FRANK J. SAPIENZA
Candidate: 4-Year Town Council term
Ballot Line: 1A
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QUESTION ONE: What specific cost-cutting or service sharing tactic from another town would you like to bring to Verona and why?
Frank Sapienza’s response
QUESTION TWO: If you could add one new service to Verona’s budget, what would it be?
Frank Sapienza’s response
As a member of the town council for the past four years I have focused on maintaining a responsible budget and making sure that we are strong financially. As a result, Verona is rated “AA” by Standard and Poor’s credit agency, amongst their top score for municipalities. We continue to work cooperatively with the Board of Education by increasing shared services of facilities, staffing and building departments to increase efficiency and save tax dollars. The council’s continued approach to reducing the budget has been our investment in technology. Along with promoting ‘in house’ we were able to cut staff by 13 positions the past few years with no reduction in services. The safety of our children is important. The council and recreation department has instituted a background check program for anyone working with our children on municipal property to ensure their safety.
Verona is an excellent town where my wife Jeani and I chose to raise our 3 children. I am employed by Horizon Blue Cross of NJ and belong to Our Lady of the Lake Church, Verona Unico, Essex County Fire Chief’s Association and Verona Park Conservancy. I have always been involved in our community and readily available to all residents. As council member and fellow taxpayer, I work hard to ensure that Verona is on sound footing and that our senior and youth programs remain efficient and affordable. That’s the reason I continue to support planning our budget on a three year cycle to ensure a sound vision and be prepared for unforeseen ‘bumps in the road’.
We have all read the bleak financial forecast many towns across NJ face. Many have suffered loss of services, furloughs and layoffs, Verona has not. That’s because the council manages their portion of your tax dollars responsibly. Out of each tax dollar the town council is responsible for approximately 25 cents, the other 75 cents goes to the Board of Education and Essex County. Police, recreation, health services, roads are only a few services residents receive under the council’s portion of your tax dollar. Despite diminishing revenues and increasing operating cost, the council has worked to bring Verona residents a flat budget this year ! More importantly there will be no loss of services .
After years of needing a spruce up, our downtown has never looked better. These improvements have been funded mainly through grant dollars at very little cost to residents. It’s important to have a strong business district in order to create rateables and help reduce residents’ tax burden. I will continue to work to ensure Verona is an attractive place to do business.
Serving as a council member particularly during these times you need to make tough decisions. I understand people may not always agree with me but I will remain proactive. Be confident that I always have the best interest of our town in mind and ask that you trust me to lead our community by re-electing me for another council term. I am “Committed to Verona”.