Assembly candidates share views: Ron Long, District 6

Posted: Thursday, October 02, 2003

It has been my good fortune over the last three years as an assembly member to work with a diverse and dedicated bunch of people. I've gained some experience and developed some relationships, both of which I would like to build upon. I don't have a single burning issue or a real gripe with the way the borough is being run, but am interested in keeping the borough moving in a positive direction.

One basic premise that I see as key over the next few years is caution. We need to be careful that we are not destabilized by external factors.

As more state and federal programs are cut, responsibility or demand for those programs are falling to local government. On some, we've enjoyed a free ride that is coming to and end; on others, there are good reasons why they are state or federal programs in the first place.

Another is balance. Balancing land use and development-residential issues will continue to be a topic of discussion. Likewise, balancing what we want with what we're willing to pay for it.

Another is quality of life, probably our strongest economic development tool.

I think we can do the best job of attracting and retaining business when we are a place where people want to live, where there's not just an attractive tax rate or regulatory structure, but where there are also great schools, health care, good neighborhoods, art and recreational opportunities.

Since I can't be an expert on everything, I've relied a lot on input from individuals, boards, commissions, advisory planning commissions, other assembly members, administration people, etc., over the last three years and have been able to do a better job of assessing the issues as a result.

I underestimated the time commitment necessary to do this job the first time around, but it has been worth every minute. This community has been good to me and for me, which makes me feel like I ought to be putting something back into the community, and the assembly is where I feel I can best do that.

Thanks to the Clarion for the opportunity to comment.

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