Letter to the Editor: George Serrano Will Not Attend Candidate's Forum

Hightstown Borough Council candidate George Serrano explains why not


Dear editor,

I am a Republican candidate for Hightstown Borough Council. Reluctantly and respectfully, I decline the League of Women Voters’ invitation to participate in this year’s annual candidates’ debate. There are several reasons (not necessarily in any order).

Firstly, last year’s debate was videotaped, and amazingly it was then aired over local access channels without sound. Technical issues are a part of our world today. No problem. However, the League’s decision to proceed on multiple occasions, with the broadcast of a one-hour program without sound, was regrettably in very poor judgment. I was one of those candidates in last year’s debate. It was painful to watch. I know it’s possible that this year’s debate may turn out to be the best ever. Nevertheless, I don’t feel comfortable trusting the League to produce an event where all of the candidates are portrayed positively.

Secondly, I take exception with the political partiality that the League has locally demonstrated. Its president recently published a strongly worded letter to the media that repudiated the very stand that the National Republican Committee and I support on the issue of voter ID. The letter was considerably overboard when it claimed that the League’s position is under “attack” by the other side…that’s our side. The local League has proven to be partisan, and again, I am hesitant to participate in an even that it intends to moderate.

Thirdly, I understand that the League has turned this year to the Hightstown High School Visual Aids Department for its expertise. The department head who has up until now made the League’s debate possible is a Democratic Mercer County Freeholder. This is not impartiality.

I appreciate that the public wants to know who I am before Election Day. The Windsor Hights Herald and other media outlets, both print and online, have already published information on the election and I’m sure will do so up until November 6. My profile is on our campaign website and Facebook pages. I have been walking door-to-door and will continue doing so, speaking with hundreds of residents. If anyone chooses to contact me, please feel free to email me at fire325@verizon.net.

- George Serrano

Republican candidate for Hightstown Borough Council


Editor's note: Find out more about the candidates through Patch's Election Guide.

