Tsivgas: Change in Direction Needed in Green Brook

Letter to the editor

As a resident of Green Brook, I’ve experienced the stressful burden rising taxes have placed on all our residents, while each year seeing services being diminished or worse, eliminated. No longer can I sit idle and observe our community decline, there has been no middle ground, no balanced approach – this is why I have decided to run for Township Committee.

I commend each current Township elected official for their civic duty to Green Brook, however, I fundamentally disagree with the direction the Republican majority has chosen for our community. Our current officials are working hard, but their approach is not working – it’s not in our best interest. 

The current Republican majority has proven they are incapable of finding a resolution to the tax problem. Each year taxes rise, but what do we have to show for it? If we continue the habit of diminishing essential services, will we still be able to call Green Brook a great community? We have chosen to live and raise our families here because we have made the decision to invest in our community – this is why Green Brook is a great place to live. We cannot afford to cut what makes Green Brook great.

 On Nov. 6, my running mate, Dave Breen, and I, need your help. If elected, Democrats will gain majority control of the Township Committee. Together, we vow to work as a team with not just the rest of the council but the community as a whole to help move Green Brook in the right direction – we cannot do it alone, we must work together. It is essential for the governing body to work cohesively with the residents, the business community, the school board, and our emergency services – we have the relationships to facilitate this cooperation.

If elected, we will work hard to establish a system that places Green Brook residents at the forefront of municipal job hiring and promotions before looking beyond our town limits. We believe it is important to have workers serving the community that are invested in it. We also vow to be proactive in attracting new business to the Route 22 corridor, which if done properly, will increase our municipal tax revenue.

Our current administration has failed in attracting new revenue streams for Green Brook. Tax increases are not the only option. They have failed in looking at alternative opportunities, and they have failed us, the residents, in finding affordable solutions to advance our community. Every year, Green Brook misses out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding that can benefit many projects, including public safety, environmental programs, and education.

I, Tom Tsivgas, am running for office with Dave Breen to work to bring the change in direction that Green Brook needs. I am devoted to our community, and as your neighbor, will do my best to find the best solutions our government has to offer its residents.

Very truly yours, 

Tom Tsivgas

The writer is a Democratic candidate for a seat on the Township Committee.

