Patch asked each of the four candidates running for a seat on the Little Silver Borough Council to tell voters a little bit about himself and to answer a series of questions outlining their thoughts on issues facing the borough.
We are running the profiles throughout week. Next up: David Gilmour, who has served on the borough council for 10 years and is running for one of the two, three-year terms up for grabs in November.
- Lifetime resident of the area
- 25 Years in Little Silver
- Coach, Shade Tree Vice Chairman, Planning Board Member
- 10 Years on Council, served on Personnel Committee, Environmental Committee, Traffic and Safety, Finance, Liaison to Police
- The Trinity Pawling School
- Marietta College, BA Communication
- Wilson Sporting Goods, Territory Manager
- Son and Daughter, graduates of Point Road, Markham and RBR
- Wife, Lisa, served on The Little Silver and Red Bank Regional Board Of Education
1. Why are you running? What do you feel are the top challenges for Little Silver's governing body?
This is my 10th year on council. I have served on many committees and have a well-rounded experiences to make informed decisions. I feel our workshop meetings, open to the public, have increased the residents' participation in the decisions council makes. The top challenge is to maintain the high quality of services Little Silver provides to its tax payers and at the same time hold taxes down. It’s a daily struggle, in addition to one that requires long term planning
2. Town governments are under increasing restraints due to budget caps and growing fixed costs. What would you do to keep budget growth down while keeping services stable or enhanced?
The council has been dealing with this for the past few years, we have lowered the borough’s health care costs substantially and maintain our DPW and police vehicles to perform more efficiently thus being able to stay on the road longer. We also seek grant money wherever available and currently have applications in for grants to repair the Parker Homestead and perform street repaving work.
3. The Seven Bridges Road project has been a headache for drivers and required police participation to keep traffic, especially to schools, flowing. How can the governing body work most effectively with other governmental entities to schedule such projects with minimum inconvenience to residents? Is there anything officials could do to relieve increasing traffic congestion through town?
This is a county job that took years to get started. A borough that has waterfront property has to deal with its bridges. The construction is back on schedule, the pedestrian bridge is now open and more residents and students are walking. The police have maximum personnel on duty during peak times. Patience and planning ahead is what will get us through this ordeal. We maintain constant contact with the county, as does our police chief, who is working diligently with schools to provide safe passage for the students
4. What can the governing body do to fill the proliferation of empty retail/commercial space in town? How crucial are ratable to the overall budgeting process?
This is a national economic problem as well. Taxes are paid on a retail/commercial property whether it’s rented or not. I don’t agree with the word “proliferation” of empty space, in fact we’ve made much progress in the more visible vacancies moving again. We’ve been in contact with the owner of the former Exxon station, who advises us that negotiations are targeting a reopening in about 60 days. In addition, we have been in contact with new owner of the Wicker Rose to discuss their plans. Gift Winds is owned by a trust and we have advised them of our concern.
5. Local governments are under increasing pressure to share services wherever possible. Are there opportunities to cut costs by working with other towns that Little Silver is currently not taking advantage of?
For the past 10 years I have been on council Little Silver has shared service with neighboring towns, with Police and First Aid on a daily basis. DPW, has shared equipment on an as-needed basis. The Two River Mayor’s Council always looks for ways to share service and cut costs and in fact there has been a meeting with Freeholder Arnone , who is county’s shared services liaison to discuss further way to use County services to save the borough money, including truck washing, printing services and other jobs. Recently the borough met with Shrewsbury officials to discuss the formation of a joint hazmat response team to replace Fort Monmouth’s.
6. Anything else you'd like to tell potential voters?
I have always considered it an honor to serve on council. My two running mates Don Galante , who brings a wealth of financial experience, and Dr. Rick Scott who has extraordinary administrative skills are as committed as is the rest of the council, Stuart Van Winkle, Dane Mihlon and Dan O’Hern to see that the our government work in the best interest of the residents.