Freeholder Candidate Questions: Scott Neuman
Scott Neuman, of Manchester was the first to respond to our questions. All candidates have until October 7th, 2012 to return their questionnaire.
Why do you feel the voters of Ocean County, in these tough economic times should vote for you, without mentioning your opponent(s) in any way?
You are right; we are in tough economic times. As a business owner, 2007 to 2010 was a nightmare for myself and most business owners in Ocean County, I’d like to see the Freeholders reaching out to Fortune 1000 companies around the country like I’ve reached out around the state in 2011 for most business and asking the question that closes a deal, “How can I earn your business”. Our current GOP board has grown our unemployment rate to over 3% greater than the national average or 11% from a low in 2007 of 4%. That isn’t anything to brag about. We’re all feeling the pressure of these times (I know I have) and I’d like to see our county reach out to the companies that aren’t in our area and asking “how do we get you to what is rated one of the top ten places to live in the country”! I haven’t seen that done yet and it is shameful we aren’t advertising ourselves to the world. I have a business background as I said. In my last position, I was ranked top 5 in the northeast in what I did which was solve problems. If you hired me, you also got a review from corporate about me. I was in the top 93% of positive reviews. The average in my field was 78%. By example, Congress is at 10%. I’d like a chance to stand up and work that magic for the people of Ocean County
Ocean County is revered as one of the best places to live in New Jersey, what do you feel makes this election different than any others and what would your plan be to continue to improve the quality of life for residents in the county?
We’re not currently on track to improve the quality of life for residents of the county. I think everyone knows that. Moody’s has stated our current bond ratings are at risk, the Barnegat Bays upper half is feeling the effects of pollution. So are the streams, creeks and rivers that flow to the Bay. One of the reasons we get a great rating has been the cost of living here but that is skued by the senior villages that have seen their homes lose up to 80% of their current values from the highs. (Some of the Crestwood Villages houses are going for $30K now). How’d you like to be a senior that paid $200K for a home and it’s worth $50K now and wants to move closer to their families that aren’t here anymore either. That’s going to be some short sale. I’m sorry but as much as I love our county, “revered” isn’t a term I’d use at this time. What would I change? Ratables. Instead of seeking businesses to come back to the towns, I’m watching towns take commercial property and change the zoning to allow apartment housing. I’d prefer to see what I said above. A department of salespeople that does nothing but work to bring businesses back to Ocean County is what I want and base salary and commissions to make the job worthwhile. The same way all major business’s work. You work, you get paid!
We’ve got transportation almost tied up with the Parkway now that we have three lanes to exit 63, some rail service that runs from NY to Philadelphia and further south if we fought hard enough for it. But we’ve also got something no one expected because of the economy. A senior workbase with 40 years’ experience looking to work at something other than $8 bucks an hour. Let’s bring back businesses. It’s time. . I’d like a final study on bringing farming to the bay and encouraging shell fish cultivation back to the entire bay which will clean the bay and feed us!. I want fines for those that pollute the waterways and want to offer it to whistleblowers that find it. Pine Lake in Manchester has been shut down for years because of upstream pollution. That same pollution foams at our spill way and travels down to the bay via the Toms River of which this is a branch. I’d also like to take a shot at doing something for the homeless living in the woods in Toms River and Lakewood. If we can build an animal shelter (and I’m first to say I love animals and I’m not gassing the Geese!), we can build a human shelter and with all the empty buildings around the towns, it shouldn’t be too hard to put something together. It beats the round trip the Freeholders do now on the Bums shipment to Atlantic City. I want farm land protected. We have to eat, NJ farm food is the best around and I want to eat as organically as possible. The farm markets that Lakehurst brought up this year worked great and I know it also came around from other towns. That should be encouraged as much as possible.(
With the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant shutting down in the near future, what is your plan to help the region replace those jobs and recover from whatever financial losses that are coming, attributed to that closure?
