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 Republicans. Three are newcomer Democrats.
Of the three Democrats running, one is a Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) graduate and a native Fair Havenite who came back home to live.
That native Fair Havenite is Carolyn Williams.
Carolyn gave Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect a glimpse into her background and political vision for Fair Haven in a Q&A chat …
Name, address, age
Carolyn Williams, 34 Cedar Avenue, 65
Where did you grow up?
Fair Haven, NJ
How long have you been a Fair Haven resident? If you left and returned, explain when and why.
50 years. I left for school and a job in 1983, then lived in Matawan, where I served on the Board of Education for two terms. I returned to my childhood home in 2012 after my parents died.
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 two-term Board of Education member in Matawan starting in 2001, including one term as president.
Volunteer work? Community organizations?
Former youth coach and current local NJSIAA-credentialed sports referee.
I volunteer at local health fairs, the Fair Haven Fireman’s Fair, and Oktoberfest. My dad, Luther Jackson, was a long-time Fireman’s Fair Volunteer and I am following in his footsteps.
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?
Of course I am planning on completing the term, just as I did both terms when I served on the board of education.
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?
Administrator for Visiting Nurses Association — Nurse Family Partnership Program in four counties.
I have worked with all types of people and get along well with all of them. I am a team player.
If this is your first go at public office, what prompted you to run?
It’s not my first go. I feel I have a lot to contribute in Fair Haven and a can provide a new persepective.
Which U.S. president is your political role model? Why, specifically?
They all are. I feel I have learned from each of them, including ones I did not vote for.
What is your favorite charitable organization? Why?
United Way of New Jersey, because they cover all areas of need ranging from the scouts to the homeless.
Which local or regional official/representative (municipal governing body member, senator, assemblyman, congressman) do you admire most? Why?
My cousin Cory Booker, current New Jersey senator, whom I admire because he came from nothing and worked hard to achieve personal success while also supporting the common person.
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 obviousserving the town in which you live?
I think it is admirable to serve my hometown, but I also would be proud to be a role model to my children and grandchildren.
What are your key platform issues? Why did you choose these issues as focal points?
By listening to residents via canvassing for this council position, I have heard my neighbors’ Fair Haven pride as well as their concerns which include the issues outlined below. I believe we need to create more opportunities to hear from residents so we can be more transparent in our process.
Evaluation of over-building
This concerns every district in Fair Haven. People worrying about the unique character of our town being compromised. People moved to Fair Haven and wonder if it is becoming a totally different place.
I am concerned about the affordability of Fair Haven. I will be an advocate for multi-generational community issues.
Concerns about old trees, due to so much new building. This is a concern both aesthetically and environmentally. Also, I invite residents from William Street and Hendrickson to air their concerns with the DPW dumping.
Also, I would like to see a more thorough evaluation of the health of Fair Haven ponds — both dredging and cleaning.
I will address concerns about out-of-date DPW building, police department & borough hall as well as local roads.
How do you plan to address these issues? Please be specific.
I will address these concerns by taking the time to work with the community via a series of meetings to get the input of residents and explain the process so people can understand and work together for the betterment of our community.
Consquently, I will work with council members to come together to reach the best solution, but before we do that, we need to make sure that the sure residents have been heard and their ideas have been considered.