Committee hopefuls file in Cranbury

Democrat Rebecca Beauregard and Republican John Ziegler Sr. are running unopposed in the primaries.

By: Casha Caponegro
   Two Prospect Street residents have thrown their hats in the ring for a seat on the Township Committee.
   Democrat Rebecca Beauregard and Republican John Ziegler Sr. are both running unopposed for their party’s nomination for a three-year seat on the Township Committee.
   Local Democrats and Republicans will vote in the June 4 primary for the candidates who will represent their political parties in the November general election for Township Committee.
   The committee seat currently is held by Democrat Greg Overstreet, who announced in February that he would not run for re-election when his term ends in December. Mr. Overstreet was elected to the committee in 1999.
   A lifelong resident of Cranbury, Mr. Ziegler said in a written statement that he hopes to add a wider perspective to the committee.
   "I have filed to run for Township Committee because I believe I have the background and knowledge to make a positive contribution," said Mr. Ziegler. "I have also done so to give the citizens a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. I think, as a senior citizen, I would also bring a necessary perspective that does not presently exist."
   Calling himself a "fiscal conservative," Mr. Ziegler said he hopes to keep taxes low and include wider community input in important township matters.
   "When making decisions about such matters as purchasing the Updike property, I think it would make sense to obtain the opinion of all citizens rather than react to any one group, as is now the case," said Mr. Ziegler.
   Mr. Ziegler said he also hopes to balance the township’s desire to acquire open space properties with the township’s growing level of debt.
   "Past members of the Township Committee have done a good job preserving the village and preserving farmland while keeping taxes within reason," said Mr. Ziegler. "The preservation of farmland has certainly been a factor. I too have a concern with all of the warehouse construction, but it is better than offices and certainly helps with school and public expenditures."
   A past employee of Ethicon, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company, for 33 years, Mr. Ziegler is a real estate agent at Century 21.
   Mr. Ziegler is a trustee and 53-year member of the Cranbury Volunteer Fire Company, where he has also served as secretary and president. He also was a 22-year member of the Cranbury Lions Club, where he served as president, vice president and secretary and was named Lion of the Year.
   He has served as a Republican County Committeeman and has been a member of the Cranbury Election Board and zoning board. In addition, he is a 61-year member of the United Methodist Church of Cranbury, where he is a trustee.
   Ms. Beauregard is no stranger to the Township Committee either, having served from 1990 to 1996, including one year as mayor in 1993.
   "In my years in office, I was extremely proud of the progress we were able to make in the development of an innovative, preservation-oriented Master Plan that has continued to provide a firm foundation for our farmland preservation efforts," said Ms. Beauregard in a written statement.
   Ms. Beauregard continued to serve the community in various organizations following her terms on the committee, including the Cranbury Human Services Board, Municipal Alliance on Substance Abuse, Cranbury Housing Associates, the board of directors for the Evergreens and the Advisory Board for Hands on Helpers. She also is an active member of the Historical and Preservation Society and currently serves as president of that organization.
   "In my role as president, I have had the opportunity to look closely at the many interrelated challenges facing Cranbury," said Ms. Beauregard.
   Some of the challenges facing the township include maintaining the township’s fiscal stability, acquiring remaining open space and farmland parcels and strengthening the village core to meet community, school and business needs.
   Ms. Beauregard currently works part time as a consultant for the Population Resource Center, a nonprofit, bipartisan group that works to share information on population-related issues affecting foreign and domestic public policies. She has worked in the past with the U.S. Senate committees on the budget, environment, human resources and aging and was executive director of former Gov. Tom Kean’s maternal and child health project.
   "I believe that my strong record of community involvement and professional background in public policy making, at three levels of government, would strengthen an already strong committee at this special and important point in time."