LIVINGSTON, NJ — As of today, Livingston native Danielle Santola is the new franchise owner of TAPinto Livingston after several years of working as a part owner and managing editor for TAPinto Livingston, TAPinto West Orange and TAPinto West Essex.

Santola is a 2010 graduate of Livingston High School with strong ties to the community, as her family has been based in Livingston since 1961 and remains active within the township. In addition to her uncle, Stephen, who is a former Livingston mayor and current member of the Livingston Planning Board among other committees, Santola’s mother, Barbara, is the health enhancement director at the West Essex YMCA; her father, Stacy, is a former president of the Livingston Little League and has attorney offices on S. Livingston Avenue; and her grandmother, Adrienne, is chair of the Livingston Holiday Decorations Committee.

As she reflected on what have been her favorite topics to cover over the last several years of managing content in eight Essex County communities, Santola said the decision to concentrate her efforts on Livingston was “a no-brainer.”

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“I’ve loved the Livingston community my entire life, but I would have never been able to fully appreciate how lucky I was to grow up here if I hadn’t become involved at TAPinto,” she said. “We’re known throughout the state for our superior public school system, recreational programs and what I think must be the best 4th of July fireworks display in New Jersey, but I don’t think everyone understands how truly remarkable Livingston is.

“Our public library alone is reason enough to raise a family in Livingston, but we also have the most tremendous volunteerism I’ve ever seen and municipal leaders who genuinely care about all residents and are determined to make the township the best that it can be. I cannot imagine a day when there isn’t something to write about in Livingston; the only problem I’ve ever had is finding time to cover all the good news originating from Livingston.

“Livingston residents and businesses have been so supportive over these last few years, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to return the favor, so to speak, by giving Livingston the undivided attention that it deserves.”

Santola has been working at TAPinto Livingston since 2013, starting as an intern while she worked toward degrees in Print Journalism and English at Penn State University. Upon her graduation in 2014, Santola accepted a freelance position and was later hired as the managing editor of the three TAPinto sites that she eventually became a part owner of.

She expressed that the COVID-19 crisis has only strengthened her passion for the Livingston community and the need to narrow her attention.

“I heard a saying a few weeks into quarantine that there are only three things you need in life to achieve happiness: something to do, something to love and something to hope for," she said. "Immersing myself in covering the local response to the coronavirus not only gave me something to do, but it also quickly reminded me of two things that I love: writing and Livingston.

"We recently experienced a surge in readership, which was a direct reflection of the community-minded spirit of Livingston and reinforced the feeling that there is more I should be doing to enlighten my neighbors about what’s going on in town. The stories that have come out of Livingston during the crisis—not the case increases or updates on school closures, but the ones about community members giving back and businesses adjusting operations in order to stay open—contributed to my ‘something to hope for,’ which is to continue providing this level of service in my hometown.”

Santola encourages community members to contact her at dsantola@tapinto.net with any questions, news tips, or for more information about TAPinto Livingston.

Readers can also contribute content directly by clicking “Submit Content” in the top right corner of the site and following the instructions.

Business owners looking to reach the large TAPinto Livingston audience should also contact dsantola@tapinto.net.

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