FAIR HAVEN – Four candidates are seeking a pair of three-year terms on the Fair Haven Borough Council in the Nov. 5 election. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The candidates are Republican incumbents Jonathan Peters and Jacqueline Rice and Democrats Meghan Chrisner-Keefe and Michael McCue.
Peters and Rice are profiled in a separate article.
Asked why she is seeking a seat on the Borough Council, Chrisner-Keefe said, “I have a strong appreciation for democracy and believe there is opportunity for improved representation in Fair Haven. I’ve been speaking up at council meetings for some time now and decided it’s time to step up.
“I want to engage with and support our community of active and interested residents who desire transparency, comprehensive communication and inclusivity in Fair Haven’s future. At present, Fair Haven is facing many changes and challenges. I am prepared to address our town’s concerns with my background and skills as a practicing attorney.
“I have a deep understanding of Fair Haven – both as a child growing up here and now as a taxpayer and parent – and this unique perspective will inform each decision.
“It is our community of people and the character of our town that make it so wonderful and I believe it is critically important to ensure our residents’ voices are being heard and that means not just listening, but taking consonant actions. I am a current member of the Fair Haven Natural Area Committee,” Chrisner-Keefe said.
Asked what her goals would be as a member of the governing body, Chrisner-Keefe said, “Foremost, I hope to improve transparency and awareness with more timely and comprehensive transfer of information between residents and the council.
“Hearing residents’ concerns and ideas, as well as addressing questions and inquiries, are a primary goal so I can understand what is important, inform key issues and translate it into action items. One method for achieving this goal is to stream council meetings and increase accessibility to residents.
“I would also like to focus on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements, including the addition of sidewalks, bike lanes, pop-up projects and crosswalk lights, for the benefit of all residents and to support safe routes to school.
“I have concerns about the influx of development in our downtown district and want to examine and ensure future changes reflect Fair Haven’s values, including the proposed relocation and redevelopment of our borough facilities, a fair share housing plan and commercial development. If I am elected, the community will know I am approachable, that I will listen and that I will take action to impact positive changes in our town,” Chrisner-Keefe said.
Asked why he is seeking a seat on the governing body, McCue said, “While I have not served on Fair Haven’s Borough Council or any other governing body, I have served my country as a U.S. Marine for five years.
“Whether serving my country or community, I feel that serving others is one of the noblest acts one can do. I have decided to run for council because I feel that there is a demand for new leadership with different perspectives from our community.
“As someone who grew up in town, I have experienced what makes Fair Haven such a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Now with my own young children growing up in town, I want to ensure the council plans for the long-term so Fair Haven continues to be a wonderful place to live for all its residents,” McCue said.
Asked what his goals would be if he is elected, McCue said, “A priority will be to bring comprehensive communication to our council. My running mate, Meg, and I already have begun responding to emails and Facebook messages from residents who have questions and concerns about the lack of comprehensive communication from the council.
“Second, I understand everyone can’t make the council’s meeting, so the meetings should be streamed and the video should be archived. We as a town have many important issues that the council is going to have to make decisions on very shortly, and to best represent residents, those residents should have the same information as the council.
“Issues I plan to focus on include Fair Haven’s public buildings. Our public works building is in disrepair and the police department headquarters also has serious concerns. The current council’s solution is to relocate these buildings and create a new borough hall, which would house a new police department.
“Like many residents, I feel concerned about such a large and costly project. I was raised that when something is broken, you try to fix it first, rather than buy a new one. With that in mind, I plan to help the council consider more cost-efficient and less drastic alternatives.
“Another issue important to me and many of my neighbors is the brush grinding operation which is of grave concern due to noise, pollution and safety near our homes. In fact, I live on the street where 18-wheelers turn to deliver brush to the grinding location, so I bring firsthand views on this topic.
“Nothing is more important than the health, safety and quality of life of residents, whether it’s keeping children safe or keeping the town affordable,” McCue said.