Many residents may not be aware of the purpose of our Borough Planning Board. The primary functions of any planning board are as follows: to create, adopt, and amend the municipality's Master Plan; to hear applications for subdivisions of land; to administer site plan approvals; and to advise the municipality's governing body on use ordinances. The decisions of our Planning Board have shaped the current appearance of North Caldwell and, more importantly, these decisions will continue to drive what the Borough looks like in years to come. The Planning Board, by rule, is comprised of the current Mayor and a number of his appointees, including a council member currently seeking his fourth term of office.
It goes without saying that this is a critical time for residents and their properties. If the Planning Board is not transparent and does not involve the capable residents of the town in its decision making, it cannot ensure development will be completed in a sensible manner. It seems obvious that future development should be conceptualized and monitored in a fashion that will not negatively impact the existing conditions in our town. With that being said, our Planning Board has failed to hold meetings as advertised. When meetings have been held, agendas and minutes have not been published to the residents in a timely or easily accessible manner. The Borough's website, which is supposed to publish and make available agendas before each Planning Board meeting and the minutes of each meeting after each Planning Board meeting, shows that the Planning Board has not published any agendas or meeting minutes in nearly two years!
In fact, only after our team made public records requests on May 9, 2019 for the meeting minutes did the Planning Board produce one set of minutes for February 4, 2019 and one set for February 11, 2019 meetings. Yet not even those minutes have been posted online so they would be available to the residents.
Action must be taken so residents do not lose their right to speak up. We must question the motives of others when they do not play by the rules. We must speak out when important issues are handled incorrectly. The Planning Board is denying you this basic right through their lack of transparency.
We will protect your right to be heard by advocating for Planning Board agendas and meeting minutes to be posted and Planning Board meetings to take place regularly or else ensure that residents are notified of a cancellation. Reports and data must be shared.
As we have stated previously, we continue to advocate for the web broadcast of Borough business, including Planning Board meetings, so that residents who cannot physically attend meetings due to the rigors of daily scheduling, can still participate in town affairs.
If elected, we will insist upon the formation of a liaison committee comprised of capable residents of our town well vested in the development of land (developers, builders, attorneys, financiers, long time-residents, etc.), who can serve as a guide for sensible future land development decisions in our Borough. A vote for Anthony Floria-Callori and Ted Roth for Borough Council is a vote for advocacy, transparency, and accountability.
Paid for by Floria-Callori and Roth for North Caldwell Council
4 Chestnut Hill Road, North Caldwell, NJ 07006