Getting to Know Livingston Mayor Stephen Santola

Livingston Mayor Stephen Santola Credits: Jason Cohen

LIVINGSTON, NJ - As his 12 years on township council come to a close, Livingston Mayor Stephen Santola is proud of what he’s accomplished during his time in office. In January, he will officially be done and out of the limelight.

Santola, who is a real estate attorney, grew up in Livingston and moved back in 1995 with his wife when they started a family. He always admired his town and knew when he was older he did not want to be the resident who complained about everything.

"I wanted to be a part of the decision-making process," he said. "I’ve always enjoyed both the political side and the community service side."

Sign Up for E-News

So he got involved in the community and served on the planning and zoning boards and in 2000 he ran for council. He accomplished many things during his time that benefit the town today, he said.

In 2002, he established the Open Space Commission, which helped the community a great deal and was used for many purchases, as well. Santola also contributed to renovating the athletic fields, formed a sports council and opened the first dog park in the county.       

"As each election neared, I felt like there was something that needed to be completed," Santola said.

It is tradition in Livingston for no one to stay in office for more than 12 years and Santola said he couldn’t break it. Looking back on his time, he is quite pleased with the vibrant community senior center, which in the last three years has had over 3,500 meetings and events. He is also proud of the additions to the library, which is the third busiest one in the state, the development downtown and the new police station.   

The police and fire departments are remarkable, he said. They provide security for the town that makes everyone feel comfortable and safe, Santola said. He has a close relationship with the fire chief, with whom he went to high school.   

“As far as being great for the town, they’re so dedicated and they also save us a fortune,” he said referring to the volunteer firefighters.

In his last few months as mayor, he said the biggest challenge is installing a new turf field. It is a good problem to have, he said. Sports have become huge in Livingston with girls soccer ranked number two in the state  He said that 1,000 girls now play softball and lacrosse, as well.  

“We don’t have the facilities to accommodate everybody,” he said.

He is trying to make one final push for the field before his term expires. More importantly, he stressed they plan to use private fundraising and open space money to fund the project.

“If I can’t get something done, it’s going to eat at me for a while,” Santola said.

Santola said there are qualified and excellent candidates to fill his position. While he admitted the community is in a good place, it will be odd not being involved, he said. However, he does have a few concerns for the future.

“I do see the board of education and the town council bleeding together more than I’m comfortable with and the election in November is only going to further that,” he said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Local Children Invited to Register for Essex County Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Children of all ages are invited to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center.

The zoo has several weeklong camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. Campers and their parents/guardians are ...

How Do I Decide Which College to Attend?

Now that college acceptances are rolling in, how do I decide which to attend?

Your hard work in high school has paid off. You took your SAT/ACT exams, got the best grades you could, and filled out as many applications as you needed to. Acceptance letters are starting to come in and you need to make a decision on where you will go in the fall. It's hard to decide!! Here are some tips and ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs During "Black Panther" Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, February 24, 4:00 PM

Lobby - Office Building, Livingston

Gun Violence Prevention & Congressional Candidates



Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

CycleBar, Livingston

Cycle Red for Heart Disease to Benefit Heart ...

Giving Back

Mon, February 26, 1:30 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Monday at the Movies: WILD OATS

Arts & Entertainment

IRS Notifies Livingston Library of Changes in Income Tax Forms

February 21, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston Public Library has participated in the U.S. Treasury Tax Forms Outlet Program (TFOP) as a service to the community for many years. Through this program, public libraries and other agencies received income tax forms and instruction booklets to make available to the public.

Although the program has been downsized in the past few years, the library still receives ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...