republican council CandidatE

ryan weist

Student/Legislative Intern

  1. What do you think is the best way for newer residents to learn about the community?

Moving to a new community can be a daunting task, especially when trying to navigate your new environment. Kristina and I will explore relaunching the “New Resident Welcome Packet”, to be distributed to new residents by realtors. It would be the most effective way to inform new residents about Rutherford.  The packet would include literature to highlight local businesses and all centers of worship and contain offers, discounts or information. Platforms such as “This is Rutherford” and “Rutherford 365” would continue to be assets for online information about the activities in Rutherford. I love the idea of directing newcomers to the Meadowland’s Museum, located at 91 Crane Avenue, to discover Rutherford’s history. Lastly, the use of automated text messages would serve as an essential way to connect residents to community events and important information. 

2.   Do you think there is any way to reconfigure parking better in the downtown to make parking more convenient for shoppers?                          

 

Assisting business owners to provide adequate parking is essential to the overall success of Rutherford and we should explore all options to improve parking availability.

A parking plan was brought to the council three years ago and Kristina and I agree that plan needs revisiting.  The plan called for several key components including increasing available spots in the parking garage and installing modern electronic meters that would be paid for and maintained by private companies. The automated App feature would ensure that shoppers were aware of expiring meters without the need for police assistance, which would free them for other duties. Additionally, clear and modern aesthetically pleasing signs highlighting our business districts would be posted in various locations.

3.What do you consider to be the most effective mode of communication to share news with the residents? How would you communicate news and events to the community if elected?         

 

Effective communication is fundamental to the overall satisfaction of residents within a community and directly tied to the success of that community. To communicate effectively, it must be done through multiple channels.  Improving transparency and information residents receive about the community is one of my main priorities. Kristina and I agree that the council needs to have regular meetings throughout the summer and just as many towns have already done, all meetings need to be recorded with video so that all residents can view them with ease. The meetings need to be brought back to 7 pm so that more residents can attend and ensure that transparency. 

 

As time goes on, the percentage of residents who will expect text and social media updates will likely increase; however, the preceding generations who did not grow up with computers will still prefer to interact with print media. My Facebook page will regularly be updated with ongoing community events and information.  An electronic newsletter will offer quick and current information and any resident that does not have access to email will be able to pick one up at Borough Hall.  Importantly, accessibility is key. As a councilman, I am here for you. If you have an issue on your street, you will have my attention. My personal cell phone number has been on my campaign page and will still be available when I am elected. 

 

4.Do you think elected officials and appointed committee members should be required to follow a code of conduct when online and on social media?                          

I think that an online code of conduct that is not unreasonable should be implemented for elected officials and appointed committee members.  It is a system that is already commonplace in the private sector. Individuals who work for the government should be held to a higher standard and should refrain from illicit and derogatory remarks towards individuals.  However, opinions should not be silenced. Ensuring our officials can effectively communicate their opinions in a respectful manner should be the focus. While Kristina and I do not see eye to eye on this particular subject, I think that possessing a different set of opinions and being able to discuss those different beliefs between us on issues that we disagree on will lead to a more productive and diverse government. 

                                                                                                                              

5. How would you mitigate traffic and pedestrian concerns around town, especially in and around school zones?          

 

With recent increasing traffic moving through Rutherford, improving pedestrian safety is crucial and directly tied to our safety and quality of life. The current council’s decision to upgrade intersections along West Passaic Avenue was a good start; however, safety measures need to be expanded to the West End.  The corner of Union and Santiago is arguably one of the most dangerous areas in Rutherford. When you take into account the rising and setting sun, children walking to and from Union School, large buses and delivery trucks parked along the avenue, the intersection is particularly hazardous, and should have been the first to receive upgrades. Other intersections, especially around Washington School, suffer from bad lighting and speeding, especially during peak school commuting hours. In addition to street signs and improved crosswalks, the curbs along those dangerous intersections and around our schools should be brought in to give pedestrians less road to cross and making the intersection obvious to drivers.  Simply repainting our crosswalks with modern designs, proven to alert drivers more efficiently than old ones, is an inexpensive solution to make Rutherford safer. Kristina and I will work closely on increasing safety strategies for Rutherford.