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Morristown Town Council at Large {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Morristown Town Council At Large, 4 year term
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Michael Elms (Dem)

  • Toshiba Foster (Dem)

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    Celeste J. Kaitsa (Rep) Legal assistant

  • William Needham III (Rep)

  • David Silva (Dem)

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    James F. Sullivan Jr. (Rep) Attorney

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Biographical Information

What do you consider the most important challenge(s) facing your town and how would plan to address it/them?

What in you personal and/or professional experience prepares you for this office?

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Response: There are so many challenges facing our towns and communities. The over development of Morristown is a huge problem that I have noticed in recent years. In Morristown we have less green space and more cement blocks, such as apartment buildings. The beauty of our town is becoming a big cement block. Where is the beauty and greenery that is so important? My worry is one day all we will have is building after building and we will not have any green space for kids and families to enjoy, so I plan to create more green space and stop the over building of Morristown. I will take a stand by putting restrictions on the number of buildings allowed to be built and by adding more parks and family oriented green space for our community to love and enjoy. With the over development of Morristown, traffic and the safety of our residents has become another major issue. Morristown has a very active night life and with that comes more traffic and bar patrons not respecting our town. I have heard stories from residents that bar patrons will get so drunk they will use residents lawns, sidewalks and the back of dumpsters as public restrooms. This is a major problem that the residents do not have to be subjected to. Traffic is a big concern with drivers speeding speed down South Street. I myself almost got run over when the traffic sign said walk. Alcohol consumption is becoming an issue, not to mention people acting inappropriately when intoxicated. People under the influence.
In my professional career I have served as a Vice President of a choir board, where I had to learn to work with many different individuals with many opposing opinions and views on different subjects. I had to learn how to work with people who may not agree with my views, which meant working together to come to a reasonable agreement. I found ways to connect with difficult individuals, so any issues could be resolved in a positive way.

I also served on a drug and Alcohol board in Patterson, New Jersey, where I was humbled by listening to people’s struggles and how they were desperately trying to turn their lives around. While serving on this board we did a video project to help people with their addictions by sharing stories of prevention, struggles and recovery. Listening to what all these people have been through and how hard they were desperately trying to make changes within their lives really changed me. The support these people provided for each other really inspired me to help others that were struggling to find help.

Another humbling experience was when I was an adopt a family participant. I learned what it means to be grateful for what you have when I walked with a woman who was choosing a gift for her son and picking up her Christmas dinner. Every time I think about this beautiful women who was so appreciative to just have a gift for her son, it brings tears to my eyes.
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The most important challenge facing Morristown is the lack of transparency with regard to residents’ awareness of the administration’s actions that have significant effects on our town. The people have an immutable right to be involved and heard during the decision-making process pertaining to issues that will shape Morristown now and in the future. Some examples of these problems and solutions include: (1) the proper allocation of town funds to ensure that our senior residents have adequate resources, transportation and recreational activities; (2) utilizing creative ideas with regard to town planning to ensure surrounding areas receive the positive economic benefits of Morristown’s bustling downtown business district; (3) performing proper due diligence into proposed development plans to ensure the developers’ eligibility for PILOT tax abatements and whether such development would benefit Morristown's residents; (4) if a PILOT tax abatement is approved, ensure that appropriate corporate contributions are given to the community to enhance our parks and neighborhoods; and (5) informing the public that New Jersey is one of the only states to not have a state historic tax credit to ensure that this changes in the near future and incentivizes residents to preserve Morristown’s historic significance and character. We are fully dedicated to an open and independent administration that ensures the people have the final word into the decisions that will affect Morristown.
I was born and raised in Morristown. I continue to live here. My family and friends live here. I work here. I am proud to say that Morristown is a part of me, and it is my goal to give back to our amazing community in any way I can. As an attorney with experience in a number of applicable areas, including insurance, construction, education, historic preservation, municipal and constitutional law, I have the ability to assist the people of Morristown no matter the circumstances. Whether legal statutes, town ordinances or land use and development proposals, my expertise will ensure that any significant changes facing Morristown, no matter how complex, will receive the necessary analysis and consideration. As a councilman, Morristown’s residents will have the appropriate due diligence and sound decision-making that will lead to the most beneficial results for our community. I have always dedicated myself to public service whenever possible. My volunteer work includes the efforts to preserve the historic Greystone Hospital building, my annual work with the Special Olympics of New Jersey and my accolades during law school and as an attorney for my pro bono work on behalf of indigent clients. My proven track record of helping others and fighting for what is right and just qualify me for the honor of serving Morristown’s residents as a member of the Town Council.

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