NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — Meet Anthony Floria-Callori, a five-year resident running for North Caldwell Borough Council in the upcoming election on Nov. 5.
Anthony Floria-Callori, General Counsel of a title insurance company, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University and a Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. He and his wife, Lindsay, have two children: Colton, a second grader at Grandview School in North Caldwell, where he has been enrolled since kindergarten, and Decker, preschooler.
Q: Why are you running for borough council?
A: I am running for North Caldwell Borough Council because I care about the future of the Borough and I feel that I am uniquely suited to make a difference. After listening to neighbors lament about the drainage problems they have suffered and witnessing the stress on infrastructure and municipal services that has resulted from recent development, I felt called to action. Many members of the Council have sat in the same seats for a long time. A fresh approach to problem solving is needed.
Our current Borough Council has been hesitant to provide residents with access to pertinent information that would allow each of us to understand the what, how, and why driving their decision making. As of May 16, 2019, the Council had not published a single set of meeting minutes for the 2019 calendar year, as it is legally required to do. I want to pull back the curtain on government business and provide an opportunity for all interested residents to participate in their government in a meaningful way. This will make North Caldwell the very best town it can be.
Q: Why do you feel you deserve the job? What qualifies you for it?
A: As the General Counsel of a title insurance company I have honed my skills to become an adept problem solver, both addressing the needs of my clients and managing my workforce. My extensive experience with real estate law and leading several different professional associations devoted to real estate law makes me an ideal candidate to develop and implement solutions to the problems arising from the development at The Reserve and potential future development of the Greenbrook Country Club and Walker’s Pond properties. I am a critical thinker and will not give issues that arise in Borough governance the short shrift—they will receive the attention they deserve. I am driven to find efficiencies in everything I do, and have the knowledge needed to leverage the latest technology to do it. Equally important, I am a consensus builder. I value setting aside partisan politics to focus on what is best for North Caldwell.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my roles as a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Vice President of the North Caldwell Recreation Foundation. I look forward to taking on increased responsibilities and duties to benefit the residents of the Borough.
Q: What do you believe is the most important issue in this local election? How would you change it?
A: Development and upgrades to our infrastructure and our municipal services are a critical component of this election. That being said, I believe the most important issue in this election is offering a compelling alternative to the long-established political group governing North Caldwell. Too long have the people in power not been held accountable to the Borough for their decision-making processes. Residents should have a meaningful choice in the political process. Unchecked governance is not healthy. Having a seat at the table will allow Ted Roth and me, and the residents we will represent, to participate in the process and end the long-standing practice of shutting out residents.
Q: Name one item you would reduce or cut in the municipal budget and explain why.
A: For at least the last five years, the municipal budget has included almost $50,000 a year in expenditures for healthcare for the Mayor and two council members. Ted and I agree we would cut this item from next year’s budget and all future budgets. We do not believe that the Mayor or Council Members should be voting themselves personal financial benefits for what are supposed to be volunteer positions.
Q: What else would you like to say about North Caldwell? (The governing body, school system, business community, or otherwise?)
A: Many members of the Council have sat in the same seats for a long time. From my participation in volunteer positions and professional associations, I appreciate the time that the Council Members have devoted. As those members have sat in those seats, however, the faces and needs of the residents in this town have changed. Now more than ever, North Caldwell is home to a growingly diverse, intelligent, and professional population. I believe this town needs Council leaders consistent with the ideals of current North Caldwell residents to sufficiently address the concerns facing them.
In addition, on issues from drainage to potential school overcrowding, the current Council Members have demonstrated a reactive approach to problem solving instead of thinking strategically to identify and propose solutions to problems before crisis situations arise. Ted and I will take a proactive approach to governance to reduce costs and increase the quality of life for all North Caldwell residents.