Randy Bishop is the former Mayor of Neptune Township and is currently seeking 1 of 2 seats in the NJ State Assembly out of the 11th District.
Randy is the 4th State Assembly Candidate to return my questionnaire and by doing so he has joined his runningmate Rick Bolger, Jim Grenafege from Disitrict 13 and Independent Candidated Sean Dunne aslo from the 13th district as responders.
As I read through Randy’s responses I have a sense that the most important thing to him is public service.
As a small business owner and head of the Ocean Grove Chamber of Commerce, it is import to him that businesses not be strangle to the point they cannot exist.
1. What is your motivation for seeking a seat in the NJ State Assembly and can you tell us a little about yourself ?
I have been in public service from my participation in boards, my time as head of the Ocean Grove Chamber of Commerce and my time as committeeman and Mayor in Neptune Township. I believe that public service is the highest calling and that working to make a difference is what keeps us going and looking for solutions.
2. As you meet residents throughout your district what seems to be the greatest concerns they are expressing and how do you plan to address them?
Residents of this District are frustrated by high property taxes, the question of can they remain in a place they love or are they being priced out. I believe that we need to restructure government and am a believer in a State Constitutional Convention. There are those, mostly people who have power and do not want to give it up, but the system is broken. Layering patches on a broken system will not fix the underlying problems and that is what the legislature is tasked to do.
3. What do you hope to accomplish once you are elected to the State Assembly?
Bring back to this District the information, the help and the voice that it has been lacking in Trenton. Oddly, we hear so much that things cannot get done by the current Assembly persons because they are in the minority. Actually having served in the minority, I have still been able to raise issues, propose solutions and work toward making things better.
4. What is it that makes your district unique and how does that uniqueness impact your campaign?
This district is very diverse having some of the most urban areas in all of Monmouth County and as such has a unique set of challenges. While you look for solutions you must make sure that the one thing you think will solve one issue will create another somewhere else. But across all of this district it is common that we need job creation, less burden on businesses and equal educational opportunities for all of our residents.
5. If elected, how would your professional background enhance your ability to be an effective State Assembly representative?
As a small business owner and as a municipal elected official, I see what the edicts of Trenton do to the people of this district. I believe that I know challenges facing especially small businesses by owning one and by being the head of a Chamber of Commerce. We cannot continue to strangle the business community to the point they cannot exist or suffocate the residents under this tax burden.
6. Do you have any thoughts on how to contain the growth of state government?
We really must look at integration of functions. Each department replicates work in other departments. Also, I believe we must get back to what are we required to do, what do we need to do and make sure we are not funding the things we like to do. I also believe that it is time to end unfunded state mandates to municipalities.
7. Is there any aspect of state government that you believe there is a need to be expanded upon?
There are currently no needs for expansion that I can see..
8. Why should residents of your district trust you to represent them in the legislature?
I have a record of service, of creativity in problem solving that I feel the residents can trust. Its not just that I say what I will do, I do it.
9. Why do you identify yourself as a Democrat as opposed to a Republican or Independent?
I have always believed in the ideals and values of the Democratic Party. That doesn’t always mean I agree with the leaders and have stood up against them at times. I will always fight for those who need a voice. Government for most of us should just get out of the way. But sometimes, government is the only way to bring about an equitable solution.
10. Is there anything that is important to you that hasn’t been asked, that you would like to address?
Just that experience matters. Not experience in Trenton today, but experience in the trenches bot in business and in politics. I have worked in Washington DC on Capitol Hill, I have worked in start-up companies and in corporate America and now in owning my own business. I believe this gives me a unique view on problem solving and on working toward solutions.