Republican incumbents Gerard Scharfenberger and Kevin Settembrino are being challenged by Democrats Pat Olsen and Linda Baum. Polls open on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Below are the responses from Committeeman Kevin Settembrino:
Can you please provide a brief bio, including how long you’ve lived in Middletown and your ties to the community?
Kevin M. Settembrino was elected to the Middletown Township Committee in 2010 and was sworn into his three (3) year term on January 2, 2011. Having served on the Middletown Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Middletown Library Board, Mr. Settembrino is currently serving on the Middletown Planning Board. Prior to moving to Middletown, Mr. Settembrino served as a Councilman in the Borough of East Rutherford in Bergen County for ten (10) years from 1996-2005. Additionally, he served as a member of the East Rutherford Planning Board for eleven (11) years. In 2002, Governor Donald DiFrancesco appointed Mr. Settembrino to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority for a two (2) year term.
Kevin Settembrino earned a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is a licensed architect in NJ and NY, is NCARB Certified, and is a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) with a focus on sustainable design. He is the founding Principal at Settembrino Architects in Red Bank, NJ
Mr. Settembrino is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Lions Club International. He is proud to be involved with the Boy Scouts of America having achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
Kevin and his wife Rita live in the River Plaza section of Middletown with their two (2) year old twins Ethan and Madeleine.
What are your motivations for running for elected office?
My motivations are simple. As an active member of a five person Township Committee and member of the Middletown Planning Board, I strive to continue to be part of a team that moves Middletown forward, expands the commercial tax ratable base, improves the infrastructure, and maintains a stable tax rate.
What new ideas do you have for Middletown?
The Township Committee’s continued expansion of shared service agreements with the Board of Education for the new Nut Swamp School Turf Field, combined with the improvement and conversion of the Middletown Swim Club into a private facility with a new indoor ice rink, and the continued expansion of the commercial ratable base like the new Memorial Sloan Kettering Facility, all facilitate stable taxes and improved infrastructure. We are currently reviewing a Property Tax Rebate Card program which rewards Middletown residents for shopping locally as well as an township wide energy aggregation program to reduce all residential energy bills.
What challenges does Middletown currently face, and what do you plan to do to address them?
In times of continually rising expenses coupled with a 2 percent tax levy cap, it is increasingly more and more difficult to maintain the best services and a stable tax rate. As the Township Committee and the Economic Development Committee continue to increase the commercial tax base by attracting new business, we can continue to do more with less.
Property taxes are always a concern, especially in New Jersey. How can Middletown control taxes?
As we are in the third year of the Governor’s 2 percent tax levy cap, the Township Committee must strive to generate new revenue or cost savings before taking on new projects and expenses. With a proven record of stable taxes below the Governor’s tax levy cap, including all exceptions, the current Middletown Township Committee will continue to protect our great quality of life.
What accomplishments in your private life translates positively to a position in public office?
As the Owner of an Architectural Firm with only government clients in NJ and NY, my continued interaction with other Business Officials throughout the State continually provide new ideas and approaches for sound fiscal management in Middletown Township.