*Our 2017 platform page is in italics, and our 2018-2020 record is in bold.*
Caldwell needs a comprehensive approach to public safety that is focused on prevention, promotes professionalism, ensures adequate enforcement, and prioritizes coordination with surrounding communities.
- Our all-volunteer fire fighters require the most accurate water and hydrant data to help protect us. In an emergency, the absence of any such data is a liability for homeowners and the Borough. We will ensure that the CFD has all mission-critical information before emergencies occur (1).
THE RECORD: We have worked to ensure that the Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department has the results from the 2017 Caldwell Hydraulic Study, which provides the most up-to-date and detailed information regarding Caldwell’s fire hydrant network.
- Our police officers require and deserve the best work environments in which to perform their duties. We will work with CPD Officers to help ensure they serve in a culture which promotes the highest professionalism.
THE RECORD: On December 17, 2019, we voted to pass Resolution 12-260, which provided additional equipment to our Caldwell Police Department from the Defense Logistics Agency. We have worked to support ongoing training of our police officers. Finally, based on investigative recommendations, we voted terminate two officers who violated standards of professional conduct.
- Our surrounding communities always help Caldwell respond to emergencies. We will work to promote better coordination between the Borough and neighboring response teams (2).
THE RECORD: We would like to make more progress in this area.
- Weak code enforcement in Caldwell is bad for everyone. Whether apartments with too many tenants, people who don’t curb their dogs on public sidewalks, uneven sidewalks which are hazardous for pedestrians, or distracted driving, we will propose better code enforcement as a way to prevent problems.
THE RECORD: On October 16, 2018, we voted to pass Ordinance 1356-18, which made it easier for business owners on Bloomfield Avenue to maintain their sidewalks. We would like to make more progress in this area.
- Certain streets such as Smull and Forest Avenue, among others, would be safer with all-way stop signs. We will advocate for better safety by promoting additional stop signs at high volume intersections as well as additional crosswalks where their absence coincides with unsafe road crossings.
THE RECORD: In 2018, we led the effort to pass Ordinance 1437-18, which authorized a 4-way stop installed at the intersection of Forest and Hatfield. In 2019, after discovering that 38 crosswalks lacked the required signage, we ensured that all crosswalks in Caldwell had new pedestrian crosswalk signs. Finally, we worked to have a crosswalk installed across Central Avenue, which provided a pedestrian connection between Wakefield Place and Central Place with a reduction in speed along Central Avenue to 25 mph.
- Renters in Caldwell have had increasingly harder times finding parking places. We will work with landlords and the Caldwell Police to ensure that renters have adequate space to park their vehicles.
THE RECORD: We have proposed allowing overnight parking on specific municipal streets to help accommodate parking for renters. We would like to make more progress in this area.
- Business owners should not have to worry about being ticketed for parking over 3 hours in municipal lots closest to their businesses. We will support permits for business owners to park in the lots that are most convenient for their work day.
THE RECORD: We are confident that the forthcoming parking plan will address this issue. We would like to make more progress in this area.
- Drug abuse is a matter of public safety and as well as health. According to New Jersey Advance Media, three residents died in Caldwell last year from opioid overdoses.
We will advocate for raising increased awareness of the opioid epidemic on the Borough Council and seek ways to partner with local organizations in order to help prevent further overdose fatalities, including targeted law enforcement and treatment strategies (3).
THE RECORD: On May 1, 2018, we voted to pass Ordinance 1352-18, which requires random drug tests for all police officers. We have also supported Essex County opioid-awareness efforts. We would like to make more progress in this area.
1. At the 12/6/2016 Borough Council meeting, the Water Operator stated that the Caldwell Fire Department would receive highlighted fire hydrant maps of all 4-inch loops after the fire in Orchard Square of November 4th: “We had a meeting Thursday after the fire, probably within 3 days, with the fire department; sat down with them, exactly what came up. They said ‘You know it would be nice to move forward knowing quote unquote where certainly 4 inch mains are in town.’ I said ‘We can do that quite simply by preparing maps that are highlighted, give them to you, and you plan as you see fit.’ I don’t want to speak for their plan, uh, but to answer the question of them getting the information they need to plan correctly, that’s moving forward and the maps are being prepared. We’re going to draft them, they’re going to review them, and we’re going to put them in any form they want.” Caldwell Borough Council Meeting, 12/06/2016
2. At the 11/22/2016 Borough Council meeting, Councilman Capazzoli claimed that two of the fire hydrants involved in the Orchard Square fire of November 4th did not have enough pressure because the other teams did not know that they were on the same loop and inadvertently caused a decrease in water pressure. At the same meeting, the Borough attorney stated that there may have been a lack of communication regarding hydrant infrastructure among the responding communities. Near the end of the meeting, the Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department Chief stated, “What happened is more than one engine tied into the same line in response and that’s what drove the pressure down.” Caldwell Borough Council Meeting, 11/22/2016
In addition to these three main planks, there are additional ways to help improve life in Caldwell:
-The creation of an official Welcoming Committee at the Council level that hosts, along with West Caldwell, a “Newcomers Open House” to greet new residents and families who choose to live in our Borough and provides a chance to meet local community leaders and organizations.
-Council-led voter registration drives to ensure that Caldwell voter registration increases to help ensure a healthy democratic process.
-Our children should be able to walk to school in safety. We support a “walking bus” in Caldwell so that parents can safely encourage their children to walk to school.