The Brick mayoral candidates discuss issues

Theresa Gallagher & John Ducey (Campaign photos)

BRICK – There is an election for mayor this year, and four of the seven council member seats are also up for grabs. There are no municipal debates or events planned, so The time of the bricks contacted the two mayoral candidates and asked them the following questions:

What is your job ?

What experience do you have in the public service?

What experience do you have in civic groups?

Briefly describe the biggest problems facing the city and how you plan to solve them.

Is there something new that you would like to do in the city that is not being done right now?

republican candidate Therese Gallagher is a director of an online municipal bond trading company.

“Although I have leadership and financial skills which are essential for a public service, I do not have specific political experience,” she wrote in a recent email.

“I focused on volunteering related to my church and children with disabilities. I have been a long-time volunteer for Camp Fatima in New Jersey, where I also served on their board of directors for several years, ”said Gallagher.

“The residents of The Brick deserve the truth about city crime and the lack of sound financial planning. We used to be the safest city of our size in the country. In 2019, we ranked 124 out of 239 cities across the country. Further, the Brick did not benefit at the state or county level from having a Democratic mayor in a Democratic state. From the schools funding formula, to the new VA clinic assigned to Toms River, to the sale of Foodtown, Mayor Ducey lacks his negotiating skills for the residents of The Brick. Either Mayor Ducey is not fighting for the people of The Brick, or he is colossally ineffective. I would be proactive in fighting for The Brick and making sure that we are not constantly out of negotiations. In addition, I would tackle the issue of crime head-on. The mayor does not admit that crime is a problem, so he clearly is not doing enough about it. I would work with the police department to find out what additional steps can be taken to tackle the increase in drug use and street crime, hire additional police officers, and solicit residents to explore a neighborhood watch program. (Editor’s note: The Brick currently has a Neighborhood Watch program.)

Gallagher says the city needs to look for ways to streamline and become more efficient. “The taxes are too high and the mayor is spending the city’s surplus instead of looking for ways to cut costs. We must restore transparency, participation and the link between our taxpayers and elected officials. I would propose a monthly town hall sponsored by our elected city council as well as the re-establishment of a bi-monthly council caucus workshop that allows residents to participate. I would also propose a department-by-department audit, a reduction in non-essential employees and the reinstatement of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee on the Budget. “

Democrat Jean Ducey is a lawyer in a law firm on Herbertsville Road and, as outgoing mayor, is running for a second term. Before becoming mayor, he was a member of the city council for two years.

Part of Ducey’s experience in civic groups includes serving as a volunteer baseball coach at Brick American, president and member of the Ocean County Bar Association, secretary and member of the Ocean County Mayors Association, member of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh of the Jersey Shore, Legislative Member of the NJ League of Municipalities and Board Member of the NJ Conference of Mayors.

“The biggest problem with this election is keeping The Brick on track. Taxes are finally stable. Anyone who has lived here knows that the previous administration spent a huge amount as we have seen spending increase by 53% in those 8 years. Since becoming mayor, taxes have stabilized, including the first tax cut in over 33 years. In addition, the record debt I inherited when I became mayor has been reduced by $ 31 million thanks in large part to my fellow council members. Our debt reduction program will remain intact so that debt can be reduced even further over the next 4 years, ”Ducey wrote in a recent email.

“We also have a much safer city now than before I came to power. We have fully funded our police service and increased it by 17 officers. This increase in the number of officers enabled the launch of a dynamic community policing program and, equally important, the full staffing of the Drug Task Force (SET). The result of this full funding and, of course, the hard work of our great police force is a 42% reduction in overall crime and a 35% reduction in violent crime since taking office. The police will continue to be fully funded for the next 4 years so that crime and violent crime can continue to decline rather than revert to what it was before I took office, ”he said.

“Community events have been expanded and added and our community parks have been renovated and are a sense of pride for all residents of The Brick. In the past, activities like Summerfest were reduced and our parks were not well maintained or updated. Over the next 4 years, our last 2 parks will be renovated, ”said Ducey.

He said that due to the administration’s business-friendly policies, many empty storefronts have been filled over the past eight years and said he wants to see the few remaining empty slots filled in the next four years. .

Ducey has said he would like to see more aggressive preservation of open spaces in the city and has formed a new Brick Open Space Savers committee, made up of residents who target open spaces and try to find funding sources to purchase and preserve land. undeveloped and keep them. like wood.

He said he looks forward to the completion of the Community Seniors Center on Aurora Place and the Sports Dome, which is being privately built on the site of the former Foodtown. The project was delayed by a lawsuit against the developer who wanted to build condos and apartments on the site.

“The city no longer owns it and is now collecting property taxes for the first time in 20 years,” Ducey wrote.

Current Democratic Council members Marianna Pontoriero and Heather deJong are running for reelection along with newcomer Derrick Ambrosino.

The Republican Council candidates are Perry Albanese, Ernest C. Arians and Mary Buckley.

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