Sue Osnato October 05, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I am just curious, what about all those years there was a democrat majority? Seems the taxes were going upward pretty rapidly at that time as well. The blame game is great, but resolves nothing. What is your plan to attract business to the Route 22 corridor?
Sue Osnato October 06, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Mr. Tsivgas, I respectfully ask of you to answer my above question. I am also curious what specific grant money you refer to. I honestly would like answers. What you say above sounds good, but doesn't really give any details on how or what specifically you would do. My vote is out there for the person with a real plan that will assist us in lowering or maintaining our taxes. The burden is to great. I have attended town meetings for about 4 years now. I never see anyone there to offer much of anything other than a personal complaint here or there. Unfortunately that includes you for the most part. I have seen you there when election time comes near, but that's it. I would appreciate knowing your plan going forward. I am sure most of the readers here who are from Green Brook would as well. Thank you in advance for your answers and solutions.
Tom Tsivgas October 06, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Ms. Osnato, I would like you to know that the reason I am not at a lot of meetings is because I have been on the Green Brook little league Board as President, V, Board member and any parent in the league can tell you that I am at the fields every night working for this program and for Green Brook kids. Also, unless I am mistaken, in the 14 years I have lived in Green Brook the Democrats have had control of the township for just one year. When my running mate Dave Breen and I decided to run for the committee this year we began to think about ways to start restoring services that were diminished or eliminated and were most important to the residents of Green Brook. Below are programs that we will look to restore and ways to help pay for them.
Tom Tsivgas October 06, 2012 at 11:01 PM
If elected our goal is to stabilize municipal property tax's in 2013. We will look restore the rubbish pickup that helped many people in town. We will propose to restore the D.A.R.E officer program in our schools. We will work closely with the Green Brook PBA and would look at officers that are up for retirement in 2013 and replace them with new officers at a considerable savings to the Township. We will establish a committee to apply for state and county grants to benefit the Township. We will work closely with the business community to help attract family friendly business to Green Brook. I hope this sheds a little light at what Dave and I hope to accomplish if we are elected and I can promise you this, If you and the people of Green Brook give us an opportunity to serve you, we will do everything in our power to find ways to cut unnecessary spending and curb the rising taxes. Thank you, Tom Tsivgas
Sue Osnato October 06, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Mr. Tsivgas, Thank you for your prompt response. I do appreciate it. I am aware of your commitment to the little league. It is commendable. Like you, I am concerned with the direction of our community. I do appreciate those that take that the time to participate and try to improve the lives of their fellow neighbors. In response to your list of goals, I offer you the following responses. Stabilizing taxes is a goal I would love to see achieved. I still do not hear the plan to that end. With regard to the once per year curbside household throw out we once enjoyed. Yes, that was convenient. We do still have that program to a degree, less the curbside and for a slight fee. If that could be restored, I am sure most in this town would appreciate it. Do you have a plan to fund that? It is a shame the D.A.R.E. program was eliminated from our schools. That also would be wonderful to have restored. How do you plan to fund that? As far as retiring police officers, this has been discussed at town council meetings in the past with the same goal in mind. I like the idea of a committee dedicated solely to applying for and obtaining any grants available to us. I do believe presently grants are applied for, but it would make sense to have a dedicated group look at and work exclusively on this. (cont.)
Sue Osnato October 06, 2012 at 11:41 PM
We have in the past, and still do have business liaisons that work with the business community. This has been held by both democrat and republican leaders. Do you have a different approach to this? Lastly, unfortunately taxes have gone up every year under every rule. I appreciate any efforts made to stop that trend. I do appreciate your taking the time to respond. The areas you touched upon are important. However, I still do not hear any details on how to achieve those noble goals. Thank you.
Tom Tsivgas October 07, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Ms Osnato, I read a few of your comments in the patch regarding a number of issues both in Green Brook and in our nation. You seem like you are genuinely concerned about our community and our country regardless of party lines. Regardless of who you vote for, its concerned citizens like you that keep politicians on their toes. I would like to stop by with my running mate Dave Breen and discuss our plans in detail when we are walking in your neighborhood. This with your permission! Tom Tsivgas
Sue Osnato October 08, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Mr. Tsivgas, I am concerned and I welcome the conversation.
Tom Tsivgas October 09, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Mrs Osnato, It was a pleasure speaking with you last night and I always enjoy listening to a well informed and concerned resident of Green Brook. It allows me to see and hear things that are happening in town that many don't know about. Running for office can sometimes be exciting but the down side is when knocking on doors and meeting people, you get to see how much Green Brook residents are hurting financially. People ask me if I'm elected can I do this or that to help them and I would like to say yes to everything but we all know everything can't be accomplished over night. I do promise all the residents of Green Brook one thing and that is that if elected I will fight for you regardless of which way you voted and with drive and determination that you have never seen before. When I was in the army they taught me to fight and never quite. This is my third time running and lost by 22 votes last year, so that should show a lot of people how determined I am to this town. Tom Tsivgas
Sue Osnato October 09, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Mr. Tsivgas, It was a pleasure speaking with you as well. I do appreciate your taking the time to reach out. I thought we had a very good back and forth and I appreciate your efforts and information you shared. I will admit I have concerns. I am sure you are well aware from our conversation that I do not expect results immediately. That would be foolish. I do, however, expect results and reason. I look forward to my continued attendance at meetings with whomever is elected in the hopes of moving forward in a positive, productive way for our town. As I shared with you last night, many people are struggling in this town from the seniors, to young families, to those with no children at all. The tax burden is great. We need to seek valid answers and solutions. Again, I thank you for your time and I wish you well in your endeavors.


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