Here are his views on GGCNJ’s top 10 priorities for commissioners:
The “County Line” in primary election ballots: Being placed in a preferential ballot position unfairly benefits some candidates and disadvantages others. Recognizing the outsize influence of the “county line” primary election ballots on the outcomes of elections, and the considerable voter confusion that they cause, I will therefore advocate for an “Office Bloc” ballot as is used in every other state and in some counties in NJ (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more information).
Comment: I have participated in various presentations in support of the Better Ballot Initiative. I am open to further discussions on the issue and support learning about how we can improve the design of the ballot to help voters. The County Line endorsement has been favorable in Mercer County to minority candidates in the past, especially because of our endorsement processing leading up to receiving the county endorsement and “the line.” I do support the line at this time, but this support is informed by my non-partisan election experience in Trenton.
Contract Vetting: I will rigorously review all county contracts to make sure they reflect fiscal responsibility and the values of constituents.
Pay to Play: I will not exchange professional service contracts for donations to my campaign or the campaigns of my friends/allies. When possible, I will open contracts up for a competitive bidding process, instead of automatically renewing last year’s contract.
Ethics Reform: I support ethics reforms that would require broader disclosure of financial information (e.g., investments) by candidates for county commissioner, as a means for regulating campaigns and limiting corruption.
Comment: I currently serve on the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation. Any state officer is required to complete an ethics course and financial disclosure form. Here is a link to my 2021 Disclosure.
Professionalism: I will commit my time and energy to full length meetings that make information accessible to the public. I will not support rushing through an abbreviated consent agenda.
Meeting location and accessibility: I support using technology to make meeting attendance more accessible for residents, both publicly in person and via live-streaming of meetings (e.g., zoom) or other remote attendance options.
Meeting Structure: I believe that county commissioners should hear from the public that they represent, and therefore I will not limit public comment beyond reasonable rules that make it possible for all who want to contribute, to do so (e.g., no more than 3 minutes per speaker). When possible, I will be responsive to public input.
Information reporting: I support easily accessible online meeting agendas and minutes. I support user-friendly budgets so residents can easily see how public funds are allocated. I support user friendly agendas that include explainers about resolutions being voted on.
Responsible County Administration & Oversight: I will work to ensure that the county entities and public services I oversee (such as libraries, parks, technical schools, community colleges, correction facilities, and infrastructure) are safe, professionally staffed, and appropriately funded.
Appointments to Boards, Authorities and Commissions: I will appoint people with diverse perspectives to boards, authorities and committees, opening up government for greater participation, rather than selecting the well-connected. Because new ideas and voices are important, I will seek out new residents to fill these board positions and strive for diversity that represents constituents (e.g., in terms of gender and race), rather than having the same individuals serve for decades.
More information about Elvin Montero:
Date of Birth: 4/5/1975
Current Occupation: Deputy Executive Director, Chemistry Council of New Jersey
Education: Graduated “Cum Laude” from the College of New Jersey in 1997 with a BA in Public and Mass Communications. Attended the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania from 1997 to 1999.
Public/party service: Since 2014, Elvin has served as the elected Democratic Committee Member representing Trenton, East Ward District 5. He is a founding member and vice-chair of the Mercer LGBT Democrats, and currently serves on the executive boards of both the Trenton Democratic Municipal Committee and Mercer County Democrats. Elvin continues to serve his local community in Trenton, in various capacities, including on the board of the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation, where he was recently elected Treasurer; the Trenton American Rescue Plan Advisory Committee; the Passage Theatre Board; and as an informal advisor to the mayor of Trenton. For almost 15 years, he has been a member of the State of New Jersey’s Infrastructure Advisory Committee, which acts as a liaison to private industry throughout the state and establishes ongoing communication between private industry, and state and local officials regarding domestic preparedness and security.