The Bordentown Township Committee has two seats up for election this fall, with four candidates in running for those two positions.
Democrats Mayor Steve Benowitz and Deputy Mayor Eric Holliday are the incumbents, while Nicholas D’Angelo and Robert Delaney are the two Republican candidates running for the committee seats.
Each seat on the committee comes with a three-year term.
D’Angelo and Delaney could not be reached by press time. Visit www.centraljersey.com for more information on those candidates before Election Day on Nov. 2.
Benowitz and Holliday have served as mayor and deputy mayor, respectively, since being re-elected in the fall of 2018.
For Benowitz, who has lived in Bordentown since 1969 and is a former school administrator, being re-elected would mean a fourth straight term on the committee and fifth overall.
Benowitz was a councilman from 1979-81 but stepped away from local politics once his first term was up.
The Roosevelt native decided to get back into local politics in 2012, saying he attended every committee meeting to hear from the residents about certain issues they had in the township and what the committee was planning to do to help the township continue to improve for the future.
Seeing that the residents weren’t getting the attention they deserved and that the committee lacked any sort of action for the future, Benowitz said he decided to run that fall and has been on the Township Committee every year since.
“This town lives in my bloodstream,” Benowitz said. “I want to serve our residents well and continue to do what we are doing.”
Benowitz first held the position of mayor in 2014 and has been the mayor of Bordentown Township for the last four years.
Holliday is seeking a third term in office. He was a sergeant at the New Jersey Department of Corrections for 25 years and currently is an emergency management specialist for New Jersey Transit.
A resident of Bordentown Township for 21 years, Holliday decided to run for a spot on the council in the fall of 2015 after seeing good things happening in the community and wanting to be a part of it.
Holliday said he has had a nice experience being on the committee the last six years and feels the current council is doing a good job in trying to help make the community a great place for everyone to live.
“We have a strong council that all get along and strive to do the best we can to help the community,” Holliday said. “We put our heart and soul into the community. We’re always looking forward to improving our township. We want to see the community well because we live here as well.”
Both Benowitz and Holliday are focused on continuing the financial stability the township has had over the last nine years.
Benowitz is “very proud” of the township being able to keep the municipal tax rate flat for the last nine and wants to continue that trend of being financially prudent if re-elected.
“The proof is in the pudding,” said Benowitz. “The last nine years, the municipal tax rate has been flat and the average homeowner real estate tax rate hasn’t gone up. Not many towns can say that.”
Improving the infrastructure around the township has been another focus of Benowitz since his time on the committee, beginning with helping create Bordentown’s Road Program in 2014.
The Road Program has helped fix over 40 roads in the township.
The township is currently in the process of improving the intersection between Farnsworth Avenue and Route 130 with a new connector road between Dunns Mill Road and Rising Sun Road to help with traffic flow. Holliday added that those plans are in the final stages and that the township is waiting for the go-ahead from the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Increasing highways commercial along corridors to eliminate possible zoning for warehouses is another venture that both Democratic candidates are looking into if reelected, they said.
Upgrading recreational facilities in the township has become a goal for Benowitz, Holliday and the Township Committee over the last few years.
Holliday said the township wants to expand the opportunities to play sports in the community.
The township recently built four new soccer fields as most of the youth soccer program in Bordentown had to use the facilities in nearby Chesterfield Township. Benowitz added that the goal will be to build a total of nine new soccer fields in the township over the next few years.
“We want to bring soccer back to Bordentown,” Benowitz said.
Both Benowitz and Holliday noted that upgrades have been made recently to the fields at Joe Lawrence Park and that a new Little League baseball field was just created at Northern Community Park.
Another big recreational project in the works for the township is the 72-acre property that Bordentown recently purchased that was originally planned to be a part of the Bordentown Waterfront Development project. Since the township has fulfilled its affordable housing requirements, Benowitz said Bordentown will work with the state to make the property into a park.
“We want to make this community better than it was before,” Benowitz said. “That is what we’ve been trying to do. That is something I’m very happy about.”
Another improvement that Benowitz and Holliday have on their agenda is to improve communication between the township and the residents. Holliday said the goal will be to use the township’s website and other social media platforms more often to get the message of what is going on across the township.
As the liaison to the Bordentown Township Police Department, Holliday has worked closely with the force the last term and is happy with the work Chief of Police Brian Pesce and his department have done in the township with community policing, he said.
“He’s taken the department to another level,” Holliday said of Pesce. “It’s really unbelievable the changes he’s made for the better. This is a safe town with a lot of great things happening in it.”