B.Bennett October 24, 2012 at 11:01 AM
Did the Republicans hand out pamphlets as the Democrats did as would like to see one?
Concerned for Hightstown October 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM
This just confirms that there are only 3 real candidates for council this year. I hope the residents of Hightstown get out and vote this year, and vote for the candidates that are willing to stand up in public and voice their opinions, and defend their campaign pledges. I will be glad to see the litter (signs) that J.P. and George have polluted our town with removed and destroyed as George is not even willing to stand up in public and defend them.
Jake October 24, 2012 at 11:32 AM
You have my vote George. Great article I couldnt agree more.
clara October 24, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Man up and participate in the forum. Your performance was embarassing last year during the forum and that is the real reason you're backing out at the last minute. It was painful to listen to your attempts to coherently snd legibly respond to questions. Not having audio actually did you a favor so you ought to thank the person responsible for this mistake. If anyone wants to know what Hightstown would look like with George in office, read the police blotter and stroll the tbe apts he manages.
Hightstown Homeowner October 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM
I would think having no sound would be to your advantage.
Great Potential October 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM
If you have ever spoken to George, you would know that he has no idea what the League of Woman Voters even is, or name more than one Mercer County Freeholder. I don't even think he would know that Hightstown is in Mercer County. In other words, the great leadership of Hightstown Republicans wrote this bologna in order to avoid an embarrassing display at the debate. It's too bad there isn’t a stronger white collar Republican class in town. I echo Clara sentiment, if you want to know how the town would look if he wins, just look at the houses where the Serrano/Hansen signs are. Every illegal boarding house proudly display their support for Serrano/Hansen. Hansen should have run a solo campaign.
Keepingitreal October 24, 2012 at 12:47 PM
The last debate was painful to watch for me as well. Impartialilty is extremely important when hosting forums of this nature. Mr. Serrano has his reasons for not attending; he stated them. It has nothing to do with him not being able to stand up in public and defend his agenda. He has invited those with questions or concerns to contact him. I suggest that the citizens do just that.
Concerned for Hightstown October 24, 2012 at 01:01 PM
It is very clear that George did not write this letter to the editor, and for that matter any of his other campaign retoric. If you have ever seen him speak publicly you will know this. How is George going to work with a council that contains both republicans and democrats, when he is not even willing to attend an event that is sponsored by a group that may not share his political views. We all need to work together to make our town better, regardless of party affiliation. I have to agree with Clara, if you want to see Georges vision of Hightstown, go to see the property he manages. Overcrowding, crime and drugs are the staus quo.
B October 24, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Hansen and Quattrone on Election Day!!!
clara October 24, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Okay, got a suggestion then: why doesn't George schedule his own public forum and invite residents to attend and ask him questions. This would give both the opportunity to interact spontaneously and for George to offer some details on his platform of reducing property taxes. Voters might also want to know his position on unlimited taxis, overcrowding/code violations/exceeding the occupancy limit in rental apts, Let's get this out in the open, share your views and defend them in a public forum and give voters an honest chance to know what they'd be getting.
Denny Hansen October 24, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I am grateful for the opportunity that the League of Women Voters is providing and look forward to expressing my views tonight. We have an opportunity to positively affect our residential & commercial property values, property taxes, revitalization of downtown and safety & security of our vital Borough Services and Facilities, and the Redevelopment of the Rug Mill.....all in the pending decision on the future use of Borough Properties damaged by Hurricane Irene. We have to get this decision right! These are NOT Partisan issues, these are HIghtstown issues.
Concerned for Hightstown October 24, 2012 at 03:10 PM
well said Denny, good luck tonight.
Denny Hansen October 24, 2012 at 03:48 PM
To B.Bennett Yes, we are walking door to door w/ our literature. Guess I didn't get to you yet. Our Platform is MOVE HIGHTSTOWN FORWARD. *Stimulate Economic Growth *Focus on Fiscal Planning *Develop Long Term Vision We will confront budget realities, and make the difficult decisions necessary to give hope and relief to the taxpayers of Hightstown. Vote for new and fresh leadership. Come to the debate tonight for some depth.
Torry Watkins October 24, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Aah, what a shame. Now we won't get to hear George's wisdom on how he's going to reduce our taxes.
George Serrano October 24, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Keepingitreal October 25, 2012 at 01:09 PM
I am sadden by the tone of some of the comments posted. A couple comments stating: if you want to see "George's visions" go to the apartments that he manages. These statments are not only unfair; but not true. If you have had the opportunity to drive through the apartment complex, you can't help but notice the positive changes. Not only in the ground maintenance, but constant work on the apartment buildings. I have worked in the surrounding area and have seen first hand Mr. Serrano's work. He patrols the area, like he's the owner. As far as crime is concerned, it is unfair to attempt to imply that the majority of crime that happens in Hightstown is at the Deerfield Westerlea apartments. How about the pervert that sexually assualted a teen near the Peddie Lake. I agree with Clara, Mr. Serrano should host his own forum and address concerns of the community, i.e., unlimited taxis, etc. Should'nt Mr. Serrano, and anyone else for that matter, be judged by the content of his character and not the ability to speak eloquently. He may not speak how YOU want him to, but he is a very active work horse, who cares for the community. The comment by E regarding: "Having a better command of the English language" shows racial indifference.
Lee Stults October 25, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Well said Keepingitreal. I sometimes wonder why folks ever decide to run for office anymore with politics being so bitter and personal these days. As to the condition of the apartment complex that George manages, I have lived a few blocks away my whole life and have seen first hand the positive changes that have taken place under his direction. I have no doubts as to George's character and dedication to Hightstown and hope that his commitment to our community is not deterred by the comments of a few anonymous people.
Torry Watkins October 25, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Lee Stults is correct. Character assassination by anonymous posters has no place in our community. (But supporters should have the integrity to use their real names, as well.) Yes, the apartment complex has been looking better--at least outwardly--in recent years. And while I don't know George very well, he does seem like a nice, sincere guy. But from what I do know of him, George isn't even remotely qualified to be a Hightstown Council member.
JP Gibbons October 25, 2012 at 07:35 PM
I use my name because one should know who theya re dealing with. Sorry you do not like signs with ideas different then yours. they seem to scare you really bad. For the record George has held several public open forums and was very available during the resent fair. Sorry you did not have the time to ask your very important questions. There will be another one this weekend and you can get the time, data and location from others. Very interesting that your comments on the other letters within this site demonistrate what your real problem is. I am very sure that if George shows up at your house as a fireman during an emergency you will tell him you do not want his help. Please present fact regardless of who you support.
JP Gibbons October 25, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Clara should we also reference the police records before George arrived and took charge down there. Sorry, that would not support your image of a disorganized and weak person. The current police blotter for EW would make you think twice about being there except for the fact that they have an excellent force. The population density of those apartments makes for issues and if the issues are there they should not be in other parts of the borough.
JP Gibbons October 25, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I see Clara was not available for the previous open meet and greet sessions George participated in. I am sure if Clara provides a name and address a personal invitation can be sent for the one this weekend and we all can watch the exchange of thoughts and ideas between them.
JP Gibbons October 25, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Torry I must applaud your tone of reason in this discussion. While we do not agree on many issues this is one all should agree on. As far as qualified to serve on Borough Council, we have had some winners and some major embarrassments in the past. We currently have a Mayor who walks out of Council meetings that his position calls for him to lead. It is my understanding that George will be walking the borough between now and Election Day. That will give us all a good chance to evaluate him and his ideas for ourselves.
B.Bennett October 25, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Why doesn't J.P. run for council as he has a lot to say and has good ideas.
john archer October 26, 2012 at 07:29 PM
George and Denny will be having our 3rd meet and greet on November 4 at the Hightstown Diner at 10 am. I agree with Tory. If you don't have the balls to sign your name and want to hide from public view, i suggest you shut up
Hightstown Homeowner October 26, 2012 at 08:12 PM
A little off topic, but to everyone saying that hiding behind an anonymous screen name is bs... you might think differently when someone who doesn't agree with you shows up at your house. That very thing happened to me so I won't use my name in forums like this.
JP Gibbons October 28, 2012 at 12:17 PM
You make a very valid point. My interpretation of John's comment is that if someone goes on-line to be negative and non-productive to the discussion they should back the strength of their convictions with their personal reputation. If anyone disagrees with what is being said by voicing an opposing view, without a real name, I do not give it the weight I might if I knew who it came from. There are those who have no real life and use these sites to attack or trash new thought, positions or approaches without proposing alternatives because they have eaten too many sour grapes and their rose color glasses are no more. Hope this helps.


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