NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — Meet Edward (Ted) Roth, a four-year resident running for North Caldwell Borough Council in the upcoming election on Nov. 5.
Ted Roth, a Construction Executive, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Hartford. He and his wife, Karen, a lifelong resident of North Caldwell, have two children at Grandview School: Gavin, a second grader, and Ruby, a kindergartner.
Q: Why are you running for borough council?
A: There comes a point in time in every town when new leaders must step forward and give their time, talents, and energy. I believe that time is now.
As a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, I am keenly aware of the current problems facing North Caldwell. I am passionate about solving them – for my wife, who grew up here, for the children I am raising here, and for the good of all current and future North Caldwell residents. I have the right set of skills, ideas, and enthusiasm to solve these problems and preserve North Caldwell while preparing it for the future.
The Borough has improperly handled the current residential construction project located adjacent to Hilltop Reservation, The Reserve at North Caldwell, resulting in a drainage crisis and strain on the Borough’s infrastructure. I want to remedy the situation, as well as ensure any future development in the town is properly handled.
Q: Why do you feel you deserve the job? What qualifies you for it?
A: The next 10 years of the governance of North Caldwell is about sensible development and protecting and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. The Borough must oversee the development at The Reserve, as well as the potential development of the Greenbrook Country Club and Walker’s Pond properties. I have over 20 years of experience managing residential and commercial construction projects in New York City. From the nuts and bolts of construction to managing development contracts, I have exactly what it takes to guide the Borough in its dealings with developers to protect and enhance the Borough’s infrastructure and preserve the quality of life for North Caldwell residents.
I have the tenacity it takes to be an effective leader. An example of this persistence is my recent push for the Borough Council to publish meeting minutes as required by law. As of May 16, 2019, they had not published a single set of meeting minutes for the entire 2019 calendar year. That changed in late July when the Council finally published meeting minutes through June 25, 2019 in response to my OPRA request. I accept challenges and see them through to completion.
I also possess the ability and desire to communicate effectively and frequently with the residents of North Caldwell. I value their input. It is essential to the future of North Caldwell.
Q: What do you believe is the most important issue in this local election? How would you change it?
A: The most important issue in the North Caldwell Borough Council election is development: proper oversight of the remaining development of The Reserve at North Caldwell (the Pulte development); preservation of open space at the Walker’s Pond property (my preferred option for the property) or, alternatively, proper due diligence, cost planning, and property valuation and drainage analysis in connection with any development of the property; and proper planning for and oversight of potential future development of the Greenbrook Country Club property.
Currently, the Borough is feeling the effects of the Council’s reluctance to enforce the Borough’s rights under the Developer’s Agreement with Pulte and mismanagement of the development. Anthony Floria-Callori and I will bring our backgrounds in construction and real estate to effectively achieve our goal of sensible development while exacting concessions from developers to improve the quality of life of North Caldwell residents. I will draw from my extensive construction management experience to ensure proper development oversight. Also of paramount importance to us is the process by which we would like to see the Council achieve that goal – with open and frequent communication with residents.
Q: Name one item you would reduce or cut in the municipal budget and explain why.
A: In the last five years, North Caldwell taxpayers have spent over $250,000 to fund the healthcare of the Mayor and two Council Members. Infrastructure improvements and maintenance of Borough property are just two examples of better uses of that money to benefit all residents of the Borough. Anthony and I agree we would cut this item from next year’s budget and all future budgets.
Q: What else would you like to say about North Caldwell? (The governing body, school system, business community, or otherwise?)
A: Anthony and I believe advocacy, transparency, and accountability are the foundation of good government. We envision a town where residents receive real-time information about government decisions through live broadcast Council meetings and promptly published meeting minutes. This will allow meaningful participation by all interested residents. We want to tap into their immense talent pool and lead the efforts to fix the problems resulting from construction at The Reserve and prevent similar types of problems from occurring during any future development. We want to promote budget efficiency and develop revenue streams for the Borough that avoid tax increases. Overall, we want to bring much-needed new energy and ideas to the Borough Council.