NJ Pen 2021 Election Coverage: Meet the Cherry Hill Council Candidates


We invited the candidates for the township municipal government to tell voters a little about themselves ahead of the vote. Here’s how they responded.

By Matt Skoufalos | November 1, 2021

On November 2, voters in Cherry Hill will choose from among eight balloted candidates for four seats on the township council.

Incumbent Democrats William A. Carter, III; Sangeeta DoshiDavid Fleisher; and Carole Roskoph square off against Republican challengers Diane C. Carr, David Lodge, Nicole Nance, and Rossanna Parsons.

We invited everyone to reply to the same set of prompts, telling voters about themselves, their priorities, and their views of the current state of the community. Answers were edited for clarity and length.

Diane Carr. Credit: Diane Carr.

Diane Carr (R, Challenger)

Diane Xanthopoulos Carr is a married mother of two grown children, whom she homeschooled, teaches ESL at Camden County College, and has operated her own tutoring business for 14 years.

Her husband is pastor of an Anglican mission-church in Mount Laurel; her son is a senior account executive in software sales, and her daughter is studying for the medical college admissions test (MCAT).

Carr enjoys creative projects, gardening, cooking, hiking, and spending time with her 90-year-old mother, who resides with their family. 

What is your philosophy of government?

Government must be an example to the people it represents through its the policies, actions, and attitudes of its leadership.

What will the future hold if lawmakers do not act in accordance with the law in the way they set forth these principles? How can people live agreeably when some are trusting administrations, and others, the consciences of their own souls?

Therefore, it is imperative that law is not made arbitrarily but with scrutiny and transparency in consideration of its implications. This includes educating immigrants to more fully understand our public policy in their own languages, while providing affordable access to learning English.

Government must be a minister for good to effectively enable society to flourish.

Why would you like to serve on the Cherry Hill Township Council?

There are two primary reasons I would like to serve on Cherry Hill Town Council.

The first is to make Cherry Hill’s prime location doable for those who live here. I’ve heard it over and over that people cannot afford to live in Cherry Hill due to high taxes. They are thinking about their futures, and including high expenses is not in their plans.

Although the municipal tax rate has remained flat for the last ten years, taxes continue to increase. As someone said, we had the “rainiest of rainy days,” but no tax relief during the pandemic, although we have a $13.7-million surplus and new construction revenue. Residents are rightly concerned that they see little added value from this inflated expenditure.

Secondly, I would like to see residents’ views supersede that of “who-helps-whom” paybacks or special interests. Council members are to be representatives of the people, speaking residents’ views in town considerations, and not serving their own objectives.

What are the biggest challenges Cherry Hill faces?

Two of the biggest challenges our community faces are first, a lack of intellectual diversity. Forty-four years of deep entrenchment, favors, and connections crowd out differences of viewpoints.

It’s rather simple: for common sense to be acceptable, it must think on its own, not mindlessly agree with party-machine politics. Whoever can clearly think out their reasoning for disagreement ought to rationally speak up, and not cave in to fear or to the benefits that go along with pandering.

The second biggest challenge concerns Critical Race Theory curriculum, and is twofold. The first prong is in the choice of consultants for the popularized Critical Race Theory curriculum, which is extreme and not freeing for those it is intended to liberate. Enough information is available to recognize that the deep motivation of this curriculum is setting us up for anarchy. Consultants from other points of view are out there, but they’re not considered acceptable to the consultants chosen because they don’t follow their “messages.”

Distinguished surgeon Dr. Ben Carson said, “With initiative and education, almost anyone can thrive.” This is where the focus must be than on one’s race as a barometer for reaching the goals to which we all can agree. A survey can inform us of what they are.

The second prong has to do with school administrators not listening to all parents’ views, or else there wouldn’t be so much “anxious” conversation about it all over the country, including in Cherry Hill. This mandatory curriculum may appear to have little to do with the roles and responsibilities of the township Council, but I disagree. To permit the funding of the Board of Education and represent all taxpayers, Council must have a say in how its younger residents are taught, not only when problems arise as a result of it.

Parental rights are in jeopardy! Their ideas for their children’s well-being is being cast aside. As an educator, especially in the field of teaching English language learners, it is my desire to provide local education bases in Cherry Hill, to give more accessibility for people to be equipped to work with integrity and learn skills. Critical Race Theory, as it is being set forth by the consultants chosen, doesn’t serve the common good, and shouldn’t be taught in our schools.

What are the biggest strengths of Cherry Hill?

One of the strengths of this community is its location to all points: the city for work (with bridges all around!), the shore for relaxation, and arteries to major airports to anywhere in the world.

Another is its recognition as a hub. This is not limited to our large and lovely mall that attracts people from other areas, but also our vibrant ethnic restaurants, houses of worship of a variety of faiths, and open spaces that beckon people from all over, bring our community together for a variety of activities, and promote healthy lifestyle choices.

These and more are all a part of this nearly 72,000-person residential community. We must not spoil it with masking and vaccination mandates or business that doesn’t serve the best interests of the community.

Weaknesses are also a part of any community and Cherry Hill is not exempt; therefore, we have work to do. Being a hub, commercial sprawl must be carefully monitored, aging and blight of old construction must be turned over to usefulness as quickly as possible, tree overgrowth and stumps must be handled, multiple streets must be repaired, flooded areas must be surveyed (according to a resident not acknowledged for 25 years in his neighborhood), trash contracts must be swiftly reviewed, pollution (air and water) must be routinely sampled, schools must be updated with new safety protocols, wildlife must be humanely controlled.

Tax dollars must be used efficiently to provide the most value to residents and taxpayers. One-party control has reduced leaders’ accountability, and our township has paid the price with unmet needs.

What are three key issues on which you’d like to focus if elected?

From what I’ve heard in speaking to residents across Cherry Hill: taxes, parental rights in children’s education, and safety in regard to infrastructure, crime, and wellness.

In addition, I would like to further Cherry Hill sustainability, and look into elder provisions, such as lawn care and housing maintenance concerns.


Nicole Nance. Credit: Nicole Nance.

Nicole Nance (R, Challenger)

Nicole Nance is a BBA Minister, administrator, executive director, certified community health worker, Amway independent business owner, and entrepreneur.

A mother of two and grandmother of one, she enjoys reading, crocheting and spending time with family and friends.

What is your philosophy of government?

Government is how the affairs of a city, state or nation are to be conducted and regulated by the people of the city, state or nation.

Why would you like to serve on Cherry Hill Township council?

I like helping people. I’m an advocate.

Serving people with advocacy is a part of governing.

I want to help restore balanced governance back to the people in Cherry Hill.

After all, that’s why we have elected officials. The peoples’ taxpayer dollars pay their salaries!

What are the biggest challenges Cherry Hill faces?

Property taxes and one-party rule. It’s time to go back to civil government in its original form: having a body of people that govern with differing views, yet culminating in a win-win for the residents of the community, resulting in a better quality of life. Lowering property taxes is certainly a better quality of life!

What are the biggest strengths of Cherry Hill?

Resources. Cherry Hill is a big community with lots of resources that people drive for miles to access.

What are three key issues on which you’d like to focus if elected?

  1. Property taxes being curbed, with the residents enjoying the millions of dollars in surplus.
  2. Budgeting. Where are the surplus dollars going and can they be better utilized for residents?
  3. More community involvement with the police and the schools.

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