Dog Park for
The Great Oak Park Committee and a local non-profit worked with Ryan over several years to secure the necessary funding to pay for the proposed dog park, as well as achieve successes within the Great Oak Park development that would be required for a dog park to come to fruition. Ryan received approvals in late 2019 and early 2020 to start construction of the dog park.
Many residents signed up to volunteer and/or to donate funds towards the cause as Ryan spent much time reaching out to different organizations, businesses, and individuals to drum up support. His Dog Park facebook page reached over 1,200 likes and was written about in numerous local media publications!
Ryan raised approximately $50,000 in monetary donations and over $50,000 in pledged donations for the project. He was also named Oakland's "Hometown Hero" in December 2020 by Congressman Josh Gottheimer for all of his efforts.
Additional information can be found on the dog park website in addition to the dog park Facebook page. The dog park opened with much fanfare to the public during Mother's Day weekend 2021.
Public Opinion Polls for Oakland, N.J.
With a major mid-term election occurring in 2010, Ryan watched the news and the polling information very carefully to see what the American populace was thinking ahead of the election. However, he was upset that nothing existed to really show the thoughts and opinions of more local people. So, he decided to create his own poll to ask Oakland residents their opinions about local and national issues.
Ryan saw how much influence local polling has had on the town of Oakland with people commenting on the results and officials even referencing the work he had done to make their point or start a worthwhile discussion. Also, many of the candidates running for office were interviewed on camera by Ryan, so local residents were able to get to know the candidates on the ballot to the best of their ability. Some videos have received several hundred views and one candidate even noted that, "It seems the release of Ryan Schwertfeger's candidate interviews has become the unofficial start of the campaign season in Oakland..."
You can check out the polling website here.
Ryan also attends almost every Borough Council meeting, and when he can't be there in person, he'll record the meetings in order to see what he missed since he wants to be in the know what is happening in the community.
Ryan is not afraid to speak his mind and has on many occasions, spoken at Borough Council meetings or had lengthy conversations with elected officials about his point of view on a current issue going on in town. He enjoys learning what is going on and seeing how local officials make the decisions they make - with the goal of improving the lives for their residents, as opposed to their own self.