Fair Haven’s GOP Council Candidates: A Chat with Jim Banahan

Jim Banahan
Photo/courtesy of Jim Banahan

In the race for the three seats that are up for grabs on Fair Haven Borough Council, six candidates are vying for the wins. Three are newcomer Democrats. Three are Republicans.

Of the Republicans, one is an incumbent, one a newcomer, and one a former councilman. The former councilman, Jim Banahan, is on the ballot.

Jim Banahan tells Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect why he’s back in a little Q&A chat … 

Name, address, age:

Jim Banahan, 72 Church Street, 57

Where did you grow up?

New York

How long have you been a Fair Haven resident? If you left and returned, explain when and why.

25 years

Any past experience on a local board or commission, organization or governing body? If not in Fair Haven, where, in what capacity, and for how long?

Former Fair Haven councilman (2009 through 2011), currently vice chairman of the Fair Haven Planning Board

Volunteer work? Community organizations?

Executive officer of Fair Haven Sailing Club, a 501c3 organization whose central purpose is teaching children water safety and sailing.

If you are running to fill an unexpired term, why did you opt to run to fill in for a short time rather than full term? Local politics can prove to be more overwhelming than anticipated. If you are running for a full term, elected and find the job isn’t what you expected, is it your intention to complete your term, regardless?

I’m running for a full term.  As a former council member, I know what’s involved. Barring the unexpected, I’ll finish my term.

What do you do for a living, for how long and how do you think your professional career/skills will make you an asset as a public servant?

My experience in banking and real estate has already been tested in the context of service to the Borough Council.  It’s a valuable skillset.

If this is your first go at public office, what prompted you to run? N/A

Which U.S. president is your political role model? Why, specifically?

Ronald Reagan.  His extraordinary bipartisan successes.  He achieved what was considered impossible (tax and immigration reform as a Republican president with a Democrat majority in Congress).

What is your favorite charitable organization? Why?

The American Red Cross.  You don’t have to call them.  They show up when people need them.

Which local or regional official/representative (municipal governing body member, senator, assemblyman, congressman) do you admire most? Why?

Jon Peters.  Jon is a good friend and colleague and is the longest sitting member of Fair Haven’s governing body. Especially in the area of municipal finance, the volume and caliber of his work is impressive.

Fair Haven Borough Council members are completely uncompensated volunteers. There is no pay involved. It is also a very time-consuming job that requires transparency and accessibility to the public. What benefit is there for you, specifically, besides the obvious, serving the town in which you live? 

There is no benefit other than service to the public.

What are your key platform issues? Why did you choose these issues as focal points?  

The issues are perennial: maintaining and improving our infrastructure balanced against borough finances to sustain a well-run and maintained municipality.

How do you plan to address these issues? Please be specific.

Quality of life comes from  living in a well-run and maintained municipality. Careful planning and being ever aware of our resident’s needs are the means.