There are four candidates comprised of two Democrats and two Republicans, in the race for two open seats in the Morris Township Committee. Democratic candidates Ron Goldberg and Noel Robinson shared some some of their history with the township and their stances on some imporant issues.
About Ron Goldberg
Ron Goldberg has served one term on the Morris Township Committee from 2008 to 2010, and was defeated last year by Mayor Peter Mancuso. Goldberg wants to come back this year to finish some of the things he started.
"I have more to give, and I thought that during the term I did serve I got a lot of good things started," Goldberg said."
Goldberg has lived in the township for 31 years. He is a retired business executive, U.S. Navy Commander and a Vietnam veteran. He currently serves on the Morris Township Environmental Commission and Open Space Committee, and is a Trustee of Teen Pride Inc., a non-profit organization devoted to helping teens in the area.
Goldberg said he believes one of the most important issues in the township is keeping it a rural community.
"Morris Township is a town that believes it wants to be rural in character and is fighting to try to hang onto that character when everything around it is pushing in the other direction," he said.
Goldberg said that the expansion of buildings is creating a lot of stress on roads, and residents are getting annoyed with it.
The Honeywell redevelopment project is an example of how the township is trying to expand its developments. While Goldberg said that it is really the Planning Board's responsibility to decide what should be done, he does think that there could probably be a "different mix of uses and a little less dense development" in the Honeywell area.
Goldberg said that ultimately the Planning Board should find a balance between what's good for the community.
In other areas of the town, Goldberg said that Morris Township should develop a better partnership with the county and local governments for road improvements. He said that because of the township's geography, a lot of the major roads belong to Morris County.
Goldberg said the county plans to develop some of those roads with businesses, and it poses problems with pedestrians and traffic. If elected, Goldberg said he would try to set objectives for how to relieve or avoid traffic problems.
Another initiative Goldberg said he would take would be to create more parks or other outdoor areas for people to enjoy and walk to. He said that there are many opportunities for this in areas where vacant buildings need to get torn down.
About Noel Robinson
Noel Robinson has lived in the township for 26 years, and retired last year after working for 41 years as a professor at the County College of Morris. This is her first time running for a political elected position, but has been involved with many organizations in the community.
She currently serves as a trustee on the Morris Educational Foundation, and has been an active member of Assumption Parish. She has been involved with the Morris Township Democrats for over 15 years, where she has served in the past as the vice president. She has also been both a boy and girl scout leader.
One of Robinson's main incentives to run this year is because of her concern over the Honeywell redevelopment plan. She lives close to the Honeywell property off Route 124, and said that she believes more consideration should be given about the plan, and that the township should listen to what's best for Morris Township residents.
"Of course they [Honeywell] own the land, and they have the right to develop it in accordance to current rules in place, but I think that much more consideration should be given to a huge problem that is going to result from the current amendment to the master plan," she said.
The major problem from changing the plan, Robinson said, would be traffic. Robinson said that there's already not a lot of open space in the township, and redeveloping Honeywell would pose even more of a traffic increase. She said that the land use issue and lack of open space are primary concerns for the town.
The budget is another important issue that Robinson said, and she said her main concern for working with the budget would involve "trying to maintain or reduce the rate of current property taxes while at the same time maintaing a high standard of service for the citizens."