The Township Committee seats of Commissioner Kevin Campbell and Deputy Mayor Ed O’Malley will be vacant at the end of the year and four residents are vying for the spots, including resident Bob D'Ambola.
A debate between the candidates will be held at the Cranford Municipal Building on Thursday evening at 8 p.m.
Read more about D'Ambola below.
Name: Robert D’Ambola
Address: 11 Morse St
Length of Time in Cranford: 37 years
Education: BA Law/Justice – Glassboro State, MAS FDU
Family Life: Married 37 years – 2 boys Steven & Chris attended Walnut, Hillside, Livingston, CHS
Professional Life: Retired City of Summit Police Dept. Lieutenant 27.5 years / Patrol, Traffic, Detective Bureau
Crime Prevention Officer 10 years / Sr. Dep. OEM Coordinator 10 years
Chief of Security for John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (global publisher)
Emergency Management & Certified Business Continuity Professional
Director of Security - St. Mary’s Hospital, Passaic NJ
Emergency Management, Patient Transport, External Transport, Switchboard, Mail Services,
Valet Parking, Equipment, Workplace Violence, Policy & Procedures
PBA Secretary & VP, all committees, very community orientated, numerous school programs
Cub Scout Master Pack 175 (Hillside School)
Asst. Scoutmaster Troop 75 (Methodist Church) also Eagle Coach for District
Knights of Columbus – St. Michael’s Church, Cranford First Aid SquadPlanning Board - assisted with development of Master Plan 2009
Parking Committee, Teen Center Committee, Emergency Management Consultant (3 yrs)
1. Please list the three most important issues facing Cranford in this election and explain your position on each.
- Flooding is the most serious event that impacts all residents either directly through damage to their homes and/or businesses or through the overall cost to the town through property values (Who wants to move to a flood area?) We need to continue to explore every possibility to mitigate flooding. We have to stop poor development and storm water management.
- Taxes are on everyone’s minds. Many residents are very concerned they will not be able to stay in town due to ever increasing costs. I spoke to one resident whose family is in Cranford for 10 generations. This is an extreme example but many families have been here a long time and worry that they can’t stay here to see their grandchildren grow up here.
We have to make sure we spend money wisely and get the best return on our investment. If we maintain the infrastructure by paving roads and reduce flooding, property values will increase.
- Overdevelopment is seriously impacting this town. Nice projects grow too large and get out of control. The Crossings and Riverfront both started as smaller Condo unit projects and are now too large for the character of the downtown. Only the developer profit from these projects. Cranford as to absorb costs for all services. I am hoping the Governor can change COAH. I am all for affordable housing but they shouldn’t demand we build more units than reasonable especially in a flood area. Large projects do not belong in residential areas. Smart development should give something useful back to the town – open spaces, parks, and scenic structures.
2. What made you decide to run for a seat on the Township Committee this year?
Coming from a Law Enforcement background, I have always served the community (Summit) in many ways. I love Cranfordand have considered running for a few years. After seeing the devastation from Hurricane Irene I knew it was time for me to try and help the best way I can by devoting my time to the Township Committee. I saw personal possessions piled 6ft. high the entire length of Springfield Ave. and said this can not happen again.
4. How do you feel about the township committee form of government and the way in which the position of mayor is decided in the township?
I have no problem with the present form of Government. If I am elected I will get a closer view of the inner workings. I have attended numerous workshop and TC meetings. I am always impressed that the group really puts the interest of the citizens first. Most resident are not aware of this and think there is always an ulterior motive for everything. I spoke in favor of keeping the ordinance to “study” a change in government because I believe you can always assess a process and work to make it better. I didn’t believe it was up to a few people to decide this for the rest of the town.
5. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Cranford is my home and it is a wonderful place. I have had a great opportunity to meet hundreds of residents during this campaign that I normally would not have had the chance and I am grateful for that. They all feel the same way I do. We are proud to live here and hope our children will return and raise their families here also. We all hope we can live here in our retirement and not be chased out by rising taxes. We want to keep it a nice place. Progress is inevitable but it doesn’t have to be devastating and rip the character of the town away. We are not Westfield or Rahway and we don’t want to be. The downtown is the heart of the community and our children are the soul. It is great to provide them with many recreational and educational opportunities. We should all stop once in awhile and think how lucky we are to be Cranford residents.