Cinnaminson Township Committee’s just-elected member, John McCarthy, may be new to the political scene, but that doesn't mean he isn't already fully prepped to get the job done.
McCarthy won an uncontested race on Tuesday for an open seat on the township committee. He'll assume the position at the committee's reorganization meeting in January. McCarthy, 54, has never held a position in public office. In fact, up until now, he’d never even run for one.
Earlier this year, the Republican committee in town approached McCarthy and asked him to consider running for the open seat.
“I decided it was a very worthwhile endeavor,” McCarthy said. “Giving back to the community is something I’ve always done, and this is another way to accomplish that.”
McCarthy’s previous volunteer work experience includes coaching for Cinnaminson travel basketball, volunteering for the St. Charles Carnival, serving on the Cinnaminson Economic Development Committee and serving as the president of Mayfair Town Watch.
Although he is new to the committee itself, McCarthy has attended many of its meetings in the five years he has lived in Cinnaminson.
“I’ve studied the issues and (I'm) up to speed on what’s going on in my town,” McCarthy said.
While there are several things McCarthy hopes to work on while a committeeman, he has become increasingly concerned about Route 130.
“I’ve read reports that the stretch of 130 from Burlington to Pennsauken is one of the most hazardous roadways in the state,” McCarthy said. “We should be encouraging public transportation, yet pedestrians can’t walk on a sidewalk to get to a bus stop along the highway. In fact, many bus stops are just mud and grass.”
McCarthy noted that working with NJDOT on these issues won’t be easy, but that it’s important to highlight the problems so progress can be made.
McCarthy also aims toward making Cinnaminson a more affordable town to live in.
“I’m a property taxpayer like everybody else,” McCarthy said. “Government must do everything possible to lighten the load on those who pay the bills.”
McCarthy also wants to work with the school district, fire district and other towns to find ways of reducing costs.
As far as schools goes, McCarthy wants to reduce costs, but not at the expense of the student experience.
"I wouldn't want to cut valuable programs our children are receiving," McCarthy said. "Something I think worth exploring would be to turf the fields and practice surfaces. While there's an up-front investment, you can save a lot of money with ongoing maintenance expenses."
While McCarthy prepares for his newest challenge, he wants Cinnaminson’s residents to know his ears are open.
“I’m hoping to bring a fresh perspective to the table and to be open and approachable to all township residents,” McCarthy said. “I’ll do my best to let residents know that I am accessible and there to try and help solve their problems and address their concerns.”
McCarthy will join Don Brauckmann, his running mate; Anthony Minniti, Ben Young and Kathleen Fitzpatrick on committee. Committeeman John Rooney did not seek re-election. And although McCarthy is the new kid on the block among the governing body, he's ready to help.
“It’s exciting to begin this new adventure, and I’m anxious to get started,” McCarthy said. “I’m looking forward to helping residents and working to make a great town even better. I’m very optimistic about Cinnaminson’s future. I’m ready to hit the ground running.”