Five Questions for Laura Ali Nonnenmacher
Nonnenmacher is running for a seat on the Chatham Township Committee.
Laura Ali Nonnenmacher uses her maiden name on campaign signs throughout Chatham Township. She thinks enough people in town know her that they will recognize the name on Election Day.
"Many of [the residents] know me as the mom running around town with her three boys ... from game to game," she said.
That may be her opinion, but how many township residents know Nonnenmacher is through her work on the PTO of Southern Boulevard School, where, as president, she spearheaded fundraising efforts that she said raised $20,000 more than their goal last year.
Besides working on the PTO, Nonnenmacher also owns her own small business, Triple Win Inc., and a franchise called The Alternative Board. She uses social media groups like Twitter and Facebook to work with other small businesses and provide sales, marketing coaching and strategy planning. She would like to see those same outreach tools applied to municipal government.
"I want to YouTube the meetings," Nonnenmacher said. "Not everyone can make it to the meetings, and not everyone can be home when they happen to watch them on TV. If they're on YouTube, you can watch them anytime."
Like most Chatham Township residents, Nonnenmacher is also concerned with keeping property taxes low. She has parents who live in town and sees them try to live on a fixed income in a town where taxes go up every year.
One thing she wants to do is lobby in Trenton to get state taxes lowered so that there is less burden placed on Chatham residents to pay for lower-performing districts throughout the state. "That, by the way, puts the major burden of supporting the [Chatham] school system on the taxpayers," she said.
Chatham residents pay for about 95 percent of the cost of the school district through their school taxes. By putting their state taxes to work locally, Nonnenmacher hopes to make a dent in what township residents pay.
She also hopes to engage the small business community in Chatham Township to turn the town's shopping centers into a more active and desirable location for consumers and business owners.
Primary elections take place on June 7. The last day to register was May 17. Voters have until May 31 to apply for a mail-in ballot through the Morris County Election Board, and in-person voting begins May 31.