Hugh McGuire Challenging Incumbent Commissioners' Slate
The financial planner and 'I Love Collingswood' creator says the borough needs 'fresh eyes.'
Hugh McGuire is one of a handful of challengers to the incumbent slate of borough commissioners in the upcoming election. The 19-year Collingswood resident is a financial planner who says he wants to lend an independent voice to borough leadership.
Hugh McGuire describes himself as "a Collingswood guy." After nearly 20 years in town, the father of 7-year-old Mark and 10-year-old Hugh is known for his self-produced "I Love Collingswood" video segments "because I love this town," he said.
McGuire, a financial planner of 30 years, believes Collingswood needs "a financial adviser's eyes on the higher taxes we're getting." He cited the recent PILOT agreement with Kitchen & Associates to purchase the 'Old' Zane School as an example of the local political decisions to which he is opposed.
"If I went to any one of my clients and I said to them, 'We've got a property assessed at $1.9 million and we're going to sell it for $800,000,' what do you think that client would say to me?" McGuire said "'You're fired!' They would fire me.
"We need to get some fresh eyes," McGuire said. "Thirty percent of our municipal taxes goes out to debt. I would look that we knock that number down."
Although McGuire's biography is listed on a website called "Fresh Start Collingswood," with which he says he is unaffiliated, he says that his campaign will run independently of any other challenger.
"Because I'm...not put up as a team situation, if I'm independently elected, you've got independent eyes looking at what's taking place," McGuire told Patch. "In the current administration there are no checks and balances."
McGuire said other key issues he hopes to address include the SAT scores of Collingswood High School students; although they have been flagging lately, he is optimistic that they can rebound, and cited the CSAT program as an example of the kind of thing that can help.
"I love the volunteerism in town," McGuire said. "I love the community in town. That's why I do what I do and I help people out the way I do.
"We're all in this together and that's what it's all about."