Former Middletown Democratic Committeeman Patrick Short is currently seeking election to one of the two NJ State Assembly seats up for grabs in this year’s 13th Legislative District race. The towns that make up the new 13th District are Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Little Silver, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Rumson, Sea Bright, and Union Beach and are currently represent by Republican Assemblywoman Amy Handlin.
Short was asked recently to submit his thoughts on a few issues effecting the State and what he would do to address them in the event that he was elected to the Assembly this coming Tuesday, Nov.8 by a few local media outlets.
Knowing that only portions of his answers would be addressed in the columns written, Mr. Short sent along the outline that he submitted to the other publications.
His answers are insightful, well thought out and would be a departure from the status quo that plagues the Trenton this days.
Here is what he sent:
1. Restore Trust in Government (Leadership, Trust and Responsibility)
I am a West Point graduate and a retired military officer who dedicated 22 years serving our country. I understand what unselfish service is about; that is my character. As a Middletown Township Committeeman (2006-2009), I kept all of my campaign promises. I did what I said I would do. I made it clear through my actions that I was a public servant; whose’ purpose was to serve and not to take. I was the only elected official in the State of New Jersey, who did not take Health Benefits, and refused to enroll into the State Pension System. In my last year in office, I refused to take a salary and further illustrated that I had chosen to serve the people and not myself. I lead by example. I take responsibility and am accountable for my actions. And, I want to restore confidence and trust in today’s government. As an elected official, it is my duty to serve all the people not a select few. I don’t ask one’s party affiliation before I provide assistance. I believe in political independence. I am a doer, not a talker. I find a way to fix problems. That is what I do as a certified project manager managing multi-million dollar projects to cost, schedule, and customer’s expectation. I would ask the District 13 residents to “Hire” me” rather than “Elect me”. Think of it as if you want some work done on your house. You hire the best-qualified individual to do that work. I would say, “Hire me to do the work you want done in Trenton. In the end, if you are not satisfied, then replace me”. Many of today’s politician’s have lost sight of how lead, to be responsible and to gain people’s trust. I ask to look past the “Scarlet D” I wear on my forehead and vote for the person not the party. See my character, knowing that I will do what I say I will do and represent District 13 residents truthfully and unselfishly.
2. It is about creating jobs. Let’s put New Jersey back to work
While everyone was focused on the budget this past year, it reminded me of a youth soccer game. Everyone chased the ball to the “Spending” side of the field while vacating the “Revenue” side of the field. Managing spending is extremely important in business, but managing spending will not keep a business in operation. Making money and generating revenue is what keeps a business in operation. My record shows that I understand the importance of managing spending, what is spent, why it is spent and how it is spent. I consistently voted to cut taxes and reduce spending and never voted in favor of a tax increase as a Middletown Committeeman. I regularly disapproved monthly expenditures that I felt were unnecessary and inappropriate. While I will continue to be a watchdog on spending, a significant part of my time will be used to bringing revenue into New Jersey to create jobs. Today, there are businesses that are spending money. The problem is they are not spending their money in New Jersey. We need an aggressive approach to capture those business opportunities. I am not talking about offering more tax credits. To me, those are secondary measures that are only offered when there is some assurance that the expected Return on Investment (ROI) will be met. What I am speaking about is an approach that is taken by corporate businesses that use Capture Managers to aggressively seek out and capture business to preserve and grow market share. We have not done enough to actively go after business opportunities to bring revenue into New Jersey. I want to expose Trenton to existing business opportunities , where money is already being spent, that can be captured and brought into New Jersey to stimulate economic development and job creation. Here are a few samples.
a. Department of Defense (DOD)-research, development, and procurement funding: The D.O.D spends billions of dollars each year on military approved technology programs and projects. This funding stream flows into the States that have military bases that sponsor these programs. While New Jersey has the military facilities available for this business, clearly, Maryland values the economic impact that these military installation make and they have made it a priority to capture the DOD business. Unlike New Jersey, Maryland has created a “how to manual” on how to foster a partnership between the State’s military installation and private sector, in order, to gain revenue and to create jobs. They have Capture Managers at the Local, State and Federal level that aggressively go after this business. As a result, Maryland is ranked fourth out of the 50 States when it comes to obtaining funding for DOD military programs and projects. New Jersey, on the other hand, is ranked 48th. Subsequently, unemployment around Maryland military facilities is 4 percent as compared to 9+ percent around New Jersey facilities. Note: In 2009, over $3.4 billion flowed through Fort Monmouth for these technology projects, $38 million, of which, was for salaries which the surrounding communities significantly benefited from. New Jersey no longer has Fort Monmouth, ironically Maryland does. However, New Jersey still has the tri-bases of McGuire, Dix and Lakehurst and other installations. We must value these military bases and their ability to sponsor these technology programs and projects. DOD money is being spent and will continue to be spent on these approved projects. We need to adopt a “Why not New Jersey” mentality and aggressively capture more of this DOD market share.