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HILLSBOROUGH: Thuy Anh Le and John Beggiato will run for Township Committee (updated)
They were involved in last fall's open space tax referendum; party organization meets Thursday night to endorse
John Beggiato and Thuy Anh Le
By Gene Robbins, Managing Editor
Published on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 3:56 PM EST

Thuy Anh Le and John W. Beggiato, two key people in last fall’s campaign against a proposed change in use of the township open space tax, are running as Democrats for two seats on the Hillsborough Township Committee.

They must file by April 7 to be on the June 3 primary election ballot for a chance to gain spots on the Nov. 4 general election.

The incumbents are Republicans Douglas Tomson and Gloria McCauley, who haven’t announced their intentions.

The announcement by Ms. Le and Mr. Beggiato doesn’t necessarily mean they are the official Democratic organization’s preferred candidates. Party chairman Arthur Skaar said Monday that will be decided Thursday night, when the committee meets and votes.

Ms. Le and Mr. Beggiato did not interview with a three-person screening committee, but two other people did, Mr. Skaar said. The committee will make a recommendation to the whole municipal committee, and it seemed unlikely, he said, it would recommend someone to whom they had not talked. He said he would have to check to see if the names of Ms. Le and Mr. Beggiato could be brought up from the floor by any committeeman or woman.

Mr. Skaar declined to say who screened with the committee, of which he was not a part.A statement by Ms. Le and Mr. Beggiato says they were “energized by last year’s successful campaign to stop the Township Committee from diverting up to 20 percent of open space trust funds to other purposes . . .”

“We would like to provide a voice for those who are not satisfied with the way their government is run,” said Mr. Beggiato. “Last year, the Friends of Hillsborough Open Space (FOHOS) proved that you can fight town hall when you feel that town hall is not representing you.”

Ms. Le said. “Our presence on the Hillsborough Township Committee will make township government more inclusive and transparent. We will bring the same communications and leadership skills we have brought to our volunteer work over many years of serving our community. We will examine all business that comes before the Township Committee for economy, value, fairness and sustainability. We welcome public understanding and participation and will make sure all aspects of decisions are clearly communicated.”Ms. Le and Mr. Beggiato said they believe that “we all have to take turns at leadership in order to have a thriving community. We want to add balance, diverse thinking, transparency and fresh ideas to improve the quality of governance in our town.”

Ms. Le and Mr. Beggiato said that “sustainability in the broadest sense is not just about the physical environment; it is also about fair taxation and financial structures, efficient services, a healthy business climate, excellent schools, strong neighborhoods, good transportation and social and cultural opportunities. . .”

They added in a statement: “We are concerned about the ability to attract and retain residents and businesses in Hillsborough based on planning decisions that are made in our township and the manner in which community engagement takes place. “We will approach all decision-making by listening to residents, and by being responsive and accountable. We both have deep roots in Hillsborough and care deeply about the community. We believe we can get things done because we are pragmatic and energetic, work toward shared outcomes, and have proven track records of working with people of differing viewpoints.”

Ms. Le and Mr. Beggiato say they are long-time Hillsborough residents with community involvement in education, sports, Scouting and the environment.

Ms. Le was elected to the Board of Education in 2010 and served until the end of 2103. She did not seek re-election. In her first year, she and the board “faced the challenges of a $7 million budget cut,” she said.

She chaired the Facilities Committee, focusing on economy, energy awareness and safety, utility cost savings and timely building repair and maintenance, she said. She also chaired the Education Committee, which helped steer a technology initiative that has brought computer technology into the forefront of education operation and teaching methods.She led two Girl Scout troops for 14 years, and served ’on many Scouting parent committees during her daughters’ years in school.

By mayoral appointment, Ms. Le served as chair and vice-chair of the Sustainable Hillsborough Steering Committee from 2008 to 2012, when she was not reappointed.

She said her efforts helped the township receive bronze certification from Sustainable Jersey. While serving on the Steering Committee, she said she founded the local grassroots group BoroGreen to provide more opportunities for residents interested in environmental issues. In 2011, she received an award for environmental initiatives from the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women.Ms. Le holds an MBA in pharmaceutical studies from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Rutgers University. She is a medical communications professional employed by Ono Pharmaceutical. Her work entails publication planning and requires collaborative skills in a multinational setting, she said.

Mr. Beggiato’s is an information technology professional specializing in the financial services industry. He said he has leadership skills in managing cross-organizational teams and expertise in delivering improvements to cost, efficiency and productivity. He is employed by Fiserv, Inc. He holds a BBA in management information systems from Pace University.

Mr. Beggiato has coached Hillsborough Little League Baseball, Mary Mother of God CYO basketball and Hillsborough Youth Lacrosse, each for many years, and is president of the Roycefield Swim Club after serving seven years as a trustee.

He has spent four years as videographer for Jr. Raiders Cheerleading. He was a Boy Scout leader while attending college, and has been a Knight of Columbus for more than 30 years.

He has worked with Ms. Le as a founding member and trustee of BoroGreen and has been president for the past two years. He is also a founding member of FOHOS.

They have set up web accounts at www.facebook.com/Le.Beggiato4BoroTC or at Le.Beggiato4BoroTC@gmail.com.

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