Rutherford candidates talk new hiring, tax appeals, grants, RDP

Rutherford is a town in transition. A recent staffing assessment has shown that the borough has seen a reduction of roughly 25 percent in its total staffing since 2007, most of those reductions in the police department and the department of public works. Council members have stated the urgency of determining how many new employees need to be hired and in what departments.

Recently the council embarked upon the first stage of a several year-long multi-billion dollar capital plan to restore the borough’s roads and facilities, but the council chose to leave out a plan to transition to automated garbage collection, a move that the DPW superintendent and the borough administrator both described as a necessary next step for a department that has lately only had enough manpower to meet its garbage collection responsibilities.

Meanwhile, though it’s been several years since Rutherford underwent a town-wide revaluation at the height of the housing market, nevertheless residential tax appeals have continued to climb and show no signs of abating. This year the borough received over 300 appeals and as many residents either win their cases or get settlements, the overall assessment of the town keeps taking hits.

In Rutherford there are four candidates vying for two council seats and three candidates vying for the position of mayor. Republican newcomers Richard Doren and Michael Sartori are running against Democratic incumbent Kimberly Birdsall and newcomer Ray Tetro. Current Democratic Councilman George Fecanin, current Republican Councilman Joseph DeSalvo and Independent candidate John Grande are all trying to become mayor.

Joseph DeSalvo, Jr. (R)

Education: Graduated Rutherford High School.

Occupation: Self-employed electrician, based out of Rutherford.

Family: Married to wife, Marie, with three children.

Background: A Rutherford resident for 39 years, DeSalvo has served on the council since 2009. he has coached for Rutherford Little League, Recreation Softball and Babe Ruth Baseball.

Education: Rutherford High School graduate; Rutgers University Bloustein School of Politics.

Occupation: Line inspector for PSE&G for 25 years.

Rutherford candidates talk new hiring, tax appeals, grants, RDP

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