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democratic council CandidatE

Matthew Cokeley

1). What is your opinion on the potential redevelopment projects as listed on the Borough website? 

As previously stated in my letter from August 13th on my Cokeley for Council page, I am all for the responsible development of  those areas designated as potential redevelopment projects. I was incredibly proud, more recently, of the way in which the current Mayor & Council honored their oaths of office and listened to the members of the community objected to a specific plan. And while I plan on bringing some creative ideas and solutions to the table for development, I will always do more listening than preaching. 


2). What do you hope can be included in the new county park that will be created where the current Highline is along Erie Ave in Rutherford?

I love the opportunities this gift has presented us with. Pulling from other concepts both locally and from afar, I’d love to see a multi-faceted plan which includes “something for everyone”. For instance, a dog park for our town’s “fur babies” and a skate park for our actual grown babies would be tremendous. And ideally, I would love to see a proper hiking & biking path culminate with an open-air amphitheater on the river.


3). There are quite a few new businesses that have either recently opened or will open soon.  How do you feel the Mayor and Council can help support and promote these new businesses?


In addition to regular, cost effective social media promotional efforts and general communication to continually monitor their needs, I’d like to make cross-promotional business introductions more popular. For instance, the #DORutherford Dining Out campaign came to fruition this summer due to the generosity of some of our media and design professionals in town. The donation of their time and services to the campaign led to conversations and new business for both sides of the effort. 


4). What initiative do you envision implementing if elected that can bring in revenue streams to our town?


By supporting the Mayor's initiative to support businesses, I will make Rutherford a destination for those communities around us. I’d like to see more open spaces for regular dining outside as well as art installations along Park and Union Avenues so that our business districts become the attraction for a multitude of new reasons.


On a more direct scale, I’d also like to look into the reasons why particular borough ordinances limit certain business types from opening along our streets and how we can attract them into town. Just drawing on my hometown expeience again, I’d love to see a greater variety of retail and niche stores. Two businesses that would fit into some of the smaller store fronts currently sitting vacant.


5). What do you envision Rutherford’s Downtown looking like 10 years from now, and how would you accomplish that?


I would like to be part of a team that builds toward the future by listening to the community’s input. I believe in promoting sustainability and smart growth principles which will protect our natural environments while creating a lively, “destination center” that honors Rutherford’s character and emphasizes our importance in North Jersey. This plan will also include a business recruitment and attraction strategy targeting sustainable enterprises.

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