Election 2015: Verona’s Biggest Challenge

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AlexSignAlex Roman

The biggest challenge facing Verona is a leadership vacuum on the Town Council. The Council is unwilling or unable to perform its duty of managing the manager and has taken themselves out of an oversight role in which they set policy, determine our financial goals, and resolve issues. We suffer from operational paralysis as the Town Manager does not regard the citizens of Verona as his primary constituency. His decision-making is not always performed in their best interest. This is exemplified by the fact that the issue with Information Technology services has been swept under the rug by the manager for six years and that even after it was brought to light, no decisive action has been taken. The majority of the Town Council does not concern themselves with the intricacies of government and does not perform detailed review of our budget and challenge unnecessary expenditures. Only under strong public pressure have they made any attempt to slow the rise in taxes.

If I am elected I would be an active leader in the government of the town. My approval of budget allocations, salary ordinances, bonding, changes in land use law, and other administrative actions of the town government will only occur after a detailed review and and consideration of necessity and prudence. I will always act in the best interests of the entire citizenship of the town. I will work to preserve the quality of life in Verona through responsible, balanced development practices and I will maintain our public assets such as roads, public buildings, and utility infrastructure.I will use my business and technology management experience to streamline government. I will ensure that we maintain a respectful, welcoming atmosphere where citizens can approach the Town Council with their concerns without receiving an angry tirade from officials.

Upon taking office I will launch an in-depth review of our budget to immediately improve our cost structure without affecting public-facing services and will not hesitate to reorganize areas of our operation that are inefficient or outdated in practice. I will propose the passage of a Steep Slope Ordinance to protect our hillsides from overdevelopment. I will propose standards for our employment practices to ensure that we hire only the strongest candidates at market rate salaries in a fair and open process. The “friends and family plan” will come to an immediate end. I will only permit the use of overtime when necessary for public safety and not as a standard practice of scheduling. I will work with our new CFO to modernize our business processes and improve customer service to residents. I will require that information be posted online as a matter of due course, including videos of council meetings, the Township’s Master Plan, and all passed resolutions and ordinances. We will operate an effective, efficient, and open government because it is the right thing to do.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve all of my neighbors in the town equally and to represent their viewpoints and needs.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].

2 COMMENTS

  1. Whatever happened to the internal investigation regarding the Verona Police IT Dept. issues? The matter seemed very serious, but I see no follow up or update on progress of the investigation?

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