This one lights me up. The Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant shouldn’t close. The joke that it cost $800,000,000 to build a cooling tower is just that, a joke. One of my party candidates I’m running with, Frederick LaVergne (Candidate for the 3rd Congressional district) has discussed this with me in the past and wants to know why we can’t “Rather than build a new cooling tower to meet compliance, ground-loop cooling would be more efficient and cost-effective”. My father, who was a senior electrical engineer at PSEG would agree with him. My point being is, it shouldn’t close and we should be doing everything possible to keep it open rather than seeking for it to close Recently Lacey did a report on building a power plant that they paid Birdsall a fee. Why is Lacey building a power plant? That needs to be asked and why was taxpayer money used to fund that report?
The water quality of the Barnegat Bay and its watershed areas across the county are a very important environmental issue for residents. What is your plan or vision of the future to address this problem and how would you execute that plan?
Please see above. This is a fix me now or pay for it later issue. Pollution needs to be monitored better, whistleblowers need to be encouraged, and natural methods of cleaning up the pollution that is on the north and creeping south ends of the bay should not be taken lightly. I’m a big fan of the American Littoral Society, their inexpensive ways of organic clean up and looking forward to encouraging their efforts in cleaning up the bay and maintaining it moving forward.
If it was your job to create a commercial for Ocean County to send to corporations and business investors to come here and invest to Ocean County, what would your message be?
I beat you to it on this one as you can see above. None of the current Freeholders or candidates has business backgrounds other than the empty chairs that stood in this year when the Democrats quit at the very last minute. I’ve run businesses in the past. I’m a go getter. I hate taking no for answer. A no is just another word for “You didn’t solve their issues”. I’m also a computer maven and started the first online website for music sales and automobile sales back in the 90’s when everyone told me they would fail. They didn’t fail. We sold items around the world and I did it via the Internet. We were 5 years ahead of our time. Anyone can tell you no. I’m a yes guy and I want things done so we all benefit. My Democratic-Republican Party slogan is “Stand for what is right or settle for what is left”. How much better that does that get! I’ve got a lot of ideas on how to get business here. I created a website to sell office supplies online having to compete with Staples and Office Max. By the time I was done, I was ranked on Page One of Google Searches for the words “Office Supplies”. The internet is my second home. Keep watching my website http://www.scottneumanforfreeholder.com as I discuss this as we get closer to the election
What is your opinion on the current battle going on between Deborah Hospital and Community Medical Center regarding the creation of a cardiac surgery center at Community Medical Center?
Deborah is the best! Bar none but this has to finished. The Cardiac Surgery Center should also be at Community Medical Center. Closer is a life saver. Plain and simple.
“fringe” towns like Jackson usually get the short end of the stick when it comes to benefits provided by the County government. What would your plan be to provide fair and equitable services across all of Ocean County’s towns as a freeholder?
You’re right. I live in a Fringe Town. Manchester. Unless you live in the western part of the township, you get the short end of the stick as anyone in Pine Lake or Holly Oaks will gladly tell you. As an independent, running with Tracy Caprioni of Brick under the Democratic-Republican Party banner, we’re just what I said. Independents. We don’t have an allegiance to any one town and when Tracy and I are elected, we’ll be fighting to make sure all the townships and towns are equally treated. Something you haven’t seen in 30 years in Ocean County.
I do want to make another statement. Ritacco, how did the current Freeholders miss that one and if they missed that one, what else are they missing. One of the things I was in charge of in my last job as VP of an office company was fraud prevention. If it looked too good to be true, it usual was. How did they miss that clusterf. After 30 plus years in office, it certainly looks like a change is due, you’ve had tax increases 4 years in a row while unemployment is at its highest rate that it has ever been. You’ve got a living breathing bay that is getting more and more polluted under the current political parties watch. They don’t get to say, “We’ve done everything possible” because they haven’t. It’s time for a change, new blood, and I’d like to believe that change will come with voting for myself and Tracy Caprioni in November along with the rest of the Democratic-Republican Party candidates throughout the state and districts .