Email: email@example.com Phone: 732-306-7552 Birthday: July 7 Deborah Bell didn't set out to be a journalist. In college, she was an English major with every intention of being a short story writer. A college professor suggested she take a journalism class for the discipline of learning to write "tighter." She did as he suggested, and discovered, to her surprise, that she adored journalism - in fact, she loved everything about it. Journalism combined her love of writing, an inherited fascination with politics, and provided a legal outlet for her natural nosiness. Bell is the quintessential "Joisey Girl," minus the high hair and accent (as she would say to friends from other states, "What accent??") Since birth, she's spent almost every minute of her life in Woodbridge, a town to which she is completely devoted. An alumna of Middlesex County College and Rutgers University, Bell started her career in New York as an assistant editor for a business magazine and a human rights magazine. She found she hated the commute, and since the family trust fund wasn't sufficient to finance a Park Ave. apartment, she decided to pursue her journalistic fortunes in the Garden State. She honed her skills for a variety of weekly newspapers, then worked for her hometown paper, the News Tribune. When that paper was consumed by Gannett, she was hired by the hybrid, the Home News Tribune, and moved on to the Trentonian. Bell has also written for a variety of publications since her college days, and has won several New Jersey Press Association awards for investigative reporting and reporting in the public interest. That she attributes to her "bad attitude," as some politicians have described it, and to the fantastic training she received at the hands of some of the best editors in the business (including the one she married.) She is firmly dedicated to the idea that a free society requires fearless journalists to tell the truth in the public interest and to keep the Powers That Be honest. Bell is delighted to be heading Woodbridge Patch, and is dedicated to telling Woodbridge residents the news, no matter where it lies, and to serving their interests as both they and she see it. Beliefs At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible and human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal certain key beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable. This disclosure is not a license for our editors to inject these beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that our beliefs are on the record will force us to be ever mindful to write, report, and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you, the user, ever think you see evidence that we failed in this mission, we wholeheartedly invite you to let us know. Politics * How would you describe your political beliefs? I guess you could call me an "original intenter" regarding the Constitution. I firmly believe in and am committed to defend the rights of citizens as enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Average people, the ones who pay the bills, are the guys who are in charge; politicians occasionally need to be reminded of this fact. Religion * How religious would you say you are? Casual, observant, devout, non-religious? I was born Catholic. I consider myself to be generic Christian. I firmly believe that one of the most basic human rights there is is the right to choose what you believe, or not to believe. I also believe in respecting the religious choices of all people. Local Hot Button Issues * What do you think are the two or three most important issues facing the community? Taxes, taxes, and taxes. Oh...and taxes. The quality of the township's schools, and the resultant tax burden. The issues facing senior citizens who can barely afford their property taxes. And since Woodbridge is a township that is the epicenter of almost every major road in the state, traffic is a big issue, as is overcrowding and open space. Given Woodbridge's long history with politicians who have proven to be less than savory, political corruption is a long standing fact of life that needs constant attention. Political intimidation of non-politicians, i.e., average citizens, unfortunately, is another issue that demands to be addressed.