My name is Daniel A. Carnicella and I have decided to run for a position as a Township Commissioner in our upcoming municipal election on May 12. This decision to seek the role of Commissioner was certainly one made with great thought and discussion. Generations of families that have called Nutley home, some for decades, some for more, welcomed me and my family to be a part of such a great community. A graduate of Nutley High School, Class of ‘93, I attended college and then started my career with New York Life. In the Spring of 2010, I purchased my first home in Nutley.
In 2013, after much thought and deliberation with family and friends, I decided to run for our local school board. At that time, our district was facing challenges within our special needs department. Living with a child with autism, I felt the desire to get involved in the hopes that I could provide a much needed infusion of “fresh ideas” to better prepare our most vulnerable learners. I am proud to say our program, although not perfect, is flourishing and we are helping our students perform at their highest levels. When I look back at that time and how we as a board and district had come together, I believe we were the right people, at the right time, for the right reasons.
My most recent run and successful win in the Nutley Board of Education election was motivated by a desire to continue the progress that the board has made over the past five years. Many supporters are both excited and surprised at my desire to enter the commissioner race having just recently secured a third term on that board. I believe that with the re-election of my fellow incumbents on the BOE, we can be confident that with their presence on the Board, the progress that has started will continue. I have contemplated what it would mean to take everything learned working as part of the BOE, and the existing relationships formed, and effectively bring that experience to the dynamic role of a Board Commissioner.
When I think about Nutley, the ON3 redevelopment project, overcrowding in our schools, and taxes continue to be the main focus facing our community, not just today but for years to come. ON3 is a long term project with the potential to drive the Township of Nutley to its greatest heights. However, the balance of development and revenue needs to be closely monitored. Excessive development can create high demands on infrastructure and if not managed correctly, could warrant spikes in tax increases on the hard-working community members of Nutley.
Overcrowding in our schools is a community-wide issue that needs the cooperation of both the school board and board of commissioners to see its resolution. My six years on the Nutley Board of Education, the last three as Board president, has afforded me priceless knowledge of public law, public finance, and best practice. I have had the opportunity to oversee the town’s largest budget and largest investment — our school system. Aligned with my career in insurance and finance, I feel confident in my ability to fill a seat as a township commissioner and provide an experienced voice with a broad understanding of the complexity of our local school board and municipality.
Lastly, we need to stabilize taxes. I am prepared to have difficult conversations regarding taxes, not only at our local level but also at the county and state levels. Over the last 10 years, Nutley has seen substantial changes affecting tax ratables which has had a costly impact on our residential tax rate. If not for the work of our current Board of Commissioners in securing transitional aid, the impacts would have been even more costly. Our county and state need to continue to review and support the evidence that Nutley deserves and demands the additional funding for our community.
I have entered the race because I believe I have the experience, leadership, and transparency Nutley needs to build a long-term, sustainable community. I have demonstrated the ability to work with other elected officials to see positive outcomes. My experience working with formulating a publicly funded budget will be a strength and will minimize the learning curve inherent of a newly elected member of the commission. I am acutely aware of how the commission can support and impact the schools and how the schools can support and impact the municipality.
The heartbeat of this community is its resilience and diversity. We have first generation families like mine and multigenerational families alike that enjoy the many wonderful assets that our community has to offer. By aligning it with strong leadership and transparency, we can uphold the best outcome for our success. I hope you have the same passion and desire to want the best out of Nutley and will cast one of your votes for me on May 12!
Daniel A. Carnicella
“The right person, at the right time, for the right reasons!!”