Letter to the Editor: Jay Taylor Running for Re-election
Taylor, who was elected on the Republican ticket his first term, will be running as a Democrat in the upcoming primary.
After a lot of thought and discussion with my family and friends I am writing to announce that I will be seeking re-election to the Township Committee and to ask for the support of my fellow residents.
In 2009, I followed in my dad’s footsteps and was elected to serve on the Township Committee. I feel privileged to have represented the residents of Cranbury for just over two years and I hope most residents feel that I have honored their trust and confidence.
My reason for seeking re-election is simply that I want to continue giving back to the community and ensure that my daughter will be raised in a similar community to the one I grew up in; a community where our neighbors are also our friends and family. This is the same reason I gladly serve on the boards of the Historical Society and Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School. Cranbury is unique in that despite all the growth around our town and in the state we are able to remain a small town out of a Norman Rockwell painting. To remain this way our residents deserve a Township Committee that represents those same ideals.
As a member of the township committee it is not always easy on me or my family to be working fifteen to twenty hours a week on any number of township issues. However, what I find extremely enjoyable and rewarding is spending time each week with our volunteers and employees in my role as the liaison to Fire, First Aid, Police, Office of Emergency Management, Public Works, Construction, Personnel, Parks and this year Sewer. It is a privilege working with the individuals in these departments and committees. The expertise and knowledge our volunteers and employees have is an incredible resource and is the main reason our town is special. By establishing open dialogue the Township Committee has been able to reduce spending and operate the town efficiently during these tough economic times.
I worked with Dave Cook, Denise Marabello and our dedicated Police officers to renew the collective bargaining contract prior to the January 1, 2012 expiration date. Together, we finalized a five year deal that averaged an annual 1.5% salary increase which is one of if not the lowest and longest contract in our area. In addition, we achieved close to $60,000 in savings on legal costs over the last contract renewal.
I worked with Police Chief Rick Varga and Ms. Marabello on the 9-1-1 contract renewal with Hightstown. The final negotiation reduced the price from the prior contract and will save the taxpayers $80,000 over the next two years.
I witnessed the dedication of our volunteers in the Fire Company and First Aid Squad who responded to over 300 and 800 calls respectively in the last year alone. The Fire Company helped the taxpayers by spending over $500k from their own funds to purchase a desperately needed tanker truck in 2010. When we had to replace the fifty-five year old brush truck the Fire Company again came forward and contributed just over twenty-two thousand toward the cost yet again saving the taxpayers.
After Hurricane Irene our construction head Greg Farrington came to me and stated that other towns were waiving permit fees for work related to the hurricane. This practice was exactly what Cranbury is about by helping our neighbors. We implemented this protocol and as a result we saved residents $1,370 in unanticipated permit fees. Further, prior to becoming the liaison to building and grounds I found our construction department was not involved in town construction projects. I changed this process and for the first time involved the construction department in all our construction projects. By involving the construction department in the design and plan review we have achieved reductions in professional costs and building expenses.
As the liaison to the parks committee I was privileged to support a group of dedicated individuals and civic groups when the Civil War monument was dedicated. I witnessed the pride and dedication of our residents, Historical Society, Public Works, Boy Scouts, Police and the NJ Civil War History Association who spent hours in meetings to design and erect the monument as a gift to our town.
Lastly and most importantly, I found that many residents have ideas to save the town money and/or make it more efficient. There are too many ideas presented to highlight in this letter. However, by residents offering input it shows how vested they are in the community.
While I have served on other boards and will continue to do so, it was not until I served on the Township Committee that I experienced how much our town benefits from all the individual contributions. While I ran to help our town and hope our residents will continue to allow me to give back, I found I benefited by gaining an even greater appreciation for our community. Our residents and neighbors are truly vested in our town whether they have been here one year or ninety years.
Cranbury Township Committee Member