METUCHEN – The Democratic slate on the Borough Council is running unopposed for the two, three-year terms and one year unexpired term open in the November election.
Linda M. Koskoski is seeking her seeking her second term, Dorothy Rasmussen is seeking her fourth term and Dan Hirsch is seeking the one year unexpired term.
Koskoski, 54, has lived in Metuchen for 29 years. She and her husband Pete Fairclough have two adult children
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University.
Along with serving on the council, Koskoski has served on the Library Board for seven years, overseeing the renovation of the children’s room and participating in the development of their strategic plan as well as filling several key positions at the library.
She also owned and operated Marafiki Fair Trade, a downtown business, for more than seven years. She belongs to the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce and the Borough Improvement League.
“Raising two children [in Metuchen] presented many opportunities to volunteer and I embraced it all,” she said. “I have volunteered with the PTO [parent teacher organization] on such things as Spring Extravaganza and Project Graduation. I have also volunteered with the Girl Scouts as a leader and with the Boy Scouts as a cub scout leader and climbing instructor. I love that our town provides so many opportunities to participate.”
Koskoski said running for a second term on the council continues to be born out of her commitment to making a contribution to the wonderful borough she has made her home.
“I am actively involved in several projects such as building a new home for our first responders, developing the Metuchen Arts District, addressing downtown parking issues, and working on bike/walk safety,” she said. “I would be grateful for the opportunity to continue working on these vital projects.”
Koskoski said as a member of council she thinks it is important to continue updating the borough’s infrastructure.
“We are in the process of rebuilding our pump house and first responder building, which are both so important to keeping our town safe and running smoothly,” she said.
Also, Koskoski said developing the Metuchen Arts District is key to maintaining the vibrancy on Main Street and creating opportunity for businesses on South Main.
“Focusing on these key projects will ensure Metuchen’s continued success,” she said.
Rasmussen has lived in the borough for 29 years and has two adult sons.
She is employed as a medical technologist. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Staten Island.
Rasmussen has been as a parent volunteer in sports and school activities. She has served on the Shade Tree Commission and has served as chairperson of the Dismal Swamp Preservation since 2013.
“I am running for a seat on the council to continue the work I have been doing for the residents of Metuchen for the last nine years,” she said. “From park improvements to increasing programs for our seniors, I will work in conjunction with my fellow council members and the mayor to maintain the quality of life we have come to expect in Metuchen. I have a personal commitment to leading by example [through] shopping in our stores, investigating new environmental efforts, supporting the arts. I pledge to continue being responsive to each and every resident’s needs and concerns.”
As a council member, Rasmussen said she would focus on environmental concerns. Since serving as liaison to the environmental commission, she said she is proud of the many achievements including earning three time bronze level certification for Sustainable Jersey, receiving a $25,000 grant for composter program, environmental film festival, and rally for extension of the greenway.
“I would like to continue to provide a safe and healthy environment to the residents of Metuchen by offering educational programs highlighting timely environmental issues including recycling, reducing use of single plastics, and reducing borough energy costs,” she said.
Hirsch, 53, has lived in Metuchen for 26 years. He and his wife Debra have two daughters, both graduates of Metuchen High School.
He is an attorney employed by Zurich American Insurance Company as a professional liability program manager. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from the State University of New York at Albany and a law degree from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.
Hirsch was appointed to council in January to fill a vacancy. As a member of the council he serves as the liaison to the Board of Health, the Fire Department, Emergency Medical Service Squad and the Metuchen Pool Commission, and is a member on the Finance Committee.
In the community, he has spent several years volunteering in Metuchen serving as a member of the Planning Board, the Technical Review Committee, the Environmental Commission and the Parking Authority. He also was a member of a committee that reviewed plans for Woodmont and the Plaza.
Hirsch is past president of Neve Shalom, where he served two years, and prior to that in several roles on the executive committee and board of directors. He currently serves as the executive vice president of the Neve Shalom Men’s Club.
“I am running for a seat on the council because I have a desire to serve my community, as I have for years,” he said. “I feel that it is important to give back and provide my time, expertise and judgment when and however it is needed. I pride myself on being a good listener and a problem solver, and wish to use these skills to assist the members of the community and Metuchen as a whole.”
On the council, Hirsch said there are several significant issues which Metuchen faces.
“Currently, the state of the Metuchen volunteer firehouse is an issue which is coming to a head,” he said. “We are greatly in need of a new firehouse, as the current firehouse is decaying and has outlived its life expectancy. It is imperative that the town of Metuchen evaluate the need for a firehouse and determine how to replace the firehouse with a building that meets our current and future needs, and that will continue to attract volunteers. It is also important that in doing so, we not unduly burden our taxpayers.”
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 5.