SPOTSWOOD–Borough Council President Larry Kraemer will face off against former mayoral candidate Jackie Palmer for the open mayor seat that holds a four-year term in Spotswood.
Election day is on Nov. 3.
Current Mayor Edward Seely will not run for re-election.
Kraemer, 63, has been a borough resident for the past 23 years.
“I made the decision to run after finding out Mayor Edward Seely would not be seeking re-election,” Kraemer said. “I didn’t want the citizens of Spotswood to feel like they had to settle for a mayor because there was only one option; I wanted them to have a choice.”
Having been on the council for two years, Kraemer works as a high/low operator for the Mercedes Benz Distribution Center in Robbinsville.
“For the past 14 years, I have been a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) lieutenant for the Township of Woodbridge Township. Additionally, for the past 12 years I have been on the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Run for the Fallen,” Kraemer said. “The run is an organization of military runners and support staff whose mission is to run one mile for each New Jersey active service member who has died during the global war on terror.”
If elected as mayor, Kraemer said the top three issues he wants to tackle would include settling the lawsuits against the town, because officials need to move forward and focus on more important issues, such as taxes; taxes are a major concern for all and he would like to find ways to lower them, if possible. If not, he would like to find ways to prevent them from being increased; and he would like to continue the work the current administration has begun to dredge and clean DeVoe Lake.
Palmer, 46, has been a borough resident for 21 years. She is a freelance project manager for two large insurance companies and is a small business owner.
“Spotswood is in need of new leadership and ideas. We need to restore an administration that has integrity, respect and accountability to our residents. It’s time for a change. The issues and platforms that I ran on four years ago are still the same today,” Palmer said.
As an experienced project manager with more than 20 years of experience in Human Resources, Leadership and Management, Palmer said she brings the ability to not only see and manage the day-to-day details of running a municipality but she can also see the 30,000-foot view to help identify gaps and challenges that are not always seen when working day-to-day in the details.
“I am a dedicated leader and want Spotswood to continue to be a place where people want to live, work and raise a family. We have a great community and I know it can be even better,” Palmer said.
Throughout her years in the borough, Palmer was on the Spotswood Zoning Board; a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) life member, former treasurer and past president; a Spotswood Soccer Club coach; Spotswood Youth Baseball board member; a Neighborhood Watch/Community Policing participant; and on the EMS review committee appointed by the mayor.
“Spotswood’s taxes are extremely high. Lake Devoe needs continued attention. It is a challenge for small businesses to start up in Spotswood and grow,” Palmer said. “We need a strong advocate to the county and state for the needs of Spotswood residents. We need to enhance our community communications and encourage resident involvement.”
If elected as mayor, Palmer said the first order of business is to restore fiscal responsibility in the borough. With continued increases in taxes and extensive municipal bonding for projects, the borough needs to review exactly where it stands financially and have a plan to stabilize while still enabling it to be more proactive in town projects as opposed to reactive.
“As I said earlier, we need an advocate for Spotswood at the county and state level. I am passionate about ensuring that Spotswood receives not only what is entitled to but also find creative ways for financing including additional grants and holding our professionals accountable,” Palmer said.
Contact Vashti Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.