NEWTON, NJ—Newton Town Council candidates Jason Schlaffer and Matthew Dickson met with the community on Saturday, March 31 at 4 Chicks Café on Spring Street.
The event, which according to Dickson was meant to be an informal way of allowing the community to get to know them as well as ask questions about any topic, included a visit by the Easter Bunny.
Some in attendance wanted to know a little more about the campaign platform that the two will be working with if they are elected, as well as their thoughts on topics such as school consolidation and accountability within the council.
A debate between the candidates has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 1 at the Sussex County Community College’s Performing Arts Center. No news yet on whether or not the debate will be open to the public.
Schlaffer and Dickson each have two children. Schlaffer is a business owner, and Dickson is a paramedic.
According to Dickson their focus will be on transparency, accountability, and growth. "We believe in trying to have the community engaged in the decisions being made," Dickson said. "We are trying to bring a sense of community back to residents.”
Schlaffer believes that he will be able to use his experience in entrepreneurship “to generate budget offsetting revenue for the town and schools in order to alleviate the tax burden on residents while promoting local tourism and enhancing the town’s sense of community.”
When asked why they picked 4 Chick’s Café for their meet and greet venue, Dickson said, “We wanted to pick somewhere that people would know and frequent, as well as help bring some business to the local shops in town.”
The Easter Bunny made a special appearance throughout the event, which ran from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., handing out flyers and candy to those who walked into the restaurant.