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  • Naidia Douglas-Sogunro

Long Branch County Executive Forum

Oh, what a night! In collaboration with CHEER, MHP, the Long Branch Business League, and Sligo Branview Community Association, led by community volunteers, put forth a well-attended and productive event. The Long Branch County Executive Forum was a well-received night of questions, answers, and open discussions. The candidates in attendance were David Blair, Marc Elrich, Hans Riemer, Peter James, and Shelton Skolnick. The sponsors aimed to connect the community with the candidates. This allowed community members to have their questions answered and raise awareness of the issues they continuously face.

The county executive forum allowed for an open conversation between community members and electoral candidates. As a result, residents could gauge candidates’ positions on crucial topics such as parking, crime, economic development, transportation, and general road safety.

Residents lamented the increase in theft, drugs, gang activity, and shootings in the general localities and called for greater police presence in increasingly volatile areas. Concerns also included parking challenges, the lack of rent control, and residential maintenance. These challenges erode community building and neighborhood development. Other community issues included public transportation and pedestrian safety. For example, complete bus routes have been removed, and many roadways are without safe passages for pedestrians.

Importantly, community members expressed the need to address these issues with alacrity to ensure community development and empowerment. CHEER prides itself on impacting change within the community. CHEER does this by empowering community members to recognize that they play a crucial role in community development. Overall, community members played a significant role in highlighting and prioritizing community concerns, making candidates aware that they will determine and oversee the work, changes, and governance in Long Branch.


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