Delivering Services While Watching the Bottom Line
Fiscal responsibility isn’t just an endless series of cutbacks that amount to a race to the bottom. With discipline, we’re able to enhance services and improve public assets. Over the last four years we’ve worked hard to make Verona better with the following improvements:
- Hired more Patrolmen in the Police Department, reversing years of decline by attrition. Revamped leadership structure and scheduling for improved supervision and labor efficiency.
- Remodeled the Verona Public Library
- Major road repaving throughout the Township
- New accounting, payroll, and utility bill payment computer systems, including online bill pay
- Replacement of every water meter in the town to read meters in hours, not days
- New police / fire / EMS / public works radio system shared with the State of New Jersey
- Purchased new street sweeper to improve neighborhood cleanliness and reduce outside service cost. We also provide sweeping services to Caldwell to offset costs.
- Added curbside pickup of cardboard for recycling
- Purchase of new backhoe, mini-excavator, and loader to allow Public Works to work more quickly and efficiently
- Revamped municipal engineering department with a new Engineering Manager and Consulting Engineer to speed project completion and response to citizen needs
- Upcoming energy efficiency improvement project replacing all municipal building lighting with LED and replacing old air conditioning and heating equipment
- Replaced antiquated office telephone system with new Voice-Over-IP system to cut costs and improve communication
Watching Over Verona’s Development
I am very proud to have served on Verona’s Planning Board as a voting member during my council term. The Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment have substantial influence over the feel and character of Verona’s neighborhoods and downtown. I am proud to have worked through numerous redevelopment projects with the Planning Board, including the Annin Lofts complex and Verona Place. Careful oversight and negotiation with developers produces high-quality projects that add to the vibrancy of our downtown and provide creative solutions for the redevelopment of vacant lots and buildings. In addition, we worked to produce Verona’s Steep Slopes Ordinance to protect the hillsides of the town from being cut into and blasted away to develop areas that should be protected while minimizing the impact on the average homeowner looking to improve their property.
We are due to re-examine Verona’s Master Plan in the next year and recently received an updated environmental resource inventory. I will continue to work on land use management to keep Verona’s small town charm in its neighborhoods while improving our downtown’s walkability, parking, and streetscape.
Protecting Verona From Flooding
New Jersey has been hit by storms of increasing intensity over the past few years and we must assume that this trend will continue. I am working with the Township Manager and Engineering Manager to ensure that we maintain and improve our stormwater management infrastructure. We have recently root-cut and cleared major wastewater trunk lines to prevent sewer backups due to flooding. I believe that maintenance of public infrastructure is a prime responsibility of our government and will continue to oversee this crucial process and ensure its adequate funding.
Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure
Verona owns and operates a large Wastewater Treatment Plant and its own water supply system and wells. While this is “out of sight, out of mind” to most of our residents, it is a complex logistical and regulatory endeavor to keep our utilities running. We have continued to improve our water supply system including tank rehabilitation work and well repairs. We hope to acquire new wells to hold down our water costs. Our Wastewater Treatment Plant is in need of upgrades and repairs to meet modern environmental standards. My knowledge of project management and plant maintenance offers the opportunity for me to interpret the needs for these facilities and ensure that they are completed efficiently and in a timely manner.