We believe that it is time to provide balance to the Council. For almost 20 years, our borough has experienced one-party rule. This has led to complacency, an unwillingness to challenge ideas and raise concerns for fear of stepping out of line, with the result that our taxes have continued to climb as support for pet projects combined with inadequate planning and oversight have continued to put upward pressure on our budget.
Fair Haven deserves independent minds on the Council to keep the ideas fresh, to question the reasoning and most importantly to keep Fair Haven a friendly, affordable place to live. Fair Haven needs Council Members who will treat the municipal budget with the same more care than we each take with our household budgets. We have the knowledge to help revise ourzoning ordinances, research ideas and balance the budget. A little bit about our background follows:
Matthew Cohen is a graduate of Rutgers College and Rutgers Law School, where he was a member of the Rutgers Computer & Technology Law Journal. Matthew is a successful businessman. After 20 years in private practice, most recently as a partner in Cohen & Howard, LLC, he started a title company with his wife, Leslie, headquartered in Little Silver, and which now operates in three states. growing each year since its inception in 2004. Experienced in drafting municipal ordinances, he is familiar with land use and zoning issues and has worked on major state projects, including the initial planning and zoning phase for the creation of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Matthew is also a small business owner, father of two, who has managed to find time to volunteer his time in the community and who now serves as a Trustee at B’nai Israel in Rumson.
Margo Tikijian graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Speech and Hearing Sciences. During the late 80’s and through out the ‘90’s Margo worked at AT&T Bell Labs in Holmdel and Lincroft where she I worked on many project; such projects included the (still emerging) Internet, the ergonomics of ISDN business phones, and Automatic Speech Recognition systems. Interspersed were a few years in graduate school at the “Graduate Center” of CUNY pursuing the study of Hearing Science.
As a team leader at Bell Labs, Margo learned that every member of the team had to ask the rights questions, todo what was necessary to gather the information so thatthe proper decisions could be made. With Margo on the Council, you can be certain that she won’t be shy about making sure the right questions are asked. For the past 10 years, Margo has devoted her energy to raising her two children and running her home. At the same time she has also been able to be an active member of the PTA, Brownie Troop Leader, Editor for the Newcomers Club, class mother, and has been involved in numerous local activities.
We are running because we believe that the Council needs a more balanced approach to making decisions. We believe that our experience, both professional and personal, will help foster a more careful approach on the council. In some ways, our running seems to have already brought results. For the first time, the agenda for the Council meeting was posted on the municipal website, before the meeting. Greater transparency has been one of the issues we have been raising for months. It’s a step in the right direction. With your support, we can take many such steps.
We would appreciate your consideration and support on November 3rd as we seek to represent you on the Borough Council. We would be happy to speak with you at any time, now or after the election. Our emails are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org If you want to read about our issues in detail visit our website located at www.fhdems.org. Some of the issues we highlight on our website are attached to this letter. Thank you for your consideration and support.
Margo Tikijian & Matthew Cohen
Did you know?????
The Borough plans on spending in excess of $1,300,000.00 to create a new park, consisting of .69 acres of useable land at the end of one of the narrowest streets in our town, DeNormandie. The quest for a waterfront parcel stated almost a year ago, but the Council didn’t make the plans public until this summer. Some facts:
- The Council wants this to be a passive park. No water fountain, no bathroom, despite the existence of utilities which service the exiting house, to be torn down. No parking spaces except one handicapped spot, one bench. No lights, no game area, no playground just a view.
- Parking – one handicapped spot, the nearby restricts have little on street parking and are very narrow; DeNormandie, Clay, Gillespie. The Council believes that people should use the parking area next to Moxley Hall (the old Masonic Lodge) up the hill on the other side of River Road.
- No planning. There are no other plans to expand the park in the future. This choice was not part of an overall design nor was it the result of a committee or other organization looking for a suitable site. No other property owners were approached prior to making an offer on the property. The stated reason for choosing this location is because it was for sale now.
The Borough spent over $250,000.00 to acquire rights to parking next to Moxley Hall. The Borough purchased Moxley Hall for $1,200,000.00. The Building itself was resold for $955,000.00 with the borough reserving use of the parking lot (together with the new owner) for a net expense of $245,000.00. Add the professional fees, and interest and the bonds and it significantly increases this total. The parking lot is located in the center of a business district where most businesses have extensive rear parking. The Borough has not faced a shortage of parking spaces in either of its business districts.
The Borough signed on with the County Dispatch system. At this past September meeting, the announcement board outside of Borough Hall said there would be update on the dispatch service. To the shock of all the residents at that meeting, the Council had already planned on voting to end the merger with Little Silver and sign on with Monmouth County Dispatch. It was during this meeting that we learned of some “technical difficulties” that necessitated ending the merger. No details were given when asked what the difficulties were. When asked by if they were considering going back to a local dispatch system, the answer was simply, “that option is off the table” After the meeting, details emerged which indicate that the “technical” difficulties stem from simple topographical issues, the failure of the towers in Fair Haven and Little Silver to be able to adequately communicate with each other. During the most sever economic crises we have seen in two generations, we tell our dispatchers they are no longer needed, and incur expenses and future liabilities which may exceed $100,000.00 on a failed merger.