I hope everyone is doing well. We continue to show improvements in our community in managing COVID-19. Although we still read about close friends and family battling this terrible virus, Nutley as a community has made tremendous strides in social distancing, and I am proud of the commitment that each of us are making to stop the spread. It remains difficult to balance the municipal election with the current COVID-19 pandemic. For those residents that want to make an informed decision, I would like to share information on my views and the credentials that make me a strong choice for the voters of Nutley in the municipal election taking place by mail only, starting this week until May 12.
I decided to enter this race for a few reasons. First, have experience as an elected public servant with Nutley Board of Education and believe my 6 years with the school board, including 3 as its president, has prepared me well to represent our community at this juncture as a township commissioner. Second, I have demonstrated I can maintain an independent voice, and share fresh ideas with a board that will be making monumental decisions on the future of our community. Lastly, voters of Nutley will be selecting at least one new member to the commission with only 4 incumbents seeking re-election.
My platform surrounds 3 major concerns within our community. The first concern is the largest redevelopment project Nutley may ever manage located on the former Roche site. To date, The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, Ralph Lauren, Quest Diagnostics, and Modern Meadow are wonderful additions to the On3 Campus and will provide job opportunities in our community. The balance of redevelopment and revenue is delicate, especially since our community faces ancillary mixed use development in other parts of town. If elected, I would work alongside the other commissioners to provide our zoning and planning boards the tools they need to limit overdevelopment and maintain the appeal of our community. We need to review our master plan and consider impact fees to help fill monetary gaps within our local budgets.
The second issue we face is a continual increase in property tax. 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. If elected, I would work with other commissioners and the members of the Board of Education to form a committee specifically to work with our senators and legislators, to keep Nutley a budgetary priority. Nutley deserves its fair share of state aid. It has been funded disproportionately over the years using antiquated funding formulas. This committee can be the tool we need to share data, and push our message that the taxpayers of Nutley can not continue to carry the tax burden alone.
Lastly, overcrowding in our schools is a community-wide issue that needs the cooperation of both the school board and Board of Commissioners. Over the last several years, the school board has spent countless hours reviewing data and understanding the drivers that have reduced space within our schools. We have provided community-wide presentations and presented in three annual joint meetings with community leadership including the Board of Commissioners, Zoning Board and Planning Board, remaining mindful that our children and our school district are the centerpieces within a thriving community.
I truly believe together we can reap the benefits of On3, stabilize our taxes in the community and provide adequate learning spaces for our children.
When you complete your mail-in ballot, I ask you to consider Daniel Carnicella (10A) for one of your five votes.
Paid for by the Committee to Elect Daniel Carnicella.