Township Committee Candidate Hal Halverson Responds

halverson_2_tlsThe following answers from Township Committeeman Candidate Hal Halverson were submitted to TLS in response to the ‘Points To Ponder’ posed to the candidates earlier this week: (A response from Deputy Mayor Langert will be posted later). 1. Top Priorities: Economic life in Lakewood is the top priority. How do we reduce taxes? A continuation of the examination of each department expenses must occur. However, I believe it is just as important to increase the commercial tax base. The recent trip to Germany by Mayor Miller and other Township Official to bring Organic Diversions to Lakewood is a step in the right direction. The residential tax payer cannot carry the burden of a city.

2. Fight Gangs.
Gangs and crime are not unique to Lakewood alone. If the Township has not already take steps to reach out to the County, State and Federal Authorities for assistance, we should do so. We have to look at some of the more successful programs in the country. Several years ago New York City made tremendous strides in reducing crime. What can we learn from their experience?

3. On the right track
In the last three years we have had two township budgets with no increases and one with a reduction in costs. Compared to what was taken place before this, I believe we are on the right track. Can we do more? Absolutely!

4. Hesitant to cut programs.
I believe all departments and programs are open to review. I have no perceived sacred cows.

5. Why Am I Running?
In answering this question, I will also respond: qualification. I have the time, the energy, the skills, and concerns to do the job. I am a senior and I believe there should be a least one senior on the Committee to express some of the concerns of the senior community, although our concerns are no different than all of the citizens of Lakewood. I have had a successfully career in business and I think those same skills that I developed can be asset to the Township Committee. I also have experience in the Public Sector, such as being Chairman of the Toms River Parking Authority. The Township Committee is spending our money on our behalf. This must never be forgotten. TLS.

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  1. Hal Halvorsen is one of the most honest, energetic, and knowledgable people I know. He has a good understanding of financial issues and other issues that the Council must deal with. It would hard to find a more capable candidate.

  2. I am familiar with Hank, and have seen his ability to run successful programs here at The Enclave,I have no doubts about his ability to review, analyze and solve many of the problems currently in Lakewood. A fresh face and a new look is warranted

  3. HAl, I have known & worked with you for a good period, I know you have the best interest of not only the seniors in mind, but the best interest of all of the Lakewood residents.
    You certainly have my vote and that of my wife Lee’s as well.

  4. Raise taxes on businesses (Answer #1). What a great way to improve the economic well-being of the town!

    Typical liberal answer: Raise taxes!

    I know you said “tax base” but at the same time you said that the residential taxpayer cannot handle burden, as if the commercial taxpayer can?

    So if you are not going to raise taxes, do you intend to increase development? If no to development, then I assume we are back to square 1 of raising taxes.

    In addition to all that, I didn’t actually see any real ideas of your own. I only saw you complimenting the current leadership.

  5. As a member of the religious community, it’s important for me to know that a candidate is sympathetic to our concerns. Not that our concerns should override the concerns of all the other residents, just that our needs are equally taken into account. A track record regarding any of ‘our issues’ would be helpful in evaluating a candidate.

  6. Increasing the commercial tax base does not mean raising taxes on the existing commercial base, it means attracting new businesses to add to the existing commercial base. This would in turn increase the town’s overall rateables. If this can be done and budgets are not increased then everyone wins.

  7. to commenter #5,

    You obviously don’t understand what he wrote. He is not talking about imposing an “income tax” on businesses. He means more businesses coming to town means more tax ratables as a tax base for property taxes.

    What do you suggest? That businesses not pay property taxes??!!

  8. To #11 and 12. Obviously you don’t know how property taxes work. It has nothing to do whether a building is occupied or not, just if it “is”. Meaning in order to increase the amount of money “earned” by the township with businesses is either to create NEW business structures (i.e. development) or raise the property taxes on existing structures (i.e. Raising taxes).

    This “attracting new businesses to add to the existing commercial base” has no meaning without development.

  9. I’m pretty sure I know how to read and if you pay attention to what is going on in town you might learn that what the other HH is talking about is an new business coming to town, buying property owned by Lakewood Twp. (thus exempt property becoming taxable), a brand new 100,000 thousand plus square foot building being constructed (another new rateable for the Twp.), the Twp. saving money by buying clean renewable energy from Organic Diversion at a rate lower than the local electric company can provide. Sounds like a solid plan to me and a way to increase the commercial tax base.

  10. It would seem to me that increasing the commercial tax base by way of projects like Organic Diversion is the smart way to do things. If this project goes through Organic will be buying land owned by the Twp. (putting this land back on the tax rolls), constructing a new commercial building on this lot (also a new rateable to the town), and providing electric to the Dept of Public Works, the Municiple Utilities Authority & the stadium at a cost lower than what they are currently paying for electric. If this is the other HH’s idea of how to increase the commercial tax base it sounds pretty good.

  11. You’ve confused multiple items. I said “Development” allows for new property taxes. I was pointing out that “Development” is required in order to increase the tax base without raising taxes. The “clean” renewable energy (from a waste disposal plant “clean” is not a word usually associated with it) project would “Develop” new property.

    The company approached the township, it wasn’t the other way around. No major “kunse” to say yes to a company coming to town. That is NOT an example of proactive revenue generation.

    Hal’s “idea” of agreeing for a company to come to town to built new real estate is not really much of an idea. It’s like if IBM decided to come to town and the Committee would say “yes”. Do the committee people get kudos for that?

  12. I have known Hal for the past six years and his knowledge and understanding of workings of Ocean County is vast. I have worked closely with Hal within our senior community on several committees, as well as, on the budgetary review commission two years ago where he demonstrated financial acumen and plain old common sense. He will be a fine addition to the Lakewood council if elected. His ideas about increasing business in lakewood are sound.

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