Two Republican candidates are vying for two open seats on the Cranbury Township Committee against two Democrats in the Nov. 2 general election.
Newcomers Robert Bolger and Cynthia Hughes-Smithers, both Republicans, are squaring off against Democratic nominees Eman El-Badawi and incumbent Michael Ferrante for the two open seats on the Township Committee.
Both of the seats carry a three-year term.
Bolger, who was raised in western suburbs of Pennsylvania, is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and had attended the University of Pennsylvania.
Bolger would go on to found a food service company that had employed more than 100 people.
He added that the business grew quickly from zero to multi-million dollar sales.
After selling the stores he would venture with his wife Johana to a mountain top in Costa Rica. While in Costa Rica, they planted crops of coffee and oranges and planted more than 40,000 tropical hardwood trees when took on a reforestation project.
They return to the United States in 2017 after having spent 12 years in Costa Rica.
If elected, there are two top challenges Bolger said he would want to address as a member of the Township Committee are maintaining a level of civility in public discourse and improved management of truck traffic.
“One challenge facing Cranbury is the need to maintain an atmosphere of civility and comity in all our public discourse. Traditionally, such an atmosphere has been an elemental part of community life,” he said. “It has been an important part of what makes Cranbury, Cranbury. It must be nurtured and protected from intrusions of the bitter partisanship that has infected so much of our national politics.”
We must remind ourselves regularly that we all live our daily lives according to very similar sets of core values, Bolger added.
“We share similar visions of what kind of community and society we want for our children’s future. We differ only on what is the best path to get from here to there and that must remain fertile ground for productive conversation,” he said.
The second challenge Bolger wants to tackle is better management of truck traffic and its impact on residential life in Cranbury.
“A second challenge involves better management of truck traffic to reduce its negative impact on quality of life. In addition to the redesign of the Route 130 circle, I believe we must revisit the Liberty Way bypass project,” he said. “Also, the speed limit on Main Street, south of Old Trenton Road, should be reduced to 25 mph. Additionally, signage can be improved to keep trucks from mistakenly coming into town.”
The current makeup of the Township Committee is a 3-2 Democratic majority. Ferrante, Deputy Mayor Barbara Rogers, Township Committeeman Matt Scott are the Democrats currently on the committee, Township Committeewoman Evelyn Spann is the sole Republican and Township Committeeman Jay Taylor is unaffiliated.
Hughes-Smithers could not be reached by press time.