Editor’s note: Each of the nine candidates running for a seat on the Brick Township Council were sent a questionnaire by Brick Shorebeat. Their answers to our questions will be published on our site verbatim. We have disabled comments on profile articles to ensure the candidates’ statements speak for themselves and readers can decide, without additional, potentially anonymous commentary, their view on those running for office.
Full Name: Arthur Halloran
Current Age: 69
I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Jersey City State College.
My professional career was spent in the corporate world where I held executive positions for some excellent companies. As President of Sony Electronics Business Solutions Company, I successfully managed a $500 million business. This experience taught me to understand, appreciate and practice fiscal responsibility. I developed and managed the delivery of services of the highest quality while controlling costs and expenses. I currently work in residential real estate for Weichert Realtors.
Do you currently receive any public salary compensation? If so, from what public agency?
I receive $53 per meeting for the Brick Township Planning Board serving as Vice Chairman.
Have you ever previously held an elected office in Brick or elsewhere?
No, but I have reached a point in my life where I can now give back to my community. As I stepped back from my corporate career I felt the need to participate and be active in contributing to our community and hopefully to make a difference in the lives of all Brick residents. My involvement includes being appointed Vice-Chairman of the Brick Township Planning Board which gives me an opportunity to direct and guide the development of Brick.
After Superstorm Sandy I volunteered to participate in a number of activities to help in the recovery from Sandy and to plan for future natural disasters. I currently serve on the Floodplain Management and Hazard Mitigation Committees. Brick has the largest amount of waterfront property of any town in New Jersey, so it is critical that we understand the dangers and prepare for them. Careful planning and preparation will let us continue to take advantage of grant funded programs which can pay for projects that will help us weather future storms.
If elected or re-elected to council, will you choose to receive taxpayer-funded health benefits from your elected position? Why or why not?
No I already have health benefits.
For the better part of the last decade, one of the top questions on the minds of Brick Township residents has been the redevelopment of the former Foodtown site on Route 70. How would you like to see the site redeveloped – commercial, residential Should future proposals set aside space for public to access Forge Pond?
The Foodtown site needs to be put back on the tax rolls, with a beneficial use for our residents. I was pleased to see that the Township Council recently took action to block 192 condominiums on the site and to terminate the agreement the redeveloper that proposed them. Mayor Ducey said that there will never be residential development on the site as long as he is mayor, and I fully support that position. We don’t need more condos in the middle of our town.
Personally I would like to see a recreation complex there so that our kids will have a place to practice and play sports. But whatever we put there, we should not spend any more taxpayer money on the site.
The concept of perceived “overdevelopment” in Brick has generated a great deal of concern by township residents in recent years, especially given the construction of hundreds of new residential housing units that is currently underway. How should Brick Township manage what land remains undeveloped, and what zoning and land use limitations – if any – should be put on continued residential development in town?
We recognize that state policies and judicial decisions have accounted for a significant share of New Jersey residents’ highest-in-the-nation property tax burden, but local policies often have the most direct – and immediate – effect on tax bills. Please share any specific policies you favor through which the cost of municipal government would be reduced or revenue could be generated to offset the property tax burden. Should the township’s workforce be increased or reduced in certain departments or divisions, with the aim of saving money by either bringing services in-house or, conversely, looking to the private sector?
Smaller government is better government. Based on my experience in business, I intend to focus my efforts on making our town government smaller. I have been pleased with the cuts that Mayor Ducey and the current Township Council have made in Town Hall, and impressed that services have been maintained at such a high level. Everyone knows that we had too many management and administrative positions in town, that simply cost us too much. Mayor Ducey eliminated 8 Patronage Jobs that were created for the friends and family of the previous administration, saving over $980,000 in salaries and benefits. And Mayor Ducey and his team on Council were the first in our State to eliminate the red light cameras, another hidden tax imposed on our residents. I hope to continue to identify areas where we can be more efficient without reducing services.
I also would like to work with the Council on the Mayor’s debt reduction plan. Our township debt simply got out of control under prior administrations. I know that Mayor Ducey has already reduced the outstanding debt by over $8 million, and has a plan to reduce it even more. Mayor Ducey’s decision to put a cap on municipal bonding is an excellent idea and I will help to maintain that cap. Brick residents want to be able to afford to live in the town they love.
In 2014, Brick enacted a “Rental Responsibility” ordinance aimed at holding absentee landlords responsible for leasing their properties to tenants who commit crimes. What other specific proposals do you favor to reduce crime in “troubled” rental communities and neighborhoods where crime issues are recognized as being a heightened concern compared to the remainder of the township?
I think the implementation of the Neighborhood Watch program is a great start. As residents we need to be more involved and mindful of the activities in our areas. Working closely with the police to communicate suspicious activities is essential to combating the spread of crime.