Chatham Borough is a town which exemplifies the small town American values of community, volunteerism, and limited yet effective local government, accountable to the citizens it serves. I believe my skills and experience make me well suited to play an effective role in maintaining Chatham Borough as a beacon of efficient and responsive municipal government in New Jersey.
Therefore, I am asking for your vote next Tuesday, Nov. 3 in order to continue Chatham’s tradition of conservative fiscal management, keeping property taxes affordable, and maintaining essential services and infrastructure in top-notch condition.
Given the challenges Chatham faces with respect to declining aid from Trenton, growing pension and healthcare costs, and the need to prevent our roads, parking lots, and water and sewer facilities from decaying, the Mayor and Borough Council deserve our gratitude for consistently offering fresh perspectives in effectively meeting these challenges. Continued innovation will be required to diversify our revenue base to lessen reliance on property taxes, finding ways to share or privatize services without impacting the quality of services provided to our residents, and ensuring we continue to spend prudently through maintaining local control of our police and public works departments.
I strongly believe my experience in municipal and project finance, familiarity with land use and zoning issues, and track record of leading a major civic organization and understanding the issues it faces position me well to help keep Chatham Borough on the right trajectory. In a career spanning over 25 years, I’ve served as a member Moody’s Public Finance Rating Committee, underwritten the public bond offerings of state and local housing finance agencies throughout the country, and sourced debt and equity capital for a $5 billion portfolio of public-private partnership projects. I have the breadth of experience, skills and capacity to bring effective solutions to bear to any challenges the Borough may face.
One key component to maintaining Chatham’s long range fiscal health is to move forward with the careful repositioning of Chatham’s southern gateway (the “M District”). With the Borough Council’s recent visionary re-zoning of the M District, we have an enormous opportunity before us to attract private capital in support of a diverse array of residential, commercial, and retail uses. Intelligent redevelopment of this part of town will help grow our ratable base, strengthen the flow of revenues to our town and school district in order to pay for essential services and infrastructure, and relieve pressure on residential property taxes.
Over the past 10 years I’ve worked very hard to make the zoning variance process more user friendly, under the belief that encouraging capital reinvestment in our aging housing stock is a desirable outcome. I support the targeted liberalization of certain burdensome zoning restrictions, to allow for capital reinvestment in our attractive community in a manner consistent with the Borough’s Master Plan.
I am very cognizant of the negative impact high property taxes can have on the affordability of our community and on home values. As a result, I will ensure the taxpayer always comes first by:
• Supporting only essential expenditures, not the wants of special interests
• Exploring shared services opportunities with neighboring towns and school districts
• Working to intelligently and carefully grow the Borough’s ratable base
Chatham is characterized by a vibrant spirit of volunteerism. Our boards and commissions are filled with dedicated community servants who make Chatham the great town it is. I will work to continue this tradition of residents playing an active role in community affairs; this is the key to keeping municipal government’s role in our lives limited in scope and affordable.
I ask for your vote on November 3, and look forward to serving you as your Council member.