Four candidates are vying for two seats on the Caldwell Borough Council that carry three-year terms on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Incumbent Thomas O'Donnell (Republican) will seek re-election and is running with fellow Republican and challenger Pasquale "Pat" Capozzoli.
Democratic challengers Grace Kerrigan and Maureen McNish are also contending for the two seats.
Councilman John Coyle is not seeking re-election.
Every candidate was sent questions by the editor as part of The Caldwells Patch's Candidate Profile.
The following are the responses submitted by Democratic challenger Grace Kerrigan
Why are you running for a seat on the Caldwell Borough Council?
I hope that by representing the people of Caldwell on the Caldwell Borough Council I can say, “Thank You,” to all the previous members of the council who worked hard to keep Caldwell the type of place where older people want to stay, and younger people want to raise their families.
My husband Tim and I have lived in Caldwell for 35 years. Our sons Tim Jr. and James are successful graduates of the school system, and Tim Jr. and his wife Lisa recently returned to Caldwell to raise their family.
I have the time, the energy and the desire to do a good job to help Caldwell maintain its reputation as a town in which people want to live and work.
What makes you qualified for the position?
With 40 years of work experience in education and business, I have:
- Served as coordinator of support services for a staff of up to 50 people;
- Maintained financial records for an elementary school;
- Purchased materials and supplies and maintained inventory records;
- Helped prepare and administer budgets; and
- Dealt successfully with members of the public on a daily basis.
These organizational and interpersonal skills will help me serve Caldwell as a member of the Council.
What are the three biggest challenges facing the borough in your opinion?
Traffic congestion and pedestrian safety.
Caldwell should be a “walking” town. It has so many wonderful local establishments along the avenue. The Council must make easy and safe access to the downtown area a priority. The intersection of Roseland and Bloomfield avenues must be re-evaluated and redesigned for safety.
Televise council meetings: We are fortunate to have an informed and intelligent community that cares about Caldwell and can help keep it great. But they can only do so if they have the chance to participate. The equipment and funds to televise council meetings are available. The equipment should be installed as quickly as possible. Televised meetings would allow residents to make sure their town stays great.
Improving and increasing shared services through positive dialogue with neighboring communities will benefit Caldwell and control property taxes.
What borough-related issues would you focus on if you were elected?
Improving the interaction between Caldwell’s businesses and community groups.
Decreasing traffic congestion and enhancing pedestrian safety.
Making access to community programs and facilities easy and affordable for all residents.
What is the single most important asset you can bring to the borough if you were elected?
Listening. It’s vital to bringing to life all the great ideas that people in our community have shared with me. Listening is also the best way to avoid partisan conflict and understand viewpoints and opinions other than our own.
People must understand each other in order to effectively compromise — and that starts with really listening to each other.