shrewsbury, nj, mandy amanda ngo
Amanda Ngo. (Click to enlarge.)

shrewsbury, nj, election, q&A,Shrewsbury voters will choose a new mayor and two council members in the November 6 election.

Running to succeed two-term Mayor Don Burden are incumbent Republican Councilman Erik Anderson and Democrat David Dragonetti. The council contenders are Anderson’s running mates, Councilman Jeffrey DeSalvo and Council President Donald Eddy; and Democrats Carol Loeffler and Mandy Ngo.

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

Name: Amanda “Mandy” Ngo

Age:  42

Address: 118 Borden Street

How long have you been a resident of Shrewsbury? 11 years

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Berlin, NJ, a small town like Shrewsbury.

Where did you go to high school? I went to Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, NJ.

Did you graduate from college? If so, which school, with what degree? I graduated from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Computer Science.

Have your served in the military? If so, which branch and when? I have never served in the military although I am proud of my cousins who have served in the Marines and Air Force.

What do you do for a living? I work at Commvault Systems as an Account Executive, focused on New York City government accounts. In my role I help government agencies prevent data loss and focus on disaster preparedness. This requires long term planning and budgeting, as well as creativity and negotiation skills.

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

My husband Dave and I work to support the community wherever we can, volunteering in various supporting roles with many school organizations.  We also make time to attend as many of our special Shrewsbury events like the Santa Claus breakfast and the Food Truck festival to promote our volunteer organizations.

Party affiliation: Democrat.

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

For a long time, I was an Independent although I have almost always voted Democrat. Finally, I decided to align with the Democratic party because my national views most closely match Democratic values. In today’s climate, I feel it is more important than ever to be a moderate and affiliated with my party. We need more people in both parties focused on reaching across the aisle.

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

I really admire Joe Biden. He has always had a very approachable and straight-talking demeanor which I have appreciated.  Recently, his eulogy of Senator John McCain really struck me. He spoke of his friendship with Senator McCain and the ability to fiercely disagree with him while still maintaining mutual respect.

Why are you running for office?

I’ve been in awe for some time of the many women and men who volunteer in our town and I knew I wanted to take on more responsibility in our community. When I considered how I could best use my skills and where they would have the most impact, running for Borough Council was the best fit. I have been regularly attending Council meetings for over a year and work with government agencies in New York City so I already have a lot of ideas where I could help the town as a Councilmember.

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

We all want lower taxes.  However, right now there are some initiatives to lower taxes that concern me, such as eliminating local dispatch, because they do not seem to strike the right balance between cost savings and value. I plan to take a longer view of both spending and cost saving initiatives to ensure we look before we leap.

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

In addition to enhancing existing Council members’ efforts to lower taxes by pushing for five-year total cost of ownership studies on all capital purchases, I also want to improve the dialogue between residents and the Council. We have many talented and intelligent people in Shrewsbury; many just can’t attend council meetings. Encouraging knowledge sharing between residents and council via social media and other methods will result in a better Shrewsbury.

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

Thank you, Red Bank Green, for this opportunity to provide residents with our position and stories.

The Shrewsbury ballot, which also features elections for seats on the Red Bank Regional and borough school boards, can be found here. Polling places are listed by district below.

1 Shrewsbury Borough Fire House 783 Broad Street
2 Shrewsbury Borough Municipal Building 419 Sycamore Avenue
3 Shrewsbury Borough Fire House 783 Broad Street