Hawthorne Election 2021 Ask the Candidates: Craig Cayetano for Council-at-Large
HAWTHORNE, NJ - TAPintoHawthorne has collected more questions and concerns from residents around town to ask the mayor and council candidates as Election Day draws near. November 2 will be the deciding day for voters to determine whether Republican Councilman John Lane or Democratic Councilman Joseph Wojtecki succeeds outgoing Republican Mayor Richard Goldberg. Likewise, three at-large council seats are contested by Democratic, Republican, and Green Party candidates. TAPinto Hawthorne has received the responses from the various candidates and will publish a series of their responses over the course of the week.
TAP into Hawthorne
By John Van Vliet
October 27, 2021
All the responses are as they were submitted directly from the candidates. As a matter of policy, TAPinto Hawthorne does not endorse any political campaigns.
The responses of Council-at-Large Candidate Craig Cayetano (Green Party) are below.
What kind of programs, organizations, or community activities have you been involved with in Hawthorne?
I've been a member of our Hawthorne Green Team for over three years now. We are always doing great work there. I'm proud of the polystyrene drives we hold now which was one of my ideas. This has made a big impact by taking a material which most people just threw away and informing them that it can be repurposed. We have held amazing Cel-Earth-Bration events and Green Fairs educating about the need for public electric vehicle charging and to migrate towards plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. I've promoted cleanup efforts around town, 8 acre woods, clearing your storm drains and in winter to clear your closest fire hydrants. I'm working on more ideas to implement through the Hawthorne Green Team which through the Environmental Commission has maintained its Sustainable Jersey Silver ranking. This is a team effort and I am just proud to be a part of it.
I was proud to be a co-organizer of our Solidarity With BLM March last year. I invited numerous speakers who were glad to see Hawthorne standing up in solidarity as well. This made history in our town with over 400+ attendees.
At the beginning of the pandemic I formed a mutual aid group Mutual Passaic County to help feed those in need at the hardest parts of the pandemic. We were buying essential groceries and dropping off food to those not only in Hawthorne but across Passaic County. We have helped in donating air conditioners to those in Hawthorne that have been in need. During the recent water advisory when our town wasn't offering clear answers at the outset, we procured and delivered water to families in Hawthorne that were reaching out to us on social media.
I am also a board member of the Passaic County SPCA which is headquartered right on Lafayette Ave here in Hawthorne. They've been running their Pet Pantry for a few years now and also partner with Martha's Pantry to provide pet food to those in need for their furry family members as well. We've held amazing events like "Pet Pictures with Santa," and just last weekend "PCSPCA Pumpkin Patch" pet pictures. These are fun for the whole family and in turn help provide donations for their further work.
One of the key concerns of any resident is the cost of living in town. What steps or processes can local government take to ease the burden on the taxpayer?
I mentioned this in the last article TAPinto held and asked questions. That article link is here. I'm the only candidate proposing implementing a program already helping residents in Marlboro, Union Township, Voorhees, Haddonfield and Vernon right now on their property taxes. It is centered around shopping, buying and using a local contractor. We always talk about and post on social media to do so. Now towns are actually allowing it to pay off for homeowners, renters and business owners. You register for a card and this allows the local businesses to set up the discount percentage. The account tracks everything as the reward amounts accrue and then are credited in either the third or fourth quarter depending on how it's set by the town. Wouldn't 2-3% back on using a local contractor for a kitchen or bathroom renovation be nice? How about dining and shopping locally, saving you 5-10% and accruing each time. The best thing about this program is that it benefits homeowners and even renters with sending them checks back as well. This could mean thousands back to our residents and also drives business to our local shops. This is a proven program that will benefit many and keep money in the local economy.
Heavy trucking in Hawthorne's narrow streets has posed a problem for residents for many years. What steps can local government take to address heavy trucking problems in town?
We can pass ordinances and resolutions to ensure trucks use certain streets and only can travel on others at certain parts of the day. There is also more litter in areas by commercial businesses that residents have mentioned, so we need to educate the business owners about this along with trying to find parking solutions. I also support residents that want the ability to secure parking permits or passes by their houses and would make this a priority.
I thank TAPinto Hawthorne for this opportunity to answer some more important questions. Some of these issues I've already been speaking up on at town council meetings or have made them a part of my platform. I want to be an advocate for homeowners, renters, business owners, our elderly and youth. Hawthorne gets to choose three candidates for Town Council this year.
Please consider choosing me first #10-D on your ballot and then picking your next two favorites for council. I will continue to participate and advocate on behalf of the community, win or lose on November 2nd. You can follow the campaign and request a lawn sign on Facebook, read the full platform at http://www.cayetano4council.com and make sure to follow the campaign on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.