Candidate: 2-Year Town Council Term
Ballot Line: 8A
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Candidate’s campaign events
QUESTION ONE: What specific cost-cutting or service sharing tactic from another town would you like to bring to Verona and why?
Gerard Tamburino’s response
QUESTION TWO: If you could add one new service to Verona’s budget, what would it be?
Gerard Tamburino’s response
Hi Verona residents. For all of you that do not know me, my name is Gerard “Jerry” Tamburino. I was born in Newark, NJ and when I was three my family moved to North Caldwell where I attended Notre Dame grammar school and West Essex High School. Upon graduating, I obtained my B.A. in Political Science from Monmouth University and my law degree from Thomas Cooley Law School in 1992. I moved to Verona in 1997. My law office was on Bloomfield Avenue across from the IHOP from 1996 through 2002 when I relocated the office in the Ironbound section of Newark for convenience to the Essex County court system. I am currently a member of the Verona Rent Control Board and a pool attorney for Alternatives to Domestic Violence in Bergen County representing indigent victims of domestic abuse on a volunteer basis. My son George attends H.B. Whitehorne as a seventh grader. I am thrilled to be running for the two year vacant council seat and look forward to serving the community. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me thus far. My motto is “The residents must be heard”.
Although there are many issues facing Verona such as environmental safety, emergency management and preparedness, the hilltop, and potential shared services, there are three which I deem as needing immediate attention. The first challenge we must endure is the township budget. I was encouraged as I sat at the two most recent meetings where the Budget Review Committee “BRC” was able to hear from the Township Manager, the Chief of Police, the Public Works Department, the Buildings and Grounds Department, Code Enforcement, the Library, and our IT specialist. The open forum gave me a sense trust and security that the BRC as well as any resident could engage in a meaningful exchange. Although at this point in time we await some information from Trenton and the budget must still be voted on, I am confident that the residents are being heard. We have more work to do but I know we can succeed as a community in exercising fiscal responsibility.
Another colossal undertaking we face is property taxes. Containing the rise every year seems insurmountable and the residents should not be ignored. The Governor’s recent cap of 2% is a start. As everyone knows, our property tax revenues are what make our town function and the more we spend, the more our taxpayers are burdened. Bottom line is that we must either control and/or eliminate wasteful spending. That is directly tied to the provisions in our budget.
Therefore, we must always express our concerns and opinions as to what we support or object to in the budget proposals. I will endeavor to maintain an open forum for our residents and critically analyze how wisely our tax dollars are being spent. I do remind everyone to contact our Assembly and Senate in Trenton on this subject as well.
Finally, the “streetscape” project has slowly but surely beautified the business district. The lampposts, sidewalks, and decorations are inspiring. Acquiring grants from the county, state, or Federal government is critical. We must take advantage of any and all funds available to ease the burden on the taxpayers. The Township Manager and Council have done a fine job in accomplishing this, however, we must not waiver. I have heard from a number of residents who have voiced their concerns regarding the costs and suggested that we put the last few phases on hold for another time. It is a valid point but in the balance lies an incomplete commitment. We should not disappoint our business owners. Let us complete what we started.
Finally, I leave off with this thought. My experience has led me to believe that our seniors and tenants in town sometimes feel left out. I promise if elected I will not let that happen. I will work hard to assure everyone is afforded the full benefit of our resources. The candidates and their platforms will bring forth many more topics for discussion and look forward to the challenge and ultimately serving Verona. VOTE LAST LINE- 8A.
God bless Verona.