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  • Writer's pictureMichael Torrissi Jr.

Perspective/Torrissi in Trenton

courtesy photo

Hello Hammontonians,

I hope you all enjoyed your summers and are adjusting well to a new school year. It’s been quite the summer and fall campaigning to continue to be your Assemblyman. Since Trenton will not officially call us back until November, I wanted to put all the focus on our town, today.

People don’t often put much thought into their local representation, unfortunately. Other than the great work The Gazette does, there isn’t much media coverage of the things that truly affect us. Sure, there’s a million stories a day about Donald Trump, Joe Biden and Washington politics, but when it comes to your everyday standard of living, your local representatives play a huge role. That’s why it’s important to do your homework and choose ones that will work for your community.

As your 8th District representative, I always have an eye on how I can best advocate for Hammonton. That’s why, as this year’s state budget negotiations were underway, Senator Jean Stanfield, Assemblyman Brandon Umba and I spoke up, loud and often, about the needs of the town. The time spent was fruitful, and we were able to secure a sizable grant at the very end of budget negotiations.

Hammonton will receive $200,000 to help rehabilitate, expand and enhance Hammonton Lake Park. While it’s interesting to talk about big-picture issues like the economy and culture wars, smaller issues like local recreation have an immediate impact on the quality of life of people who want to raise their families in a town with beautiful parks.

The budget isn’t the only way we can advocate for the essentials that affect every resident in town. We are also here to partner with different branches of government to make sure your officials at the municipal and school levels have the resources they need.

Earlier this year, the Hammonton School District reached out to us about issues it was having with the New Jersey Pinelands Commission that put in jeopardy a $5.9 million grant to expand its Early Childhood Education Center. Without the Pinelands’ approval, the school district was at risk of missing grant deadlines and losing the money. Since we often reach out to officials in various state departments for the dozens of towns we represent, we already have built-in relationships to help towns like Hammonton navigate regulatory messes that exist in abundance in New Jersey.

We were able to work out a plan that abided by the state grant deadlines and was acceptable to the Pinelands Commission in order for the major expansion project to move forward with grant money.

These are just two examples of the myriad of issues that came through my office these last two years. Whether it’s helping a local farm, Main Street business, school district or individual, state representatives have the power to solve everyday problems and effect change.

So please, don’t ever hesitate to reach out to me if you have an issue you need your 8th District Representatives to look into.

Michael Torrissi


8th District of New Jersey General Assembly


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