For those of you who aren’t able to attend or otherwise tune into the bi-weekly meetings of the Borough Council, I currently serve on the Council and I am running to be Mayor. Maybe you have noticed a lawn sign or two. By way of introduction, let me tell you a bit about myself and why I am running.
My wife Jill and I moved to Chatham Borough 26 years ago. It is where we chose to plant our family’s roots and where we raised our three boys – Robert, Brian and Jack. Like most of you, we chose Chatham Borough because it was a safe place, with great schools and it had a wonderful sense of community.
Towns like Chatham Borough exist because of its numerous volunteers, both elected and non-elected, as well as its dedicated municipal employees. As a long-time resident of the Borough, I have consistently taken an active role in our community. In addition to serving on the Borough Council, I have been a recreational sports coach, a Cubmaster for Pack 6, an Assistant Scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 8, and most recently a substitute teacher at CMS and CHS. While these are only a few of the programs I have been involved in, they represent my commitment to the town and, in particular, the youth of our community. In addition, having served as an Assistant Morris County Prosecutor for 26 years, public service has always been my calling. Giving back to the community is one of my core values and one I have tried to instill in
my sons, their friends, students I have encountered, and countless scouts that I have mentored over the years.
My motivation for running can be simply stated – the desire to serve the people of Chatham Borough and help guide the municipal government to better serve its residents. I don’t just “sit” on the Council, I “serve” on it. I didn’t run for a seat on the Council to just keep it warm; I ran to get things done. Although there is a bit of a learning curve, I have managed to get a few things accomplished in the 21 months that I have been in office:
- convinced the Council to pass a resolution urging the NJ Legislature to vote against the legalization of marijuana;
- argued for the hiring of a Class III Special Police Officer to patrol the schools located in the Borough;
- led the effort to save the Vine Street-to-Tallmadge Ave pathway;
- advocated for the creation of a mini-cul-de-sac at the end of Tallmadge Ave to make it easier for vehicles to turnaround, including a bus that transports handicap riders;
- secured an additional handicap parking space at Borough Hall; and
- worked with Council Member Vicki Fife to push for the creation of an off-leash dog area at Shepard Kollock Park.
If I am fortunate enough to be elected Mayor, I hope to continue to use my problem-solving and consensus-building skills to accomplish much more for the residents of the Borough.
If one looks at my time on the Council, I am not one for long political speeches. I don’t need to hear myself talk at every Council meeting. Although I may only comment or ask questions when I view it to be necessary, I am not afraid to ask the hard questions or call people out when they need to be. Rather, my practice is to study an issue, gather the facts from interested stakeholders, research alternative options, and try to find a consensus-based solution. My analytical mindset in combination with the negotiating skills I honed as an Assistant Prosecutor will allow me to help lead the Borough through the upcoming negotiations with the developers of the Post Office Plaza and River Road redevelopment projects. If I am elected Mayor, I will use all of these skills to ensure a stable tax rate, maintain our AAA bond rating, and to work on additional ways to manage our traffic issues.
My service as an elected official is an extension of my commitment to serving others and to my goal of making Chatham Borough the best that it can be. I hope you will give me your vote on November 5th, so together we can continue to move Chatham Borough forward.