Do you really want change?

I say we should want improvement.

Improvements need to be specific.

As an Old Bridge (OB) councilman, I would seek to secure town assets. The reason New Jersey is one of the most expensive places to live is that each town has its own everything. If we don’t cut the cost of spending and borrowing, we risk losing town assets. The rise in costs to live here may not be visible in your taxes. It is a well-known story that Puerto Rico got more loans than it could possibly repay. Not borrowing, for every day costs, protects our assets. One such asset is our independent water supply. American Water already operates in our area. Other local towns must have sold their water supply to pay every day bills. The for-profit model will cost more to the residents forever. That increase will only appear in the cost to live here, not in the taxes.

Cutting town costs can also be accomplished in other ways. First by moving toward sharing assets and contracts with neighboring towns. Starting to do so will be on a small scale. Perhaps some equipment can be shared with neighboring towns. Each item in the town inventory can be considered for sharing or borrowing.

With so many new apartments just coming into Old Bridge, the new obligations we have are likely to exceed the extra income (taxes). It is likely we can expect to save by sharing. Perhaps OB needs more of some type of special education. If that is done on a small scale, the costs soar. There are too many possible cost savings items to list. For instance, we might share the cost and maintenance of high-end special equipment.

Here I present no magic. I am not trying to get you to vote Democratic because I can smile for a picture. For some years now the Republicans have dominated the town council. They had their chance to cut costs. Instead, they cut services. OB does not have recycling available every day now. Instead they created a new full time position for an assistant for the mayor. This makes homes in OB more difficult to live in and therefore less attractive. That lowers the value of Old Bridge homes.

Last year some of the Republicans on the town council have risked town assets to sue the Governor. Some say it unwise to sue the town. It is even more unwise to sue the state.

Vote Democratic and allow the Democrats a chance to save. The money we save may be your own.

Peter Shearer

Candidate Ward 2