Mayor Colleen Mahr for Re-election

It has been my privilege to serve as mayor of Fanwood for 16 years. I moved here because like many of the young people moving to our town today, I saw it as an ideal community to raise my family. I've never regretted that decision as my three sons have thrived in our wonderful school system and taken part in many sports and community programs that have enriched them.

 

When I became Mayor, our downtown was suffering a severe case of neglect. There had not been a new building built in close to four decades. Blighted conditions and stalled initiatives left eyesores and environmental hazards blocking opportunities for new business and growth.

 

My professional background in economic development and experience revitalizing city neighborhoods enabled me to see the potential Fanwood had and to create a strategy for growth and prosperity. Using the access to mass transit as a catalyst, I worked hand in hand with the community to establish a vision and plan for the creation of a vibrant town center with new housing opportunities, storefronts, jobs and public spaces adjacent to the beautiful historic train station.

 

I am delighted to say that our vision has been realized. In partnership with the business community and local leaders, we have completed the final development project of our downtown Redevelopment Area, resulting in more than $25 million dollars of investment creating 135 luxury housing units, numerous retail spaces and beautiful public plazas, while meeting our court-mandated affordable housing obligations. Fanwood currently boasts less than 5% vacancy in both retail space and housing rentals downtown. In addition, our property values town-wide have increased tremendously over the past five years and our town's credit rating has been enhanced.

 

Fanwood has received awards for its planning and community engagement. It has been recognized as a model for best practices in Smart Growth as well as Transit Oriented Development. It is a success story in innovative environmental remediation as well as public-private partnership.

 

I love being the Mayor of Fanwood! I love meeting our citizens and advocating for them. In addition to my duties as Mayor, I lead a coalition of Mayors along the Raritan Valley Rail Line working to secure direct rail service to Manhattan, what we call the "one seat ride", and to advance the Gateway Tunnel Project. I am a founding member of the Union County Moms Demand Action, advocating for common sense gun laws. I am also involved in the local Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts and the many area sports programs that my sons are involved in. I currently serve as President of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, a statewide advocacy organization for local governments.

 

Come out and vote for me and Council candidates Kathy Mitchell, Jeff Banks and Francine Glaser on November 5th. We are the future of Fanwood!


Councilwoman Kathy Mitchell for Re-election

I love and care about Fanwood. I have been and am committed to a better quality of life for all our residents. I am proud to be part of Team Mahr and the many committed volunteers who have helped realize this goal. I strongly believe in giving back, and this is what I have tried to do.

 

This year, we’ve been able to keep our municipal tax rate flat without compromising any of our municipal services. It’s getting harder to do this every year as costs rise. But we have been successful at securing grants, which have helped us pay for road repairs and upgrade our nature center, parks and historic areas. At the same time, I feel it is important that we make sure our police, fire, and rescue squads all have the necessary tools, education and equipment to keep us all safe.

 

I am a retired Registered Nurse. My last jobs were as a Visiting Nurse and an MDS coordinator at Runnells Specialized Hospital. As an MDS coordinator, I was responsible for all the assessments for Medicare reimbursement. This required much organization, medical knowledge and patient/family interaction. If I had to do it all over again, I would still be a nurse in some capacity.

 

For the past 28 years, I have been the Social Concerns coordinator at IHM church. We have just reinstituted our Sheltering the Homeless program whereby homeless families spend 2-3 weeks a year at our parish. We feed our guests, breakfast and dinner and provide lunch. Our guests sleep at IHM and we provide a dry, safe environment for parents and children. We also have a Christmas giving tree which provides almost 1,000 gifts for local charities. Our Thanksgiving food collection provides many meals which also go into the community. My goal for the next year is to establish a “helping hands” program which will help both parishioners and reach into the community to help those in need.

 

I’m looking forward to this year’s campaign and hope the voters of Fanwood return me to my seventh term on the Council.


Francine Glaser for Council

My husband Haydn and I purchased our home in Fanwood as newlyweds because it is the quintessential New Jersey community with its friendly, small town feel, access to New York City, proximity to Route 22 and vibrant, local downtown.

 

I am a graduate of Rutgers University and work in New York. I commute every day on the Raritan Valley Line and thus am as eager as everyone else to get a one-seat ride directly to New York Penn Station. The opportunity to run for Fanwood Council allows me to advocate for the one-seat ride and better overall performance by NJ Transit. I also want to ensure that the Fanwood downtown continues to thrive, and that public safety remains one of our top priorities.

 

I have significant experience in Democratic politics and campaigning, having been a local Committeewoman in Edison. I have gone door to door to ask for votes and won in a tough election. I’m also no stranger to the State House in Trenton where I was the Director of Operations for Assembly members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, as well as the Legislative Director for Environment Committee Chair Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin. During my time in the Assembly staff, I was constantly exposed to statewide, local and constituent issues.

 

I believe I represent a growing demographic of young people who are choosing Fanwood as the place to purchase that first home, perhaps raise a family and stay a while. Haydn and I feel so welcome and comfortable here, that running for office feels like the most natural thing for me to do.

 

I hope you’ll vote for Kathy, Jeff and me for Fanwood Council, and of course Colleen Mahr for Mayor, on November 5th.


Jeff Banks for Council

I've been a Fanwood resident for 15 years and find this town to be a friendly and fun place to raise a family.  My wife Gina and I have two wonderful children--Ethan and Mallory--who keep us on the move. Many people in Fanwood are familiar with Mallory who, at age 9, began selling baked goods outside Parker Greenhouses to raise money for Autism New Jersey in the name of her brother who has autism. Those bake sales have grown into one of Fanwood's signature events, Rockin' for Autism, a daylong rock concert and fundraiser at LaGrande Park that has attracted thousands of people to our town and raised over $35,000 over the years.

 

Being involved in the planning of Rockin' for Autism put me in touch with the Borough agencies that make that event happen including the Police, Public Works, Recreation and Health Departments, not to mention members of the Borough Council and of course Mayor Mahr. So, it felt like a natural progression when I was approached in late 2018 to join the Council. I was appointed to replace Russ Huegel who resigned to become Borough attorney, then ran unopposed in the June primary.

 

I am an industrial designer for Parker 3D in Scotch Plains and have my own graphic design business. I serve on the board of Autism New Jersey and was on the building committee of Temple Sholom. I'm looking forward to continuing my service to the Borough of Fanwood and hope the residents see fit to return me to office in the November 5th general election.