer bill are some of the highest in NJ.  Our Department of Public Works is a mess and God help you if need anything from Borough Hall.

Is the former incinerator site on West Sunset Avenue a good location on which to build a new park?

No, it a terrible place to build a park. I am open to the idea of a park on the westside provided the costs are reasonable, but I do not believe that should be the location.

Is there a better alternative for providing outdoor recreation for residents, particularly those who live on the West Side?

The western end of Locust Avenue, where the Bellhaven Park was proposed.

Is the borough doing enough to safeguard pedestrians and bicyclists? What additional measures, if any, do you think are needed?

No, 2017 was the deadliest year in the history of Red Bank for pedestrians. Red Bank needs better lighting, more crosswalks, and our sidewalks repaired. First, thing I would do was work with the chief of police to find out where all the incidents occurred. Then work with the borough engineer to develop a pedestrian safety plan based on these reports.  The children of Red Bank are our most vital resource and we are putting them in danger.

Does the borough do a good job using information technology in its interactions with taxpayers and others it does business with? What improvements would you like to see, if any?

As of right now, the only suggestion is that all public meetings be recorded by the Borough and put up on their own website. I would like to thank Sue Viscomi for all she does with recording and posting as many meetings as possible, but I think the Borough should be able to handle it.

Is Red Bank doing all it can to keep the municipal portion of the tax rate in check? If not, what more might be done?

Absolutely not. The recent 40 page government management report conclusively proved that was not the case.

If there’s anything you’d like to add, please do so here:

In high school I was recruited to play college football. I had opportunities to play college football just about anywhere I wanted to.  At the time, Rutgers was the last on my list, but my senior year Rutgers hired a new head coach name Greg Schiano. He came to me with a vision to turn Rutgers into a University the State of New Jersey could be proud of. It was because his vision that I made the decision stay in NJ and help realize that vision. Rutgers has struggled the last few years, but still today all over NJ people, proudly display the Rutgers block R. I have similar vision for Red Bank. I want to see Red Bank realize that vision as not just a hip town, but the best place in NJ to live, work, play, and raise a family.

Find the ballot here, and your polling station below.

red bank voting district map 2018

DistrictLocationAddressRoom
1Hook and Ladder Fire House7 Mechanic Street
Red Bank, NJ
2Red Bank Middle School101 Harding Road
Red Bank, NJ
3United Methodist Church247 Broad Street
Red Bank, NJ
Rear Entrance
4United Methodist Church247 Broad Street
Red Bank, NJ
Rear Entrance
5Red Bank Public Library84 West Front Street
Red Bank, NJ
6Calvary Baptist Church23 River Street
Red Bank, NJ
7Red Bank Middle School101 Harding Road
Red Bank, NJ
8Red Bank Senior Center80 Shrewsbury Avenue
Red Bank, NJ
9Red Bank Housing Authority52 Evergreen Terrace
Red Bank, NJ