Actions & Events

« Response to Candidate Questionnaire by Jeff Dubowy | Home | Response to Candidate Questionnaire by David Belasco »

Response to Candidate Questionnaire by Paul Salvatoriello

Response by Candidate for South Orange Board of Trustees:


to South Mountain Peace Action Candidate Questionnaire

Click here to email Paul Salvatoriello

QUESTION #1 Over the past two years, federal spending on the war and occupation of Iraq has cost South Orange and Maplewood taxpayers an estimated $62.5 million. The cost to South Orange has been about $27.6 million, the cost to Maplewood, about $34.9 million.

Given local tax burdens and shortfalls in state and federal assistance, should a Trustee or Township Committee member address this issue with constituents and with our Congressional delegation and President? How would you do this?


The burden on all Americans as a result of the ill-conceived war the Bush Administration forced upon this country is staggering. It is truly shocking to me that, by all accounts, the Bush Administration misled the American people into this war, and continues to shift the reasons for going into the war with little regard for the lives of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians, the financial burden on American citizens, and the truth. It would be entirely appropriate for an elected official of a municipality to stand up for the community and voice the Village's concern about the financial burdens the federal government is placing upon state and local governments. So, I believe that a Trustee should address this issue with constituents and take advantage of whatever opportunities are available to reach out to our Congressional leaders and the President.

Here is how I would do so: (1) I would reach out to the community and get as much input as possible on how Villagers feel about the war, the financial impact, and whether the town should do something about it. (2) I would propose legislation or a resolution or proclamation to articulate the Village's position on the cost of the war. (3) I would then reach out to neighboring municipalities to get as much consensus as possible regarding our message to the federal government, and then (4) with a coalition of municipalities in support, I (or a representative) would voice all of our concerns to our Congressional delegation (and all neighboring, interested Congressional delegations) and draft a statement to be presented to the President. Hopefully, as much news coverage as possible could be stimulated with the above approach - possibly by sponsoring a Village-wide event that sparks awareness and focuses on the issue.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

QUESTION #2 In this era of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act, do you think a Trustee or Township Committee member has a responsibility to protect First Amendment and privacy rights of our residents, as well as to assure a safe and secure environment? How would you do this?


A Trustee has a responsibility to all the citizens of the Village of South Orange. Thus, if the residents perceive (or have experienced) a curtailment of their First Amendment and privacy rights, the Trustees have a responsibility to address that concern through appropriate legislation. It is true that the Patriot Act does quite a disservice to the privacy and First Amendment rights Americans should enjoy. Accordingly, I would make it a priority to carefully review the law in those areas and suggest ordinances that ensure that Village residents are not subject to those portions of the Patriot Act that are clearly unconstitutional or are on legal "thin ice." While legislation passed by the Trustees must always be in accordance with the law, and should be carefully considered and crafted, I do not have any difficulty in proposing ordinances that may ultimately challenge the infringing parts of the Patriot Act.

With regard to ensuring a safe and secure environment. Trustees have a responsibilty to oversee our police and fire services to make sure that the needs of the Village, in this new age of terrorism, are prepared. In that regard, I would suggest the creation of a short-term task force (a "Safety Assured Committee") to review the processes and procedures of our police and fire services to make sure that the police and fire are equipped and following the most updated guidelines on protecting the Village. I would also want, as a part of that task force, a report distributed to residents educating them on the steps being taken to assure security, and the steps residents can take to make safety a number one priority.

- - - - - - - -

QUESTION #3 How do you see your role as a Trustee or Township Committee member with regard to activities in the community which seek peaceful alternatives to war, such as those organized by South Mountain Peace Action?


As a Trustee, I would fully support the Peace Action's activities in the community, and would be happy to take part in those activities. While a Trustee serves as a voice for the whole of South Orange, Trustees are asked to exercise their judgment regarding legislation that is proposed. In that vein, I would welcome the opportunity to propose legislation or resolutions that further the Peace Action's initiatives for the benefit of the community. For example, I would be very open to the kind of resolution that was proposed by Maplewood in 2003 with regard to the Iraq war.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

QUESTION #4 Please discuss any additional ways that you believe the issues of war, military spending and national security impact our communities, and how you believe a Trustee or Township Committee member should address them.


I believe in the cliche "all politics is local." Some might believe that national politics, or national issues fall outside the realm of municipal politics -- I respectfully disagree. The kinds of things that are going on in Washington these days: irresponsible fiscal management; mismanagement of the war; misinformation about the war; the use of Congress to illegally intrude into people's private lives and private choices; the use of religion to justify legislation; the current push to destroy the separation of church and state; or the current push to destroy Social Security, all directly impact the residents of South Orange. As such, those issues are our issues, and a Trustee should advocate for the people of South Orange. Beyond passing legislation to make sure Villagers' rights are protected, I would act as Trustee much in the manner I suggested in question (1), I would seek out issues on which Villagers have a strong consensus and then build upward to make sure that those concerns are heard beyond the confines of the coffee shops and schools of the Village.

Thank you for the opportunity to answer some of your concerns. I hope that, as Trustee, I will have a better opportunity to meet and work with the South Mountain Peace Action organization. I very much agree with its mission. And p.s. - I love the "Be About Peace" signs. Thank you.

sitedesign by Darby Communications