RED BANK: KATE TRIGGIANO Q&A

red bank nj kate triggianoKate Triggiano is on the Democratic slate as a council candidate. (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 Triggiano’s written responses to questions posed to all candidates recently by redbankgreen.

Name:  Kate Triggiano

Age: 30

Address:  Leighton Ave

Where did you grow up? Middletown NJ

Where did you go to high school? Middletown High School North

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

BFA from the School of Visual Arts, 2010

Have your served in the military? If so, which branch and when?

N/A

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank?

I have lived in Red Bank with my husband since 2013.

Do you own real estate in town?

Yes, our family home on Leighton Ave.

What do you do for a living?

I am a small business owner.

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

I have dedicated myself to serving our town through my care and concern for our future. I am an active and committed Red Bank resident serving our town as Chair of the Environmental Commission and member of the Red Bank Zoning Board. I am Outreach Director for the Bus for Progress and have been instrumental in youth engagement and grassroots organizing for statewide and national elections. I work toward environmental improvements, access, safety and sustainability as they are the markers of a healthy community.

Party affiliation: Democratic Party.

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

The Red Bank Democrats consistently stand up for diversity, our environment, the well being of our residents, and the sustainability of Red Bank. I am honored to be affiliated with friends, family, and neighbors who care and act together upon important issues in our town.

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

My friend Atticus Garden, District 2 Area Commissioner in Columbus, Ohio. Atticus practices the holistic approach of serving a community by volunteering, listening, and working in the community every day while serving as their elected representative. Atticus is the Program Coordinator at Church and Community Development For All People.  Church and Community Development For All People is like if Lunch Break, Second Life Bikes, and The Parker Health Clinic were rolled into one campus. Atticus is a true public servant and I strive every day to serve Red Bank with the same level of dedication and compassion.

Why are you running for Red Bank council?

My son inspires me daily to think different and to plan with our future in mind. I look forward to my continued service to Red Bank.

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

Balancing future growth while caring for our long term residents and creating spaces for new residents. Our attention to the Management Enhancement Report will aid in a structure to support smart and sustainable planning and development borough-wide.

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

I deeply care about all facets of public safety, including addressing the Opioid epidemic, aiding our homeless and vulnerable residents, and keeping our diverse community connected and informed. I am invested in Complete Streets initiatives that refocus how we use our roadways and thoroughfares. I would love to help Red Bank achieve communal spaces downtown, and improved bike and pedestrian infrastructure that continues to connect us as a community.

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

Residents will be able to see the positive outcomes of a stabilized municipal budget that’s indicative of sustainable planning and development.

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

I am proud to be part of the Democratic team that called for the Management Enhancement Report and cared so deeply for our town that they withstood criticism for the results. I am thankful we have a road map for the Borough’s future and I look forward to being a part of the solutions.

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

As suggested in the Management Enhancement Report, The Borough has taken a major step in reshaping our form of governance by adopting an ordinance this past summer that expanded the administrative authority of the Borough Administrator and pulled back on the authority of elected officials. Moving forward with our new Business Administrator, we will analyze our progress and if additional steps are deemed necessary, we can consider a charter study as suggested in the Management Enhancement Report.

Should Red Bank switch to nonpartisan elections?

I have major concerns regarding nonpartisan elections. In neighboring municipalities and across the country, nonpartisan elections are still steeped in partisanship and record level spending on political races. Holding non-partisan races often cloaks a system that has had little actual change, with the parties  funding and fueling “nonpartisan” campaigns. Instead of making an election focused on issues, it can have the undesired effect of creating less transparency for residents. These concerns should be taken into consideration in any future study.

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

I don’t believe that any parking options can be discussed confidently until we have the Borough’s completed parking study next year.

Does Red Bank need a downtown parking garage?

Same as previous -I don’t believe that any parking options can be discussed confidently until we have the Borough’s completed parking study next year.

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

See previous – I don’t believe that any parking options can be discussed confidently until we have the Borough’s completed parking study next year.

Is the borough becoming over-developed? Please explain.

We are not overdeveloped, but I am concerned with the sustainability of future development. We have to strike a balance between our tax burden while stabilizing property taxes for residents. We must ensure that all development meets the standards put forth by the community and Borough, and above all contributes to our town’s overall quality of life.

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

Yes. A redevelopment agency in Red Bank would serve the needs of Red Bank by working between elected officials and developers ensuring proposed development and projects are screened using professional standards and community feedback- not political input.

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

I am open to exploration. We need professional input, and I don’t have this analysis so I cannot fully answer at this time.

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

Yes. We have both new and long-term businesses that are thriving in Red Bank, and part of the reason is our town’s willingness to help businesses by working with them on issues that increase their appeal to customers, and those they serve. I have been an active participant in RiverCenter’s strategic planning meetings and I look forward to improving the symbiotic relationship between government, residents, and businesses to improve our downtown.

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

Yes! Red Bank draws people from all over who want to live in a town with creative people and services, great schools, and opportunities for residents and their families.

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

It is an amazing opportunity we have to repurpose a blemish and turn it into a state of the art community gathering and play space for our residents.

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

There are no alternatives, just additions. Towns like ours thrive when we have ample outdoor spaces that are differentiated, when we have ways to travel to these spaces safely as pedestrians and cyclists, and when we have access to our natural resources.

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

We are on a path towards better bike and pedestrian infrastructure.  As chair of the Environmental Commission, we put forth a complete streets resolution that was passed by council, we were awarded $10,000 in complete streets grants, and we are currently pursuing a grant that improves the safety and walkability to the primary school. Improving bike and pedestrian safety takes the coordination of multiple departments and officials: Our Business Administrator, our department of public works, our traffic safety officer and police department, our grant writer, our Superintendent and our schools, and the active involvement of businesses and residents. I have successfully coordinated between all of the above to begin this important work and I will be integral to the advancement of Complete Streets in Red Bank.

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?

Information technology is rapidly evolving and keeping up, while not overextending fiscally, can be a challenge. I will be looking to the Management Enhancement Report and the wider council to address these issues.

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?

I believe that following the Management Enhancement Report along with creative solutions to funding borough improvements, such as grant writing, can keep the tax rate in check.

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

Vote November 6!

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