BRICK TOWNSHIP-Students from Mrs. Reilly’s 5th grade class at Midstreams Elementary School had a special guest at Monday’s session of “Career Week”, Brick Township Councilman James Fozman. Fozman spoke to students about what it’s like to be a township council person, responsible for making the tough decisions required to govern a township like Brick.
Upon entering the school, he was greeted by three of Mrs. Reilly’s students who escorted him to the classroom and didn’t expect the greeting he received.
“When I entered the classroom the rest of the students greeted me with a big Hello Councilman Fozman!” he said. “It was great to see these young students so energized and ready to learn about municipal government.”
Fozman spoke to the students about his background and his involvement in the Brick Township community over the years and like 5th graders across America, the questions poured in.
“What is the favorite part of your job?” one student asked.
“How long have you served on the council?” another inquired.
Fozman said the most rewarding question came when a student asked why he wanted to run for office in Brick.
“What inspired and motivated you to become a councilman?” the student said.
“I feel it’s a great thing that they are so inquisitive, and who knows – one of these students might want to run for local office in the future,” Fozman said.
Fozman said his interest in community service began like many others across America. He began coaching Pop Warner Football and at Brick American Little League and his passion for helping others and giving back to the community grew from there. After meeting so many people in the community during those years through his community service, he decided he wanted to take it to the next level and ran for office.
“I felt it was time for the people of Brick Township to have equal representation on the township council and in local government,” Fozman said.
Mrs. Reilly said she teaches her students about government and elections in her class by holding a monthly election for class president which gives the students a strong and valuable hands-on experience in voting and leadership.
Fozman presented each student with a small American flag before leaving the classroom.
After leaving the classroom, Fozman said he thought about the current state budget crisis and how it’s affecting the Brick Township School District, seeing firsthand the faces those budget cuts affect, including the students and teachers.
“Brick Township is being treated unfairly by an unfair school funding formula in New Jersey that takes money out of classrooms like Mrs. Reilly’s and sends it to the urban school districts,” Fozman said. “Our district is being penalized. Taxpayers in Brick are funding schools all across North Jersey and we need to continue fighting until this matter is resolved.”