Tuesday is Election Day and people have been asking me about Kevin Schwake, Middletown's Democratic challenger for Township Committee. I haven't been able to tell them much, I've only met him once and haven't talked to him much. So I will refer everyone to his Facebook page and the Facebook page of the Middletown Democrats as well as, the Asbury Park Press.
According to the Democrats page:
Kevin grew up in Middletown and attended Red Bank Catholic High School. He studied Political Science at Drew University and is working as a Senior Account Executive for Legal Assistance Funding.
Kevin is in favor of having a more open and transparent government so the public can be more engaged. He is not a believer in littering our town with lawn signs because he feels they are ineffective and only filler for landfills stating, "Politics are local and change happens when people listen to your message, not look at your signs."
And this past Friday, the Asbury Park Press posted a candidate profile online of Mr. Schwake, "In Middletown election, a newcomer's challenge", which added:
The 26-year-old Schwake, a Red Bank Catholic High School graduate who received a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Drew University, is an account executive at a legal finance firm. His first exposure to the workings of township government came a year-and-a-half ago when he became involved with the neighborhood fight against a townhome development project on Taylor Lane.
“One of the complaints was how the project was so far along before the people most affected were made aware of it,” Schwake said. “Along the way I met (Middletown Democratic Chairman) Don Watson and began to attend the Middletown Democrats monthly meeting. This was a real eye-opener for me.”
The township’s planning board ultimately blocked the plan, but Schwake’s interest in government was stoked.
Now he’s on Tuesday’s ballot, albeit as an underdog.
“Don asked me to run and was honest with me regarding my prospects of winning,” Schwake said. “Nonetheless, I feel that Middletown needs another voice on the committee. There are five members that consistently vote the same way without much discussion from the committee members.”
What is his platform?
“Making the public more aware of what their government is doing, before it is done, is a major issue,” he said. “One way I hope to accomplish this is by convincing the committee to utilize the community access channel to broadcast township and Board of Education meetings. By doing so, the public will be able to stay informed on important issues in Middletown.”
Another focus of his, he said, is with the occupancy rate of local commercial property.
“Working closely with the Economic Development Committee by encouraging them to formulate a plan with the commercial property owners to bring in businesses would increase the township revenue and help to reduce the local property tax rate,” he said.
If you wish to continue reading the rest of the candidate profile you can do so... HERE or from the link above.