Two seats are up for grabs on the Cranbury Township Committee. Democratic Mayor Glenn Johnson and Republican Committeeman Dan Mulligan are running for reelection to regain their position. Democrat Joseph Buoavolonta and Republican Tom Connolly are also running for the three-year terms on the Committee.All of the candidates were asked to answer the same questions about themselves and their political stances for East Windsor Patch. Patch will be running these candidate profiles up until the election.
JOSEPH BUONAVOLONTA CANDIDATE PROFILEName: Joseph Buonavolonta
Occupation: Municipal Public Works Employee
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background and why you should be elected.
My wife Cheryl, and I have been married for thirteen years and have two wonderful children, Dominic and Max who are benefiting from our Blue Ribbon School. When we moved to Cranbury I realized our town was successful because of our unique historic village, family friendly neighborhoods and our volunteers. To that end I joined the Cranbury Fire Department, started coaching Little League, and became a member of the Cranbury Clock Winding Committee. I also volunteered for other organizations throughout the community. I am running for Township Committee because as a small business owner, I will apply many of the same principles to the operations of our township. As a committee member I would like to broaden our outreach and assure that residents understand the how and why of our decisions. As a first responder, I meet many residents and hear excellent ideas. Presenting an opinion in person at a Township meeting often seems to count more. We need to remember that many residents cannot attend these meetings. Their opinions via phone, e-mail or neighborly discussions need to be heard and appreciated. I will be the voice of those people.
2. What do you think distinguishes you from other candidates? What do you bring to the table?
I have worked in municipal government and understand the pressures placed upon towns by unfunded state mandates. As a small business owner I understand the Committee members' need to be customer service oriented, but that does not always mean, quickly bending to pressure. My variety of experiences brings a level of knowledge not presently on the Committee. In turn, that will enhance the experience base on the Committee to make more informed decisions and bring alternative solutions not previously considered.
3. What are the most pressing issues facing the community today? How would you approach and resolve these issues?
TAXES, MAINTAINING OUR SMALL TOWN WAY OF LIFE, COAH, SAFETY and SPEEDERS. Increasing our tax base is key. As someone who has built a business, I can identify with the business owners who are looking to locate in our community. COAH continues to be a concern that has laid dormant for a few years. At the present time we do not fully know our COAH obligations where it still remains in the courts. It easily could become a major financial obligation. We need to better understand our municipal expenses. If we continue to turn to the tax payers there will come a point where our older residents will be forced to leave, and/or young families like mine will not be able to continue to enjoy life in Cranbury as we present do. At that point we risk losing our uniqueness. I know I have learned a great deal from long term residents. In conjunction with the above, we must remember our roots and land preservation must continue whenever possible or practical. I want to work with our police chief to increase pedestrian safety, enhance patrols and reduce speeding.