Freddie Bicknese and Patrick Grady have filed a petition to run for two Council seats held by Democrats Carolyn Dempsey and Jocelyn Mathiasen.
In the Republican candidates’ view, among the many issues facing Chatham are:
- The absence of diverse viewpoints and groupthink resulting from a Democrat 7-0 hold on power (including the Mayor and all six Council members) does not serve the Borough well;
- Unacceptably long delays in the Post Office Plaza redevelopment has saddled the Borough and its residential property taxpayers with a potential significant lost opportunity to reinvigorate downtown and re-balance the property tax burden away from residents; the current Council has confused the laudable goals of responsible redevelopment with indecision and stagnation;
- The failure of the Council to take the lead in banning the sale of recreational marijuana in the Borough, pursuant to the opt-out provision in the NJ State law (the deadline for which is fast approaching) has been a dereliction of duty;
- The need for innovative ways to constrain municipal spending, while finding new revenue sources to fund essential services as traditional revenues such as train station fees threaten to become permanently impaired;
- The increase in overnight crime including car thefts and home invasions in the area and the need for more funding and resources to allow the police to do their jobs;
- The lack of meaningful focus by the current Council on local matters of importance (police, fire, infrastructure, budget, land use issues, and zoning), while diving into politically-charged national wedge issues has changed the tone of the local governing body from one which ensures delivery of efficient local services to one that has a deeply political agenda. Politically correct actions such as plastic bag bans and broad social proclamations are more designed to impact State and National policy than they are meant to impact the daily lives of Chatham Borough residents. The Borough Council needs to re-focus its energies on municipal services.
Freddie Bicknese is a business and financial litigator with many years of experience at large Wall Street law firms as well as smaller New Jersey firms. His practice areas have included securities fraud, insurance coverage, commercial disputes, and intellectual property. Having recently taken a break from law practice to be a stay-at-home father, Freddie now has more time and wishes to be more involved in the community that he, his wife, and their two children love.
Patrick Grady is a fourteen year resident of Chatham Borough with his wife and three daughters. He has worked in the financial services industry for 26 years. He is currently the President of Minisink Swim Club, a member of the Chatham Joint Recreation Athletic Committee, and a Board member of the Chatham Basketball Club. He has coached basketball and softball in town since he arrived in 2007. He is an active member of the Corpus Christi Church community as well, teaching CCD and coaching basketball in the CYO program for fourteen years.
Grady’s hope is to bring back real tangible accomplishment to our Borough Council: “Representing the Borough residents is not about being a Republican or Democrat, it’s about being from Chatham and working to see that the best interests of all residents are looked after. As a community, we will have our personal differences on macro issues in our world and that is what our country is about, but on the local level, we need to put party politics aside and work together for the best interest of all our residents.”