The Residents of CD11 Deserve the Caliber of Kazmark

Congressman Bill Pascrell often states that when he was Mayor of Paterson, he learned very quickly that when it comes to government, the buck stops with the Mayor.  That’s even when the Mayor has absolutely no jurisdiction over the issue at hand.   Beyond the challenges however, there is no more rewarding position than Mayor.  You hear from your constituents daily.  Your job is to solve their problems or explain to them why you can’t.  There is an obligation to not only fix local issues of concern, but also to connect residents with the services and resources at other levels of government which they need to assist both themselves and their families.  The job never stops, but it’s a privilege and honor to serve the people who elected you.
With that said, it’s clear that the same level of representation is lacking in Washington, DC.  The polarization and divide has never been greater and our CD 11 representative, Rodney Frelinghuysen has fallen short.  Beyond joining another New Jersey congressman to become one of the deciding votes on the Republican healthcare bill and his letter to a Lakeland Bank executive calling out one of their employees (who later resigned) for her participation in the democratic process, Rodney (as he always asks us to call him) has been absent in representing the people of the 11th.  The lack of town hall meetings, constituent services and access to our elected representative to the people’s house of government is simply unacceptable.
We need a Congressional representative who actually wants to represent the people.  Who better than a mayor, who knows what it is like to have direct access to the public every single day?  There is no better training for an elected official than serving as Mayor – maybe we should have more in Congress.  Town halls, e-mails, texts, phone calls, even trips to the local grocery store expose you to the concerns and worries of everyday people who never fail to hold you accountable.
Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark is actively considering a run for Congress in CD 11.  There simply is no elected official who is more in tune to the needs of the people he represents.  His commitment to his town began at 23 years old when he was first elected to the Council and continued for 9 years before serving as Mayor for the last six.  From improved parks, to a record of stabilizing taxes, securing grants and working to meet affordable housing obligations, his knowledge of government is second to none.  There is a remarkable change that has taken place in the old West Paterson (now Woodland Park) since Keith took the reigns as Mayor.  We need that type of change in CD 11.
The residents of the 11th Congressional District, from Sparta to Livingston to right here in Little Falls, deserve someone with Keith’s commitment, dedication and knowledge to be their representative in Washington.  As Mayor of Little Falls, I ask those who are looking for a change in Congress to join me in wholeheartedly encouraging Keith to jump into this race and let the people in all 54 towns see what it is like to have a passionate, knowledgeable and responsive leader stand up for them in Washington.  I know first-hand that Keith will not hide, he will not back down and he will not rest.  Get in this Keith!  Run!
James Belford Damiano is the Mayor of the Township of Little Falls
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