Township Council: James Vassanella (D)


James Vassanella

Name: James Vassanella

Street Address: 39 Austin Ave.

Section of Town You Live In: Somerset

If incumbent, how many years have you served: Eight.

Do you belong to any civic organizations:

  • Cub Scouts pack 195
  • Little League
  • Lions Club
  • Franklin Soccer
  • President of the Franklin Community Foundation
  • Trustee of the CJHRC- Housing Resource Center and many others.

I’ve lived in the same 5th Ward neighborhood for over 50 years, with four generations of my family. We’ve always been active in Township activities. While  building my home in 2000, I got involved with the workings of Municipal Government. I attended several Council, Planning Board and other Town meetings. As a volunteer I helped launch FTTV-29, so that Franklin could broadcast its meetings and events. I served on the Health Advisory Board and YMCA Steering Committee. I was elected to serve as your 5th Ward Councilman and was twice appointed Deputy Mayor. I’ve attended  90% of Council meetings and hundreds more Committee and Board meetings. I’ve been involved with all aspects of Municipal operations.

What do you see as your three top issues, and how do you plan on dealing with them:

  • #1 & #2 Continue the focus on Public Safety and our Infrastructure: I will fight for the hiring of 10 new Police Officers and more community policing. I will continue to provide our paid and volunteer safety personnel  the resources needed to keep us safe. The 5th Ward needs a knowledgeable “hands-on” Councilman who has experience and professional relationships with our emergency responders. I understand our town’s infrastructure and the complexities of our many on-going projects. I’ve helped secure millions of dollars for road work in the  5th Ward, including the re-paving  of New Brunswick Road and the rest of JFK Boulevard in Spring of 2014. I will  continue these efforts.
  • #3 Efficient  and accessible government remains a priority. I took a lead role in re-establishing our Volunteer Videographer Program, with no cost to residents. It produces and broadcasts more information about how our town functions. I will continue to work on innovative ideas, like a  consolidated recycling program, which is simpler and can provide residents tax-relief. Utilizing my diverse experience on Council, I will continue to raise revenue and lower spending.

Led  the effort to make local government more transparent. I co-authored Franklin’s toughest Pay-to Play laws, reformed the rules for hiring contractors and brought transparency to the civilian appointment process.

Worked with all of our public safety and emergency services. I was  successful in my efforts to hire 20 new police officers, bring back Community Policing, secure more funding for our first responders and  increase traffic safety.

Most experienced Council member working to rebuild  Franklin’s infrastructure. One of my first  accomplishments was designing a more aggressive road re-paving plan. The results have been a record amount of road work. I’ve been involved with major upgrades to our Water System and other Public Works projects.

Consistently reducing the size of Government and the Municipal Budget while expanding services for our residents.

Your Thoughts


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