Election 2015: Verona’s Biggest Challenge


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RichSignRich Williamson

Over the past few years we have seen various improvements around the town taking place, the downtown streetscape and the creation of new recreational facilities on the Hilltop are two that standout. However, many of our facilities have fallen into disrepair and are in dire need of improvements. As the general manager of a small construction business I have seen first hand the rapid rising costs of materials, maintenance and manpower. Despite this harsh reality township officials still have a responsibility to maintain our facilities.

Verona continues to be a desirable place to live and raise a family. I am proud that my children graduated from Verona High School. We have an excellent school system that has seen many of our young women and men move on to some of this country’s best colleges.

They all deserve a tremendous amount of credit because the facilities they have been educated have been in dire need of improvements for many years.

Improving township facilities in which all residents benefit such as our library and schools is vital. When elected, I will work actively with the Library Trustees and Friends of Verona Library to improve the overall condition of our “Carnegie Library” and bring it into the 21st century. As many components of the library are now electronic, we need to explore new avenues for improvements and saving costs. For example, there is a neighboring community that was recently in need of a head librarian, I would look into to see if that position can be shared.

I’m also tired of hearing, “I went to VHS for recently, wow I can’t believe how run down it is”. For many, it’s the only impression they will have of Verona from their visit. I will work actively with our BoE and develop a strategy and see where we can expand services and work with them to make the necessary improvements so that these will be facilities we can all be proud of.

There are some obstacles that might come from Title 18 and Title 40 which are guidelines for spending by BOE and Municipalities that will have to be worked out. Most of all, this is not a problem that can be solved by lip service and unreasonable promises that you have heard from certain candidates. It is a problem that is solved with improved relationships between the township officials and the BoE, new ideas and the proper use of revenues from potential pilot agreements. With cooperation and a reasonable plan we can accomplish this goal.

It’s time to end the territorial wars and eliminate the “it’s the BOE responsibility” or “it’s the towns job” mindset. It is the responsibility of all elected officials to do what’s best for each resident. Its OUR job.

Professionally, I’ve worked with Boards Of Education and Municipalities on initiatives similar to this and know it can be accomplished. I have also worked with our own BOE and Township, through our volunteer groups and private sector, to gain over $50,000.00 in facilities improvements in Verona at no cost to the taxpayer. I will be a representative for all residents from young families to our seniors that have paved the way for us and continue to support this community. I will work tirelessly to ensure Verona improves its deteriorating facilities while being fiscally responsible. You have two votes on Tuesday May 12th; I respectfully ask that you consider casting one of them for me, Line 4A. I promise to maintain and improve our quality of life.

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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].


  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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