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 Maureen McNish.
Why are you running for a seat on the Caldwell Borough Council.
I have lived in Caldwell for almost 29 years and I love it here. I want to help keep it a wonderful place to live and raise a family.
What makes you qualified for the position?
I served on the Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education for 9 years and was the Board President for 18 months.
As a member of the local board of educaiton, I was involved in the budget process, personnel decisions (the most high profile of which was the hiring of the new Superintendent), and numerous other decisions involved in running a school district.
This experience has taught me how to bring about consensus in a group, the importance of communication with the public and the importance of common sense.
What are the three biggest challenges facing the borough in your opinion?
1. Budgetary concerns: Maintaining quality services in the borough while keeping costs under control.
2. Thriving downtown: How to help businesses succeed in our downtown.
3. Traffic and safety issues: The intersection of Bloomfield and Roseland avenues being a perfect example.
What borough-related issues would you focus on if you were elected?
I would focus on shared services to help control taxes and improve services. This can be achieved by rebuilding good working relationships with our neighboring communities.
I would also work with the local business owners to improve the interaction with business and community groups through regular dialogue with the council and all concerned parties.
I will work to keep constant pressure on the County to re-evaluate the intersection of Roseland and Bloomfield Ave.
In addition, I will work for a more open and communicative Council first by pushing for a live video cast of Council meetings and then by working to make the Caldwell website more informative.
What is the single-most important asset you can bring to the borough if you were elected?
I bring an open mind to the borough. I am willing to listen to all sides before making a decision, no matter what party or group they belong to.