first_imgShe has frequented council meetings since she moved back to Fair Haven and has had “growing concerns” about the way communication is shared. “I’ve been very vocal and, in my book, if you’re going to speak up and continue to do so, at some point you have to step out too,” she said. Her interest in politics sparked after she joined the Junior League of Monmouth County in 2012, where she advocated for legislation to help improve the lives of women and children in New Jersey. She was then inspired to run for local office. The borough council currently has a Republican majority with a sole Democrat on the dais, councilman Chris Rodriguez. A candidate forum was held Wednesday night by the League of Women Voters organization. He hopes to keep up with Fair Haven’s “pro-environment agenda,” maintain the walkability of the town and improve waterfront facilities. He also wants to continue to plan for long-term financial investments and manage the physical capital of the town. “I spend a lot of time worrying about all of the things that most people in town probably don’t see, things like the fire hydrants and things like the street lights. These are all the things that no one thinks about,” said Peters. Peters has been a borough resident since 1999 and a council member for the past 15 years, eight of which were spent as the council president. As a professor of finance at New York University, Peters said he decided to run for council in 2004 because he thought the borough would benefit from his background in finance and economics. “This is the thing I could do to serve the community.” FAIR HAVEN – Republican incumbents Jonathan Peters and Jacqueline Rice are running for re-election in November against challengers Meghan Chrisner-Keefe and Michael McCue. Meghan Chrisner-Keefe One challenge facing Fair Haven is the “very little money” it gets from the state in terms of state aid for the schools and the borough, he said. It makes the council look to the taxpayer to cover those costs. Michael McCue Rice joined the council most recently and has lived in Fair Haven since 2005, but her husband Brian is a lifelong resident. She is currently a part-time para-professional at Knollwood Elementary School. She also volunteers on the recreation committee and Fair Haven Day committee. Rice is also a member of the council’s communications committee that has rolled out a weekly email blast to residents to keep them informed of town happenings, she said. They are also creating a new website which will be easier to navigate than the existing website. Rice said Fair Haven’s biggest challenge currently is that its facilities are in “desperate need of repair and/ or replacement,” but that the council must address it while remaining tax neutral, which is her main goal. Peters and his running mate Jacqueline Rice said they are proud of Fair Haven’s AA+ bond rating from Standard & Poor’s that the town has maintained for 10 years, and which was renewed this month. Peters said he is proud of his record and hopes residents keep it in mind at the polls Nov. 5. She fears the downtown district may become overly congested. The borough is considering bringing affordable housing to River Road, she said, and potentially a new borough hall. “It feels a little bit like some sort of storm that’s been brewing for a long time that’s finally coming to a head.” Jonathan Peters He is also a social studies teacher, educating children about the Constitution and the system of government “so they can grow up and be informed citizens,” he said. He wants to run for election to help residents have their voices heard and feels the current council does not always do so, especially for hot-button issues. He hopes to have open discussions with residents and “keep things simple and just listen to people.” Democratic challenger Chrisner-Keefe grew up in Fair Haven and returned to the borough with her husband to raise their four children. She is a practicing attorney and has participated in nonprofit, pro bono work. Her running mate Michael McCue has lived in Fair Haven since 1991 and currently resides in the borough with his wife and two sons. He joined the Marine Corps after 9/11 and served for five years, including two tours in Iraq. “In the Marines, you work with all different groups of people from different backgrounds and everybody is on the same team,” he said. “We all just try to work toward the same goal.” Additionally, Chrisner-Keefe said if elected she would like to stream videos of the council meetings to its website, whether it be live-streamed or posted afterward. She said it’s important that everyone stay informed, including those who work late or can’t make it to meetings. Jacqueline Rice last_img

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