Editor's Note: During the month of August, New Providence-Berkeley Heights Patch will be publishing a Q&A with each candidate for the Berkeley Heights Township Council, New Providence Borough Council, and the Mountainside Borough Council. Here is our Q&A with Councilman Edward Delia, an Independent candidate seeking another term with Berkeley Heights Township Council. Click here to view Q&As with other candidates for council.
Name: Edward Delia
Address: 115 Summit Ave., Berkeley Heights, NJ
Years Lived in Town: 52
Occupation: Self Employed Stained Glass Artist
Community/political background: Republican
PREVIOUS ELECTION AND APPOINTED OFFICES
Appointed: Environmental Committee
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing Berkeley Heights right
now and where do you stand on each issue?
My biggest concerns are the downtown parking issues, the Passaic River flooding and the "land swap."
1. The parking issue is always a problem. We need to adjust zoning rules to require more parking spaces on new downtown construction.
2. Since coming into office in 2011, I've been working diligently in getting the debris cleared from the streams and Passaic River in town to help alleviate the flooding problems. This is still a major concern of mine. We need the cooperation of all the towns along the river to help.
3. As for the "land swap" with the church, I am concerned that many questions have not been addressed. What is the bottom line? How much is the renovation compared to building new? What about the traffic? Has there been a study? Is this the most financially feasible plan or is it better to sell our old buildings and build new? Is pulling town hall away from the downtown a good move? My concern is that it will cost us way more than anticipated.
Why are you running for council?
I am running for Town Council because I truly care about Berkeley Heights. Being a life long resident, the future of Berkeley Heights means everything to me.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
I am an independent, common sense voice with an open mind and no hidden agendas. I vote my mind and offer a different view on many issues. I think it is important to consider every angle or idea when changes are brought to the Town Council's table.
If elected, what will be your top priorities and why?
My main concerns are to make the clean up of the Passaic River a top priority. I would also like to continue the effort to install a community garden. I would also like to see our administration better organize our DPW into a more efficient capacity.
What issues are critical for Berkeley Heights for the next three years?
Our most critical issue is to address the spending of our tax dollars.
What do you see as the biggest accomplishments and shortcomings of the existing council in the past three years?
The biggest accomplishment, in my opinion, is the collaboration of all the council members to work together and respect each others opinions.
As for the shortcomings, that depends on who you talk to. Opinions vary when discussing our shortcomings.
Do you have any additional comments?
I would like to see more residents come to meetings and ask questions. We need more residents to help monitor the spending of the budget and help us keep our eyes on what is important to everyone.