Local politics impacts the lives of residents daily. Yet, most newspapers prefer to report on state or national politics rather than the races in the towns that they cover. Voters should have the opportunity to know a little about their municipal candidates as well as state and national candidates.
I had the opportunity to interview candidate for Atlantic Highlands Council member, Dave Krupinski. What follows is the transcript of that interview.
JFG: What was the catalyst for you to seek public office?
Dave Krupinski: “When I moved to Atlantic Highlands, I bought a 1923 Sears Catalog Craftsman Colonial. The inside was dirty, the outside was overgrown, but all I saw was the potential beauty. I put a lot of sweat into the home to restore the charm. This spirit poured over into 1st avenue where I rejuvenated the beautification and public relations committee organizing clean ups, flower planting, and holiday planning. After sprucing up first Ave, I earned an appointment to the planning board in 2020. Working in collaboration with other volunteers on the board to help shape our community has been an incredibly enriching experience and really propelled my interest in running for council. I think it’s the next step to really have a meaningful impact on our town. “
JFG: Is this your first foray into politics?
Dave Krupinski: “You’re asking if this is my first foray into politics, but I truly consider this to be my next step as a public servant.”
JFG: If you have run for office before, what position did you seek? (did you win?)
Dave Krupinski: “Growing up as an athlete and being an entrepreneur, I always feel that I’m competing and running for something.”
JFG: What do you see as the most unexpected aspect of your campaign? What has surprised you?
Dave Krupinski: “The most unexpected aspect of my campaign has just been 2020. It’s been an incredibly hard year for a number of reasons, but I’ve enjoyed every day of it. Canvassing our town every weekend since July and meeting our neighbors was a really enjoyable experience. Learning about people’s origin stories in town to talking about their experiences both positive and negative offered a lot of perspective that I will carry into office.”
JFG: If your campaign succeeds, what is the first thing you plan to do, on your first day?
Dave Krupinski: “The first thing I need to do is write a ton of thank-you cards for the overwhelming amount of support from people in our community. On my first day of council I want to establish a proactive approach for both short- and long-term planning to prepare our town for the future. When we had our most recent power outage from a storm it reminded me of an old proverb that says it’s better to prevent than to heal. Whether it’s our schools, power, roads, harbor, parking, or trees we need to have the foresight to prepare for the long term while protecting the present.”
JFG: What is your main priority/goal and how to you plan on achieving that goal? (pet project)
Dave Krupinski: “Upon being elected my first priority would be to ensure that our school systems are taking the necessary steps to be financially stable and academically excellent without increasing costs to our taxpayers. We need to have an outside of the borough approach to take proactive steps to control what happens with Henry Hudson high school instead of waiting to see what may happen. We recently saw a tax increase this past year due to the schools and that will not solve the problems we currently face and in turn will only further burden our residents financially. We need to make smart alliances to increase capital, increase enrollment, and invest into making Henry Hudson an excellent academic institution. Our small town is filled with residents who grew up here and raised families of their own. We want to afford this opportunity to the next generation, and it starts with our schools.”
JFG: What are the 3 main issues facing your community/district, and how do you plan on addressing them?
Dave Krupinski: “In a small town all ripples can become waves that increase taxes which is something we all can agree is something we 100% want to avoid. Our school system, open space, and downtown are all at critical junctures where decisions made or not made will create those ripples. We need to be really be diligent in exploring all possible outcomes to make informed and strategic decisions to help our schools excel financially and academically, preserve our open space, and prepare our downtown for prosperity.”
JFG: Politically, what are your beliefs, what is your “platform”?
Dave Krupinski: “My platform has been rooted in the fundamentals of preserve, protect, and prepare. I honor tradition but want to transcend into the future. I am very pro-business which is why I’ve dedicated so much time to establishing @AtlanticHighlandsNJ on Instagram to help stimulate business and create awareness for our town. I want to protect our town by supporting our police, firefighters, and ems squads. I believe that school systems are one of the most valuable assets to a small town. I believe we all work hard so our tax dollars should work hard too. We’ll continue to create efficiencies instead of simply tax increases.”
JFG: Regarding COVID19, do you believe that the state/county/town has made the correct decisions in attempting to mitigate the virus? Do you believe that we should open restaurants, theaters, gyms, etc., completely?
Dave Krupinski: “I believe that business owners should be allowed to operate their businesses. We’ve all had to adapt and evolve from our normal routines to help minimize the curve.”
JFG: Should wearing a mask be legislated in an effort to mitigate COVID19?
Dave Krupinski: “I wear a mask when appropriate for my safety and for others around me. “
JFG: Tell us about you, the person. Who are you?
Dave Krupinski: “I’m an incredibly hardworking and dedicated person who’s also fun, caring, and thoughtful. I am an entrepreneur who started his first company at 10 years old. I had a business called “Curbside Cans” where I brought your garbage can from your backyard to curb and back for $0.25 each way. I had over 100 houses in the neighborhood. I’ve always channeled that spirit and hustle paying my own way through CBA, where I was a founding member of the volleyball team and St. John’s University where I studied sports management. Now I work in marketing and production working with brands like Under Armour, Peloton, Showtime. I also work with athletes and celebrities like Stephen Curry, Mike Tyson, Kevin Hart, and countless others. When I’m not working, I enjoy playing competitive beach volleyball in AVP America.”
As election day nears, we wish all our candidate success in all they do.