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Morris Plains Borough Council

Morris Plains is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle.

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  • Arthur (Art) J. Bruhn Jr.
    (Rep)

  • Salvatore (Sal) f. Cortese
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Cara Parmigiani
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

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

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

What steps would you take to address the economic, social, and personal impact of the COVID-19 crisis and to prepare for future pandemics on the community?

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Campaign Email CaraForCouncil@gmail.com
Website https://www.mpdems.org/cara-for-council
Facebook Page @CaraForCouncil
The single most pressing issue facing our community is small business development--an issue that has grown more urgent, yet more problematic, in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Prior to the COVID crisis, I had outlined a plan to: ● Promote more downtown attractions, including pop-up businesses, tastings featuring local restaurants, art shows, and performances highlighting local talent. ● Encourage businesses to work together to create new opportunities. ● Support efforts to lower barriers and encourage diverse businesses to open in our downtown area. While these are still important long-term goals, we need creative solutions to keep our small businesses alive during COVID-19, not just to preserve the livelihood of the local families who own those businesses, but for the residents who rely on their services and to preserve our downtown district. If elected, I will continue to work with our mayor, Jason Karr, and our council members to explore creating an association of local business owners to work with the Borough to identify a path forward toward long term viability.
I am a third-generation small-business owner whose family has been connected with downtown Morris Plains for over 76 years. I have the experience, creativity, and work ethic needed to maintain Morris Plains' characteristic charm while fostering the growth of small businesses in our community. As a practicing attorney in my own firm, I solve a wide variety of problems every day to assist adults and children through their life challenges in the legal system. I have experience dealing with municipal governments, appearing before municipal and county planning and zoning boards, and serving on an affordable housing advisory committee. I was instrumental in the grassroots organization that helped prevent a fragrance factory from bordering a residential area in town. I organized expert testimony that was critical in persuading the Morris Plains Planning Board that approval of the application would endanger the "health, safety, and welfare" of the community. Afterward, I became a key member of the "Committee of Caring," a steering committee that provided input for the 2018 re-examination of the Morris Plains Master Plan. My work with the Committee of Caring helped provide a vision for Morris Plains for the next 10 years. The re-examination addressed traffic concerns, safety, walkability, and expansion of business uses in the downtown area. I am the mother of a toddler and understands the concerns and needs of many young families who live in town.
I believe that we have an obligation to protect our vulnerable populations and still support our small businesses. It is possible to balance these interests. Health can be supported through following established guidelines for social distancing, disinfecting, and monitoring. Business can be supported by also adhering to health guidelines as conditions change, which may permit safe operation, as well as economic relief. On a municipal level, Morris Plains needs to continue expanding opportunities to provide safe outdoor services for local businesses; continue to provide residents with up to date information regarding services for health (mental and physical), domestic abuse, food scarcity, and testing; keep current on financial relief opportunities that can help the community; and search for inventive ways to work together to move forward competently and compassionately.