republican Mayoral Primary CandidatE
Rutherford resident since 1999.
23 year police detective with the Hoboken Police Dept.
Currently serving as the Union President.
1) What do you consider the most pressing issue facing our town right now that you want to focus your attention on if elected?
I believe a revitalization of Park Avenue is one of the most pressing issues that this town faces. I would like to see our main business district look more like Ridgewood, Westwood, Milburn, Morristown and Westfield to name a few. One of the main components of this plan is renovate and re-open The Williams Center. Just look at what happened to the town of Milburn when the Paper Mill playhouse opened or the town of Englewood when The Bergen PAC theater became operational again in 2003 thanks to a public/private partnership, downtown Englewood was instantaneously revitalized! I would also use everything in my power to make our NJ Transit train a Manhattan direct. The day that happened on the Essex line, property values in Glenridge, Montclair, South Orange etc...drastically increased! We are the jewel of Southern Bergen County, we need to think big and outside the box!
2) If a person or entity came to you with a proposal to build a new piece of public infrastructure in the borough (road, bridge, etc.) how would you evaluate whether that project was worth implementing?
It would come down to simple math; does the cost and disruption of other aspects of life in town that would be affected by a major construction project, outweigh the greater need for such a thing. If it is determined by consensus that the town is in dire need of this project, then we will figure out how to finance it.
3) As you review proposals for development projects in town, and potential revenue streams, what will you do to ensure Rutherford not only maintains its small community character, but also has the infrastructure--emergency services, DPW--and schools--to adequately support the development, ideally with no tax impact to residents?
Most importantly, I believe it is important to stress to the residents in our community, that if
elected mayor I will never forget that the decisions that are made by myself and the council members will always be made with the best interest of the Rutherford residents first and foremost.
The way this question is framed, it just about answers itself. Every residential development project of substantial size would, first and foremost, have to comply with standards that ensure its facade and common areas "fit" our vision for a small community feel. I would negotiate with any developer to have them set aside a percentage of the units, based on size, for seniors and vets based upon a formula similar to Section 8. After those 2 issues are settled, then of course we have to make sure that infrastructure, emergency services, DPW, schools, parking, traffic and sewers to name a few, are able to handle a project of whatever size is proposed. And in my opinion, PILOT programs are a non-starter. We dont need them, they need us!
4) How do you see developing arts for all ages in our town?
Extremely important! We can start with the Williams Center renovation which I think would be a stimulus to the development of more of the arts in town than we now see!
5) What initiatives do you envision implementing if elected that can bring in revenue streams to our town?
Williams Center, responsible development and a line by line examination (audit) of every dime we payout to find cost savings. There is alot of waste in every government body in the State of NJ, Rutherford may or may not be an exception, but we will find out.
6) What do you consider to be the most effective mode of communication to share news with the residents? Do you think information (such as road closures and new ordinances) is currently communicated effectively? Why or why not?
#1 would be social media, it has the largest and quickest reach to a large number of people and it costs practically nothing. Second would probably be posting in the Bergenite and third would be something we dont yet have, but I would like to see. A small digital sign in front of Town Hall that can be seen from the street that streams information about things going on in town. As far as communications I receive about road closures and the such, I never get any. I dont find out that Mortimer Ave is being closed in both directions until I pull out of my driveway in the morning