Michael D'Aquila Week 3

MICHAEL D'AQUILA ANSWERS 

TAPINTO

Week 3 Question: How would you improve upon the process of selecting board members and volunteers to Township appointed committees? What do you think the County’s role in local government should be?


1. How would you improve upon the process of selecting board members and volunteers to Township appointed committees?

The current process to join any of the various boards, commissions or committees is to fill out an application that is online on the Township Website and submit it to the town for the Mayor to review and approve.

http://www.berkeleyheightstwpnj.gov/forms/board-committee-application.pdf

We can improve and automate the process and here is what I would like to see happen:

  • We value our volunteers. They are the backbone of our Community. So therefore, any volunteer who is nearing the end of their term should be asked if they would like to continue to serve.

  • If a member elects not to stay on the committee, prior to the end of their term, we should advertise that an opening is coming available via the:

    • Township Website

    • Township Facebook page

    • Announce at Town Council meeting

  • Ensure our new website will have an online form for application submission vs. printing out the form and mailing / handing into the town.

  • Update the online form to include questions like:

    • Why would you like to be considered for the position?

    • Specify any prior volunteering experience?

  • Applications should be sent to board /committee/commission chair

  • Chair should review applications according to skills needed on board/committee/commission

  • Chair should meet with the Mayor and discuss recommendations

  • Mayor appoints new member

I know that our current Mayor has always made his selections based on skills and qualifications without any regard to political affiliation.  I encourage all residents to get involved in our great community.

2. What do you think the County's role in local government should be?

In my opinion, Berkeley Heights is doing a great job governing itself and maintaining its roads, parks, fields and infrastructure effectively given our budget constraints. We have a number of shared services with other municipalities, BOE and the County – such as vehicle and equipment, field maintenance, IT services, public health services, shared court rooms, salt storage to name a few.  We continue to encourage these relationships and look for additional services that will stretch our tax dollars.

Partnering with the County on projects needed in our town is a very important part of our job. The County recently paved Mountain Avenue, rebuilt the storm water culver by Lower Columbia, and rebuilt the storm water system on Springfield Avenue.  We thank the County for supporting the township on these projects.

We need to continue to partner with the County to maximize the amount for funding returned to Berkeley Heights.  $.25 of every property tax dollar we pay goes to the County. I will continue to work with the County to grow our shared services with them, maximize grants, and continue to partner with them on future projects.