DELIVERING RESULTS THROUGH COLLABORATION
As the beneficiary of an annual surplus (largely generated from construction fees, increased taxes from new construction, and non-recurring fees), the Township Committee has been able to maintain a flat municipal tax rate for the past few years. But, their “hands-off” approach to government has left us with deteriorating, non-compliant facilities and infrastructure, and a rush to fund and find space for 250 units of affordable housing. With revenues declining and expenses on the rise, residents will be forced to close the gap with an increase in municipal taxes.
I worked in Investment Audit Management in a large Financial Services company. I have my Finance MBA from NYU. As an Investment Auditor I was involved with myriad of investment businesses working collaboratively with management and across businesses. As an Auditor and Finance expert, I developed the skills needed to drill down on financial, regulatory and operational processes to mitigate overall risk and improve processes. I am confident my professional background would be an asset to the committee and beneficial to our town as we navigate these difficult financial waters.
In accordance with the Township’s 12-2018 settlement with the Superior Court of NJ and the Fair Share Housing Center, the Township must build 24 units of affordable housing at the “skate park site” and an additional 74 units at a location to be determined. In addition, by 2025, the Township will need to develop an additional 155 units using a set aside of 20% of future multi-family development. Although our Township Committee was aware there would be an affordable housing obligation, no steps were taken the past 15 years to plan for or finance construction.
Through my volunteer work with our Chatham public schools and Chatham Education Foundation, I have had the great privilege to collaborate with many talented, knowledgeable and dedicated Chatham residents. Their involvement is a cornerstone of the success of our Chatham public schools. Our current Township Committee does not do nearly enough to utilize Chatham's best asset, it's people, in planning for and making decisions for our Township. Through community involvement and community building, I believe we can make Chatham Township even better than it is today.
Our police department building has been out of compliance for 4 years, our municipal building is in disrepair, power outages occur regularly and we’re behind on our road repairs and sidewalk installation because of a lack of funds. Sound management practice calls for enacting a five-year fiscal plan and planning for repairs and maintenance.
We are very fortunate to have open space in Chatham Township. It's an attraction that brings many families with children to live in Chatham. We are also fortunate to have a variety of recreation services available that utilize our fields. I support and will continue to protect our beautiful open spaces to ensure its presence for future generations.
Diversity is an important aspect of any community. Embracing diversity makes our town rich with culture and brings unity. Having diverse viewpoints also enables us to see things in different perspectives therefore making our decision process more holistic and meaningful to our town. In order to make our Chatham Township more unified, I will invite residents to provide their input in the decision process.