2 vie for 1 seat on Township Committee

STILLWATER. Mayor Lisa Chammings faces Arlene Fisher in the Republican primary June 6.

| 18 May 2023 | 05:30

Two candidates are competing for one seat on the Stillwater Township Committee in the Republican primary June 6.

Mayor Lisa Chammings is running for re-election against Arlene Fisher. The term is for three years.

Chammings was elected to the Township Committee in 2012 and was chosen by committee members to be mayor in 2017. She teaches science at Kittatinny Regional High School.

Fisher has worked as a zoning and code enforcement official in Stillwater, Stanhope and Fredon and has served on the Stillwater Township Planning and Zoning Boards.

Lisa Chammings

Why are you running for office?

The Township of Stillwater is a community mixed with residents who have been here for ages, families that have invested themselves in this area, and many new faces looking to establish Stillwater as their home.

As a lifetime resident of Stillwater who understands the necessity of melding the old with the new, I feel I am well-qualified and available to listen to the concerns of our township residents.

I bring a variety of experiences to the table while working to understand how to best address the concerns. I have no hidden agendas, just a genuine desire to continue to roll up my sleeves and serve our community as I always have, not just for the past 11 years on the Township Committee, but throughout my lifetime here in my hometown.

If I were to have to list all of the boards, commissions, groups and clubs I have served on over the years, I could. I think instead I will just quote one group I grew up in and still serve on the advisory council for. It’s the pledge for 4H ... I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, my health to better living.

Anyone who knows me knows that this is how I strive to live my life and serve my community. Thus, I am running for office as I desire to continue to serve my community to the best of my ability.

What are the top three things you want to accomplish?

1. Efficiency: At times we have experienced a variety of what I would call false starts with some wasted time. I am working to move in a direction that eliminates these false starts, as I call them. This means doing the right thing with minimal or preferentially no waste of resources and time.

2. Effectiveness: Effectiveness is doing the right things that produce the intended or desired result. Sometimes this may mean I will have to demonstrate adaptability, which is the ability to respond to changing circumstances.

3. Cohesiveness: Being able to work with everyone is essential to making good policy decisions as well as making changes as necessary.

These three things allow us as a governing body to accomplish our goals.

We have been able to keep our tax increases to our taxpayers mostly nonexistent as a township. In reality, we have no control over schools and county budgets, but we have responsibly taken care of our resources with the help of our staff as well as concerned residents bringing up good points.

We are also currently moving to decrease the number of properties in our township that are not paying their taxes, which means all taxpayers pick up their tab for county and school taxes. This has been a goal for years and I am pleased it is finally moving forward.

What makes you the best candidate for the position?

Experience and a willingness to always listen. Within this is the ability to strive to do what is best at all times as well as recognizing that sometimes things need to be changed.

I am not afraid to sit down and have a very candid conversation with residents about concerns, goals, visions for the future. Being on any decision-making board requires some level of negotiation. It also means that there will be differences of opinions along with consensus.

I know how important it is to always strive to work together with all parties and have a united purpose to get the job done. I approach policy-making as well as potential problems with the mindset of discuss with all stakeholders, debate the pros and cons as necessary, and then make a decision on the best path forward. I believe this makes me an excellent candidate for re-election.

Progress forward is essential in today’s world. The pendulum has started to swing in the right direction and my goal is to keep it moving in that direction.

Finally, I feel I am the best candidate because I remain focused on what this towns needs to continue in this forward progress. We have changes looming ahead and I am looking forward to being a vital part of these changes.

Arlene Fisher

I have been a resident of Stillwater Township for 43 years, raising four children in our community, and feel that I have the qualifications to serve on the Committee of Stillwater Township due to the volunteer positions I have held and as an employee.

I was appointed to the Planning Board in 1983 and served on that board for 33 years, also serving as a member of the Zoning Board for 10 years and liaison to both boards until becoming the zoning officer as an employee from 1993 until retiring in 2021.

While on the Planning Board, I also served as a member of the Sussex County Water Commission and was elected to the Kittattinny Board of Education, serving two terms. I also was a past member of the rescue squad and past president of the Ladies Auxiliary for the Stillwater Fire Department, a Girl Scout leader and a cheerleading coach.

My goals, if elected, are to make our government more transparent and end the back-room deals that have had a negative impact, especially on the employees.

As a former employee, I have had a front row seat to the favoritism and unfairness that has led to a mass exodus of qualified employees as undue interference by my opponent and micro-management have created negativity in the office.

I also want to see our Township Committee stop the cronyism that is an issue at this time, with any dissenting voices being attacked and eliminated.

I am running for Township Committee because I love our township and we need to bring back government that is open and honest. Doing what is best for all the residents of Stillwater and elected officials that follow the rules that were written for all residents.

It’s time for change; no more political jobs based on friendships, no more canceling of opposing voices, no more micro-managing the staff and no more cronyism on the committee.