North Caldwell Residents Create Partnership with Borough Council on Field Improvements


NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — In order to reiterate the community’s interest and enthusiasm for improving the town’s athletic fields and facilities, a group of North Caldwell residents have been attending borough council meetings to create a partnership on these improvements.

Led by John Rapkin and Josh Leitner, the group of dedicated local parents ultimately convinced the mayor and council to work together on achieving these goals.

At last month’s public meeting, the council gave Rapkin and Leitner feedback and input about the many considerations and challenges that go into decisions like this one. Rapkin and Leitner came back on May 24 with more men, at the suggestion of Mayor Joseph Alessi, to prove their commitment to getting these improvements underway.

Sign Up for E-News

“I think it’s important for us to express our commitment to achieving this,” said Rapkin. “The improvements are something we feel we can accomplish in partnership with the town. We understand that beyond the town, there are other ways to help fund projects and as a group we are committed to helping do that.”

According to Rapkin, the group of parents has already taken some small actions, including a meeting with Councilman Joshua Raymond and Athletic Director Bill Maranz, who gave them a better understanding of different ways to fund these projects, as well as a preliminary conversation with a nonprofit recreation fund about hosting some fall fundraising events.

With the intention of creating a board of parents to organize these projects, Rapkin and Leitner also sent an email to a handful of people recapping the progress that has been made and the conversations that have occurred, which received comments from more than two-dozen households expressing their enthusiasm and willingness to get involved.

“Not only did we hear it, but we took some of your feedback back to the group and we’ve taken actions immediately after,” said Leitner. “There’s an audience big enough to impact, that’s on board and will have productive discussions toward how to fund these things. It’s got to be a combo of what we can do through various fundraising efforts, but no doubt about it, the weight of this as far as we can take it will be needed.”

Attending the meeting, according to Rapkin and Leitner, was one immediate action that could be taken to make it known that this is a priority amongst the residents of North Caldwell.

Now that the group has proved that there is a big enough audience to make material impact, much like it did with the acquisition of Walker’s Pond, the group is looking for more input from the town and its assistance in evaluating some of the prices of these projects. With the town’s partnership and support, the group can begin to prioritize these projects based on cost, difficulty and necessity.

“Walker’s Pond is a great example of when there’s sufficient motivation and same backing, something will get done at material impact,” said Leitner. “I think everyone’s view is, ‘The town’s interested in hearing us, let’s give them the feedback and hold each other collectively accountable.’”

During the next follow up, the council asked that everyone come ready with plans and ideas so they can keep the momentum of the shared commitment going in order to make those desires a reality. The group agreed to come forward with a rational proposal of exactly what the citizens need in both the near and long-term future.

“It will take time to see these improvements,” said Raymond. “Ultimately, unfortunately, our kids may not see these improvements, but we all understand and agree that this is what’s better for the town.”  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Essex

$100 OFF per Week for Summer Camp Now!

July 12, 2018

Guerrero Marital Arts is now offering an 8-week summer camp for summer 2018!

Pick which weeks you want!

Camp Weeks are:

July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13, August 20, August 27

Includes the following:

Fun (through Sports, Play and Games)
Field Trips (may cost extra)
Life Lessons
Reading Time
Martial Arts
A great place to ...

Bucco Couture Summer Sale on All Custom Suits, Shirts and Casual Wear

NUTLEY, NJ — Save while looking sharp! 20% off all summer wear an extra 10% savings for Military, Veterans and all first responders at Bucco Couture, 187 Franklin Avenue in Nutley, with the launch of some new products such as our tracksuit line, crushed cotton drawstring pants and jeans. 

We also carry Bugatchi and Rober Graham casual wear as well as stretch high V-neck ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 14, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters in Newark, according to one of two ordinances approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, July 17, 10:00 AM

Cedar Grove Park, Cedar Grove

Matarazzo Farms Farmers Market Every Tuesday in ...

Food & Drink


Tue, July 17, 5:00 PM

Caldwell University Alumni Theater, Caldwell

Public Invited to Essex County Opioid Use ...

Health & Wellness


Tue, July 17, 6:30 PM

West Caldwell Public Library, West Caldwell

Summer Pie Baking Contest

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Matarazzo Farms Farmers Market Every Tuesday in Cedar Grove

July 17, 2018

CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Join Matarazzo Farms for its Farmer's Market every Tuesday through the fall at the new Cedar Grove Park on Fairview Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. directly in front of the Robert J. O'Toole Community center in Cedar Grove.

Matarazzo Farms will have fresh local produce naturally grown plus some other specialties like fresh cut ...


Mar 23, 1932 - Jun 2, 2018
Obituary - Donald J. Cooney, March 23, 1932 to June 2, 2018 Donald J. Cooney, 86, of North ...
Read more

Education: A Bedrock of Democracy, Civic Engagement and Economic Prosperity

July 5, 2018

More than 240 years ago, our nation’s founders envisioned a country where individuals could forge their own destinies and not be constrained by the circumstances of birth. The essential concept was that people could govern themselves and participate in democracy, or what Benjamin Franklin and others called “a great experiment.” The vision was bold and has flourished as the ...

Extra Time

It was close to 70 minutes into the match and I had to go to the bathroom.  Badly.

As fans watching the World Cup know too well, bathroom breaks are a serious dilemma, especially for those who don’t have a TV in the loo.  This biological necessity is exasperated by beer, which during World Cup matches also fuels a strong propensity to throw chairs and instigate riots.