Move toward non-partisan elections

Byram /
| 30 Sep 2022 | 01:33

    It is my hope that one day more municipalities head toward non-partisan local elections like Sparta, Newton, Vernon, and Byram have. As a taxpayer, I strongly believe that local elected leaders should be focused on the needs of their townships more than fleeting trends in big party national politics. Running without a party affiliation would provide more candidates with freedom from the reputational and financial ties of the Republican and Democratic parties. More importantly, it would allow them to focus on the local needs of their constituents as they campaign and when they serve.

    I’ve decided to run for a seat on the Fredon Township Committee as an Independent for these reasons too.

    I believe big party mindsets won’t help us update our Master Plan to limit mega-warehouses. They won’t help us look into consolidating schools to reduce taxes, retain our best employees, and bring more programs to students. They won’t help us negotiate recycling contracts, develop recreation programs for our seniors, fundraise for our volunteers, or convince home buyers to move to Fredon.

    They definitely will not help us in the next town emergency.And, it doesn’t have to be this way. We’re a very small community, so we have a chance to return the focus of our interactions online and off from debate (I’m right and you’re wrong) to dialogue (Let’s find common ground and solutions).

    We can even walk away until we cool off, think about it more, and come back when we’re ready for dialogue. I hope others will join me as I try to bring some calm to the culture wars in our region and find ways to make the beautiful town of Fredon more peaceful - online and off - through civility, communication, and collaboration.

    Changes that are meant to last are best made slowly, and I know that one by one we can turn the tone around to benefit us all in Fredon and Sussex County for years to come.

    Laura Knutelsky Ciccolella

    Fredon, N.J.