Category Archives: NJ State Assembly District 11

Randy Bishop, Candidate For NJ State Assembly District 11- Answers 10 Questions

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.

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Filed under Candidates, Jim Grenafege, NJ State Assembly District 11, property taxes, Randy Bishop, Rick Bolger, Sean Dunne

Rick Bolger Candidate for NJ State Assembly District 11, Op-Ed: An Alternative to School Regionalization

More than two years ago the State legislature enacted a law designed to encourage local school districts to merge, regionalize, consolidate and/or share services. While I agree with the concept, this piece of legislation represents everything that is wrong with our State government.

First, the law created a new level of bureaucracy in an already enormous Department of Education.

Second, it authorized the expenditure of millions of tax dollars in salaries, surveys, studies and other expenses, all in furtherance of an unattainable goal.

Third, the law is vague as to its specific goal, a time table and the consequences of non-compliance.

Finally, this Act and its veiled threat of forced consolidation are divisive and, most of all, smacks of Big Brother.

While denouncing this legislation, I applaud the effort to shine some light on the most fertile ground for tax savings in all single K-8 school districts across New Jersey. Although I could never entertain the notion of forced consolidation, I appreciate the work done thus far by the Monmouth County Superintendent of Schools Carol Morris in identifying natural clusters of potential partners in her effort to promote efficiency in the administration of our Monmouth County schools. However, I am calling for the immediate suspension of any further expenditure of funds in pursuit of the State’s apparent effort to force regionalization and I am hereby proposing an alternative to the current process. Although my plan will be specifically directed toward the southern Monmouth coastal region which includes my hometown of Brielle, I believe the principles of my plan are equally applicable to all school districts involved in the current regionalization effort.

I understand the concerns of the residents of our communities. Some of the concerns are well founded; others are the result of confusion, misunderstanding, hysteria and even direct misrepresentation. Regardless, for purposes of this discussion, my plan is directed to the residents of Avon, Belmar, Spring Lake Heights, Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Manasquan and Brielle, a natural grouping of homogenous towns, six of which operate one K-8 elementary school and send their children to Manasquan High School on a tuition paying basis. (Manasquan has one K-8 school and a high school.)

My plan does NOT include the formal regionalization, merger or consolidation of these individual school districts. The plan does NOT include the pooling of grades or the assignment and transportation of students out of the districts in which they reside. My plan preserves the autonomy of the individual Boards of Education, their individual budgets, the identity of each individual school and its place in the heart of each community.

Most importantly, my plan would NOT negatively impact the education of our children.

The purpose of my plan is to effectuate significant savings through a sharing of services throughout this cluster of schools. These seven towns currently employ seven superintendents, seven business administrators, seven attorneys, seven auditors, seven curriculum departments, etc. and all currently bear the burden of special education costs on an individual basis.

My plan also contemplates the establishment of shared services with each school’s respective municipal government involving such things as library services, facilities, engineering and property maintenance.

I am specifically proposing that Mrs. Morris invite a three person committee from each community within the cluster of districts to a meeting at a central site. The three person envoy would include a member of the governing body, a member of the Board of Education and a resident not affiliated with either entity. I am absolutely convinced that a committee of this nature could successfully develop an array of shared services between all or any combination of these seven towns and I am further convinced that once a general philosophy, or “mind set” can be achieved, there are undoubtedly many other areas of duplication within this cluster of schools which can be addressed and result in further savings to everyone involved. There would be no “losers.” If a particular plan does not include tax savings for everyone involved, it would never become a reality. I believe the Department of Education could provide further incentive for this proposal by utilizing whatever funds would have been spent on surveys, studies, etc. as additional State Aid for those school districts which can demonstrate a good faith effort at sharing services.

The work of this committee will be demanding and will require dedication to the concept of sharing services. I am certainly sensitive to the reality of this proposal as it may affect certain individuals. There does not need to be any time table on the total implementation of any program such that all reasonable economic expectations of everyone involved can be met. I am further convinced that a cooperative venture of this sort also carries the potential for the collective improvement of the educational programs and services available to the children of all districts.

It is my belief that we, as individual municipalities, have the ability to better control our escalating property taxes and we do not need Trenton to tell us how to do it, or worse yet, to threaten us with forced consolidation.

Rick Bolger, Candidate
NJ State Assembly District 11

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Filed under New Jersey, NJ State Assembly District 11, Op-Ed, Rick Bolger, School Regionalization