Resident endorses Ocean Together slate

My husband and I scoured Monmouth County for the perfect home 19 years ago and chose Ocean Township as the place where we planned to raise our children.

We were fortunate enough to find a home in a beautiful neighborhood in Oakhurst, and as our family grew, we built a second house just a few blocks away. Our three boys all attend the public schools, and we have been active participants in many of the town’s organized and recreational sports. We are excited about the prospect of some healthy competition in the upcoming Township Council election and want to endorse the Ocean Together slate composed of Sylvia Sylvia, Robert Angelini, Gail Matarazzo, Lawrence Mishkin and John Stuppi.

What excites us most is that this slate is made up of people active in our community on many levels in varied volunteer positions who share a common goal to take our town into the next decade. The candidates have been visible in our community in all kinds of capacities, supporting our schools, businesses and sports programs. Gail Matarazzo is a neighbor, and she most certainly has a finger on the pulse of the community through her work as a realtor and volunteer. Our high school would not have a turf field — which, in my opinion, is the most exciting facility improvement since I have lived here — if not for Gail and a handful of dedicated community members who worked tremendously hard to initiate community and school support, raise funds and ultimately lay down the carpet on which many of our kids make so many great memories. Visiting many communities for various sporting events over the years has caused many parents to be in awe of the athletic facilities in neighboring towns. More often than not, parents leave these other communities wondering why our town seems lackluster in this regard. This slate of candidates is interested in improving our facilities and the experiences of our children. I have lived here for 19 years and feel as if improvements to our town are imperative to increase our property values. Some of the goals the slate would like to accomplish are very attractive to me as a parent, homeowner and taxpayer.

Larry Mishkin’s candidacy and perspective as a business owner also adds insight into some important updates our town should consider. By eliminating the median on Route 35 and creating more of a “cruise”-through town instead of “speed”- through town, better businesses will be enticed to take root here. Recently, another “head shop” has popped up on our highway much too close to where I live, prompting my children to question exactly what they are looking at through the window. Creating more accessibility to businesses will foster more of a town center and will entice more quality businesses and restaurants to open their doors. It will also help keep many of our established, successful businesses here and allow them to prosper further. I am certain that I would even frequent businesses on the other side of the concrete monster more often if it were easier.

I believe that Ocean is in need of an update — maybe we can even term it a “makeover.” I am excited that the healthy competition of this election is stirring the pot of ideas and getting people talking about how to improve our community. All of the Ocean Together candidates are highly approachable and interested in what the community members have to say. Talk to them. I feel they represent people like me and the things I am interested in. I am confident that, if elected, the Ocean Together slate will get to work immediately to try to promote positive change, and the prospective businesses and residents, parents and children of our town will be excited with the results.

Christine Lowe Oakhurst