Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is your platform?
Our platform is based on three core issues:
1. Increased Transparency and Communication
We will stream Council meetings and allow residents to participate remotely.
Residents will have more opportunities to engage with Council members.
We will improve the Council’s responsiveness to resident questions and concerns.
The Borough’s website will provide visibility into current Borough projects and their status.
2. Responsible Planning and Development
Projects will have pre-defined objectives with known costs prior to their
We will proactively seek resident input with development and financial expertise to
ensure the best outcome.
Challenging issues like drainage will be tackled head on.
Improvements to our sidewalks, connectivity, and reception will be sought.
3. Collaborative Education Planning
Increased collaboration with North Caldwell and West Essex Board of Education to
properly plan for the increase in school-age population.
Meetings will not overlap with Borough Council meetings so residents do not have to choose one over the other.
Q. Is it true that you plan to raise taxes?
This is false. We are committed to keeping taxes low.
Q. Your opponents claim they have not raised taxes. Is that true?
Our opponents themselves admit that taxes have been raised 3 of the past 8 years. In addition, during their tenure the Borough has taken on increased debt in bonding for projects like Walker’s Pond.
Q. Is it true that residents pay for your opponents' health insurance?
Yes. Borough residents currently pay approximately $50,000 per year to cover their and the Mayor's health insurance. If elected, we will not get health insurance from the Borough, saving residents at least $100,000 over our 3-year term.
Q. Are your opponents really criticizing the efforts of the North Caldwell Board of Education?
We are extremely proud of the NC Board of Education's efforts, the recent national award won by Gould Elementary School, and Matt's voting record as a member of this board. The fact that our opponents are attacking the Board of Ed gives a good glimpse into why we believe there is a true disconnect between the NC and WE Boards of Education and the Borough Council. This is a divide we really want to bridge by improving communication and coordination.
Q. Is it true you want to build a $100 million school?
This is false. We do not support the development of a $100 million school nor have we ever discussed the construction of a school in our campaign events. As candidates for the Borough Council, we are advocating for better coordination and communication between Council and the North Caldwell and West Essex Boards of Education.
Q. Where has the current Council fallen short?
There is a pattern of short-sightedness on projects where either the least expensive option is chosen and it costs the Borough more later (e.g. improper re-surfacing of tennis courts that quickly cracked), or, where projects are started without proper planning and additional resources are later required (e.g. North Caldwell Recreation Foundation covered the Borough’s shortfall to replace the dirt for the Mountain Ave field). The Council does not seek the input of residents with subject matter expertise and the deals negotiated are sub-par (e.g. improper protection from Pulte’s development negligence).
Q. Are your opponents responsible for the new Liberty Field?
Each voted to bond for the new Liberty Field, but the project was spearheaded by borough residents and the North Caldwell Recreation Foundation, which worked for 3 years to gain the Council’s approval for the project.
Q. Your opponents say they want to save Green Brook Country Club. Didn’t they already approve the plan for
Yes, they did. On July 21, 2020 at the Borough Council meeting, both Councilmembers Santomauro and
Chiaia voted “Yes” on the plan for Green Brook. We’re not sure what has changed since then, or how they plan to save the Country Club without dragging the Borough into protracted and costly litigation with the developer with whom they entered into an agreement.