With seven people campaigning to fill two Council seats, voters need
to differentiate between candidates. I’d like to offer my reasons for
selecting Chris DarConte as a top choice for Town Council.
* He understands money and transparency. His professional experience
is precisely the kind we need: As Chief Operating Officer and Vice
President at a leading European investment bank, he understands money,
budgeting, and due diligence – something sorely needed on the council.
* He’s specific. As demonstrated at the Town Council Candidates’ Forum
hosted by Men Make a Difference and the West Orange African Heritage
Organization, he has a command of facts that will help him make
intelligent decisions based on data rather than gut feel.
* He has a broad perspective. He’s already grappling such issues as
the West Orange First Aid Squad (which seems likely to be outsourced
by the current administration – after the election, to avoid fallout)
and recommending the creation of an organization similar to the
Downtown Alliance in key traffic corridors (e.g., by the zoo and the
Eagle Rock / Pleasant Valley Way intersection) to help with
development and marketing of these areas.
* He’s completely independent. He’s new to the political game and
doesn’t owe anyone anything. His mentality with respect to finances
and transparency is similar to Joe Krakoviak’s, but their independence
is important to each of them; DarConte is no rubber stamp.
The latter point is, of course, one of the most important. Two of the
candidates (Susan McCartney and Victor Cirilo) should be eliminated
from consideration because of their mind-numbingly consistent votes in
favor of whatever the mayor wants. Victor even went so far as to point
out to the mayor, during a council meeting, that his plans for the new
Ridgeway park would probably cost over $300,000 – and then voted for
it anyway when the Mayor called that estimate “unfair.” Now that we’ve
seen the cost go well over Mr. Cirilo’s original estimate, we can see
that knowledge only matters if it affects your vote.
When West Orange citizens vote on November 4th, I urge them to cast a
Town Council vote for Chris DarConte.
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