ROSELAND, NJ — Meet Roseland Borough Council candidate Christopher Bardi.
Bardi is a James Caldwell High School graduate who grew up in West Caldwell for grades K-12. Currently a resident of Roseland, Bardi lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their two daughters, Cara, 7, and Emma, 3. Bardi also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Indiana University; a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from University of Massachusetts-Amherst; a Project Management Professional Certification (PMP) from Project Management Institute; and a Green Belt (Lean & Six Sigma Trained) from Rutgers University. He is currently the Senior Technolology, Digital & eCommerce, for a Fortune 500 Global Consumer Products Company.
Q: Why are you running for borough council?
A: I have always had a passion for serving the public, and I can offer the Borough of Roseland a fresh breath of air with my youth, energy and enthusiasm. I bring with me a diverse professional background and relevant skills, which I will use to help improve communication and transparency, streamline operations, and effectively plan for the future. I am running for Council to have a say in the future of our town and represent the best interests of the residents of Roseland. I want Roseland to remain as an attractive, safe and affordable place to live. As a father of 2 young children, I have a vested interest in this community and want my children and my family to have nothing but the best quality of life with beautiful and safe neighborhoods, strong schools and great recreational programs for families. I will work diligently to represent the residents of Roseland.
Q: Why do you feel you deserve the job? What qualifies you for it?
A: My youth, energy, and enthusiasm will be a great asset to our town. My educational background including earning a Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree in Business Administration, along with my extensive professional experience working for several world class Fortune 500 companies provide me with experience, qualities, and abilities needed to serve the Borough of Roseland. I have spent the last 14+ years managing large-scale global technology initiatives and projects with the objective and achieved goals of improving business performance, maximizing efficiency, and expanding organizational capabilities. That work involves managing teams of people who share a common goal of completing a large-scale project while ensuring that deadlines are met, resources are appropriately utilized, realistic budgets are created, and projects are completed near or under budget. Performing that work also requires close collaboration with colleagues, subordinates, strategic vendors, senior leadership, and business partners. The organizational, communication, and technological strategies I have worked hard to perfect in my profession can be applied at the municipal level to improve the operations of our Borough.
In addition, my local government experience over the last 6 years including serving on our Library Board, as well as a township zoning board, and as a Legislative Aide acting as a town liaison for our county freeholder has prepared me well to take on the responsibilities of councilman.
I am running for borough council to give back to the town I live and raise my family in. As a borough councilman, I pledge to remain objective and represent the best interests of the residents of Roseland
Q: What do you believe is the most important issue in this local election? How would you change it?
A: There are several important issues this year, but the biggest ones will be regaining public trust and proper planning to meet our affordable housing obligation. Proper planning would have prevented us from being in the affordable housing crisis we are in right now. If elected, I will work hard to ensure that we are looking to the future and putting a plan in place to meet our obligations, while negotiating with developers to get the best deal for Roseland, putting the residents first, not the developers. I can help to regain public trust by first mending the relationships on the borough council and then by being more transparent with our residents. Showing that we are all working together as a council, as neighbors and as a community will help send a positive message and encourage involvement in local government.
Q: Apart from running for office, in what other ways are you involved in the town?
Currently serving on the Roseland Free Public Library Board of Trustees- since January 2017
Served on the Livingston Zoning Board of Adjustment (while a Livingston resident) responsible for hearing and deciding on appeals, requests for interpretation of zoning ordinances and granting variances
Served as Legislative Aide to Essex County District 4 Freeholder Leonard M. Luciano from 2011-Present
Q: Tell us about your other career.
A: My 14+ years of professional experience centers around managing large scale, global initiatives and projects which involve the implementation of cutting edge systems, technology, and processes with the main objective to improve business performance, maximize efficiency and expand organizational capabilities. In my current position as a Senior IT Manager at a New York-based Global Consumer Products Company, I am responsible for designing and implementing our Digital Marketing and eCommerce technology all around the world. This involves managing project teams, timelines, resources and budgets all while closely collaborating with my colleagues, strategic vendors, senior leadership and business partners.
As a highly effective manager, my key strengths include an innate ability to communicate effectively, manage/work on a team and build partnerships based around trust.
Q: What should people know about you that they might not know already?
A: I have many goals if elected to the Roseland Borough Council. First and foremost, we need to stop the bleeding first. We need to address our critical issues and plan for the future. My main goal is to be an impartial, objective voice for Roseland residents and to put our residents first. Our burning issue right now is our affordable housing crisis and the pending redevelopment of two properties in the 280 Corporate Center. I pledge to work hard to negotiate the best deal for Roseland residents. Instead of providing tax incentives for wealthy developers, let’s work out a deal that requires the developers to contribute to Roseland and provide benefits to our community and residents while still allowing them to do business and be successful. In addition, I would work hard to improve transparency and communication. Leveraging my professional experience implementing large global technology initiatives as well as managing change and communications, I will look for opportunities to upgrade our communication platforms using the latest technology while supplementing the tools with more personal, live events in order to reach as many residents as possible. Simple improvements like a community calendar, quarterly meet and greets and additional community building events will help encourage communication and active participation.