1. What is the most important issue affecting District 2 in particular? How would you fix it?
The closing of Aetna Fire Hall is an immediate, pressing issue for District 2. The first proposed site, the Old Burger King lot, was totally unsuited to allowing easy egress for the engines. The site currently under discussion is on South Main Street which leaves the east side of Newark and neighborhoods to the south, like White Chapel, without effective protection. I am strongly advocating finding a location along Marrows Road. There is a possible site near Newark Toyota. Another proposed location is Technology Park on Wyoming Road. Either location would allow engines easy access to major roads to provide quick service when needed. The University was approached about Technology Park; my understanding is that the University refused to discuss the issue. The possible site on Marrows Road would be ideal if the land can be secured.
2. How should the city spend the $18 million it is receiving from the American Rescue Plan Act? Please be specific.
The American Rescue Plan Act funds (ARPA) provide a unique opportunity to address issues with Newark’s infrastructure and bring it into the twenty-first century. There are guidelines which must be followed. Money can only be spent for these purposes: infrastructure, recovery of revenue lost because of the pandemic, monies spent providing services related to the pandemic (testing sites for example); premium pay for workers who were on-site during the pandemic and extending broadband coverage.
Like most municipalities, Newark’s infrastructure urgently needs repair. Water main breaks have been a common occurrence and dealing with the aftermath is expensive. This certainly should be one of the items on our list for ARPA funds, as well as using the money for storm water management and to generally overhaul our infrastructure. Some of the money will be used to make up for lost revenue. City Government is still trying to determine whether these funds can be used to assist residents who may be in danger of losing their homes due to losing their income because of the pandemic. The challenge would be the cost of administering such a program, but I would like to see money allocated to keep people from losing their homes.
3. As council prepares to re-examine the zoning code for the downtown district, what changes, if any, do you believe are necessary?
The first zoning area to be reviewed will be Main Street, most of which is zoned BB. I want to see a limit of five stories put on commercial buildings, a requirement for developers to provide more green space around buildings, and an increase in the required setback from the street.
4. What specific steps can the city take to strengthen its working relationship with UD?
City Government does a good job in trying to build and improve the working relationship with the University. The residents of Newark need to be more vocal and put direct pressure on the University. This is something that I am going to encourage in my meetings with community groups. Residents tend to complain to the City about the University; they need to take the complaints straight to the University.
5. What qualities or skills make you uniquely qualified to serve on council?
I have twenty-five years of business experience in managing budgets for multi-million- dollar technology projects. Managing a city budget is more complex, but I think my experience is applicable. My background in technology will also be useful, and I have many years of experience as a community activist. Most of all, I am a homeowner, and I feel passionately about preserving the residential neighborhoods in Newark and the right of the people to be secure in their homes.
6. Name one specific piece of legislation you would like to see Council pass within the first three months of your term.
A moratorium on further building projects on Main Street until the zoning code is changed.