Little Silver voters will be asked to fill two three-year terms on the borough council in the November 3 election.
On the ballot are four candidates: Democrats Joan Gotti and Stephanie Keenan, and Republicans Kevin Brennan and Michael Holzapfel.
Here are Brennan’s written responses to questions posed to all four candidates recently by redbankgreen.
Name: Kevin J Brennan
Address: 290 Silverside Ave
How long have you been a resident of Little Silver? 32 years
Where did you grow up? Elizabeth NJ
Where did you go to high school? Xavier High School, NYC
Did you graduate from college? Yes
If so, which school, with what degree? Fairfield University, Dolan School of Business, Marketing
Have your served in the military? If so, which branch and when? No
What do you do for a living? VP Sales, WebbMason Marking Inc.
Please tell us a little bit about your community involvement efforts, if any.
Board of Education President, 4 years and 10- year Member of the BOE. Served as liaison to most town committees and the Borough Council during this time. As President, spearheaded successful Full Day Kindergarten vote and needed building build out.
Co-Chair 2002 Committee to ‘Get out the Vote’ for successful School Building Referendum
C0-Founder and original Race director for The Little Silver 5K
Past Member, Education Foundation Little Silver
Current and 16 -year member of The Little Silver Fire Co.# 1. Ad Hoc Chair and Co-Chair of The Annual St Patrick’s Fundraiser
Past Recreation Coach
Party affiliation: Republican
How important is party affiliation to you? What does it mean to you to be a member of your party?
As someone that is running for a local office in a well- managed town my primary focus is not political. My time and efforts have been and will be directed to all residents of Little Silver.
Do you have a role model in public life? Who and why?
Not on the National stage these days. I would hope to think that could change. At a local level, however we are fortunate to have dedicated and talented folks already on Council. I would not necessarily model myself on anyone, but I would see them as valuable resources to learn the job.
Why are you running for Little Silver council?
My wife Colleen and I have raised our family in Little Silver, and I have a long record of service and leadership in our town. I still have the desire and energy to do more. To ensure future successes it is important to supplement our experienced current Council members with new members that are willing to learn the job and lead the Council at some point.
What are the most pressing issues facing the town, and how do you plan to address them?
Little Silver has a proven history of being a well- run town. In order to maintain and increase the level of service to our residents I plan on focusing on primary areas of government responsibility: Flat or under cap tax increases through proper fiscal management, Continuation of town infrastructure improvements through state and county grants, review of master plan to ensure proper zoning, re-look at areas of possible shared services and continue to find ways to inform and engage residents.
What if any specific initiatives can voters expect from you if you are elected?
I would like to always be available and proactive with our residents. The more conversation, the more familiarity and clarity when issues arise.
A Master Plan review may be on the agenda in 2021. What if any changes do you think should be made to the plan, and why?
The Master Plan process should include community members and subject matter experts. The overall purpose of the Plan is to protect our town resources for many years to come. Some items that need to be considered are housing and zoning rules, Environmental concerns, traffic safety, available housing options, economic growth and more. I look forward to reviewing and discussing further the current plan before making my recommendations.
How would you rate the borough council’s fiscal management, and what if any changes do you think are needed?
I have not sat on the Council yet but based on flat or low tax increases they are doing the job. Things change however, year over year, so to continue that promising trend proper fiscal management needs to recognize what has changed (Covid 19?). Once defined, we need to look at what is being done at the County, State and neighboring community level as part of formulating our response.
Controversy over a cell tower three years ago prompted calls for better borough government communications with residents. Have communications improved?
Yes, communication has improved through better use of the Borough website, social media and Red Alert. Ironically the adaption of Zoom for Council and other Town Committees has made it very convenient for interested parties to attend. I also believe that Council members are taking a more active role as Committee Liaisons to the committees they are assigned.
What more if anything needs to be done in this area?
Once things return to ‘in -person’ we should continue to offer the ‘remote option’ for attending meetings. Communication needs to be a constant and we need to keep asking ourselves are we doing our best? Communication as we all know, is a two-way street. If you want to be informed there are many ways to do so but you must take some initiative.
Since the start of the pandemic, public meetings have been held remotely via Zoom and phone. What if any lessons from this change should be carried forward when in-person meetings can again be held?
Zoom (or other live video option) should remain as an option
If there’s anything you’d like to add, please do so here:
Thank you for the opportunity to be heard!
The Little Silver ballot can be found here.
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