Michelle Roth has sat on the Manalapan Township committee for the past 5 years, last year she served the town as Mayor. She is currently seeking 1 of 2 seats that are up for grabs in the State’s 12th Assembly District.
1. What is your motivation for seeking a seat in the NJ State Assembly and can you tell us a little about yourself?
I earned an MBA in Finance from Fordham University and own a small consulting firm that does no business within the State of New Jersey. I have served on the Manalapan Township Committee for 5 years and was Mayor in 2008. I am married with three daughters.
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?
The only thing on everyone’s mind is the high cost of property taxes in New Jersey. There are several ways we can address this:
- – Shift the funding source for education from property taxes to the State Income Tax.
- – Shift school administration to the County level. This ensures greater economies of scale on purchasing, eliminates redundancies and centralizes management and hiring. This is done successfully elsewhere in our country without sacrificing quality in the classrooms. It will also be easier for budgeting oversight if there are only 21 school budgets to review Statewide instead of over 600.
- – Keep all police patrol functions local, but centralize administration at the County level. This works effectively in other states.
3. What do you hope to accomplish once you are elected to the State Assembly?
Make government more efficient.
4. What is it that makes your district unique and how does that uniqueness impact your campaign?
Our district is similar to other suburban districts. We have several small municipalities surrounded by larger ones.
5. If elected, how would your professional background enhance your ability to be an effective State Assembly representative?
My business background will be extremely valuable when dissecting the State’s budget. I have also had the opportunity to travel extensively within the US and internationally, which has allowed me to see how different ideas utilized by other governmental entities succeed elsewhere and then scrutinize what can be transplanted here.
6. Do you have any thoughts on how to contain the growth of state government?
Invest in infrastructure and technology to make government leaner and more efficient and less reliant on manpower.
7. Is there any aspect of state government that you believe there is a need to be expanded upon?
8. Why should residents of your district trust you to represent them in the legislature ?
The challenges that face us are both great and grave. We need to make sure that we have the right people in office making the tough decisions. As the Mayor of Manalapan, I made local government more transparent by televising all meetings and improving access to public records online. I prevented urban sprawl by purchasing open space and supporting farmland preservation programs. I also reduced the size of government while making it more efficient. I will work to do the same in Trenton.
Since I do not do business within the State of New Jersey, there is nothing I want from the Trenton machine. That means I will always do what is in the best interest of all the residents of the 12th district.
9. Why do you identify yourself as a Democrat as opposed to a Republican or Independent?
Although I am very fiscally conservative, I align socially with Democrats on issues such as women’s rights and civil rights.
10. Is there anything that is important to you that I hasn’t been asked, that you would like to address?
I believe we should institute campaign finance reform.