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Four-Man Race for Livingston Township Council

Voters will chose two new politicians to serve on the council.

Four new political faces will compete for two spots on the Livingston Township Council this fall.

On Tuesday, Alfred M. Anthony and Michael M. Silverman officially became the Democratic candidates, while Charles L. Granata and Ray Leibman became the Republican candidates.  Each team of candidates ran opposed in their party's primary.

The candidates are looking to fill the seats of Mayor Stephen Santola and Councilman Gary Schneiderman, both of whom decided not to seek re-election after several years of service.

Anthony, an attorney, is running for political office for his first time. He's served on the township planning board for three years as well as a board member for Livingston Little League. Anthony also volunteers for the Livingston Citizens Budget Advisory Committee, the Green Team, the Environmental Commission and the Livingston Citizens Institute and has previously volunteered on the Open Space Committee.

Anthony said he's running for political office because he wants to "try to keep services up (and running) and keep this a great town and keep taxes low."

Silverman, another first-time political candidate, was raised in the township. He owns a personal and commercial insurance agency which handles property, casualty and life and health insurance.

Silverman volunteers for the township zoning board of adjustment and he is a past president of Temple Beth Shalom, as well as a former coach for the Livingston Soccer Club.

Silverman is the vice president for the North Jersey Business Council, a member of United Jewish Communities and a member of the Essex County Bar Association's Division V Ethics Committee.

Silverman said he's running for office because he wants to continue improving Livingston's great community. Silverman added that he's looking forward "to getting out and meeting everyone and having an opportunity to find out really what the people of Livingston are looking for because, if elected, I'm representing the people of Livingston."

Granata is a 27-year veteran of the Livingston police force and a member of the Livingston School Board. He is also a writer and radio producer.

In a press release, Granata said his work as police officer and school official would bring a broad perspective if he were elected to the township council.

"I believe my work on the board of education, where we were able to work together on important issues and projects – and bring them in on time and under budget - gives me experience and a unique perspective on the community that I think will be valuable to the town council,” he said.

He formerly served as the department’s DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer and was the officer assigned to the Mt. Arlington Elementary School “Adopt-A-Cop” program.

Granata's biography said he was a founding member of the township's Youth Appreciation Week Committee and the Healthy Community/Healthy Youth Committee.

Leibman is a professor and lecturer at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and Newark and a former business executive. He ran for the Livingston School Board last year.

He is the former director of the Commercial and Residential Products Division of Panasonic Corp. in Secaucus, according to his campaign biography.

In addition, he is a member of the township's Vision 2020 Committee, the Healthy Community/Healthy Youth Committee, Livingston Old Guard and the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Leibman said in a press release he is seeking a seat on the council because “I feel that I must get more involved in how this town is governed. Many residents and I are unhappy with the decisions the town council has been making over the past decade and we want to implement changes that will make the township government more responsible to the people."

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. and the Township Council positions are for a four-year term. 

The yearly salary range for a council member is $3,000 to $5,643.

Alan Baren October 07, 2012 at 12:10 PM
My current question for the four candidates is this: The primary priorities of local government are safety, infrastructure \ operations and education. In Janaury 2012, 388 residents and small businesses in Livingston and East Hanover had their homes spiked by JCP&L. The average home lost $940; some as high as $5000. Margarita's now out of business lost $8,500 in equipment. Total loss = over $400,000. JCP&L tooks claims and then denied them all. Residents lost all sorts of electronic equipment, but more important the safety of their families were put at risk at fires broke out in outlets and cable boxes from the continuous high voltage delivery. After number prompts to the current Mayor and Town Council, they took no action at all. The response I received from Mayor Santola was BPU has shown to be ineffective in the past, and they believed it would be fruitless to ask them to look into it. If residents are damaged or have their lives put at risk to no fault of their own, I cannot image a higher priority for our local government, yet our current Town Council did nothing. All they had to do was ask for a BPU hearing. So my question to the each of the candiates is: If you take office, what actions will you take going forward to ensure better reliability and safe procedures are adhered to by both JC&PL and PSE&G, as well as other 3rd parties providing services to the town? What action would you still take around the Jan 30, 2012 incident?
Chuck Granata October 07, 2012 at 01:45 PM
It's the Council's responsibility to ensure the physical safety of residents by providing police, fire and EMS services. But, their obligations also extend to protecting and defending residents when the negligence of a service provider contracted by the Township causes property damage/financial harm to that resident. For a Council or Township official to refuse to intervene based on the service provider's "past practice" or "ineffective settlement history" is reprehensible. Doing so is tantamount to saying, "If you get a traffic ticket don't bother to fight it because you'll never win." The logic is absurd! If I were a council member confronted with this issue, I would use every power of office to vigorously demand the refund of monies to residents affected by the service provider's negligence. If those requests were rebuffed, I would insist on a hearing, regardless of the probability of settlement based on past experiences. The failure of the Council or Township officials to hold any service provider accountable for their actions sets a dangerous (and costly) precedent, and simply isn't in the best interest of our residents and taxpayers. If the statute of limitations or deadline for requesting a BPU hearing hasn't expired, I would certainly advocate on our residents' behalf and request such a hearing if I am elected to the Council and begin serving on January 1.
Karen Samiec October 07, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Great answer!!!
Jersey Girl November 06, 2012 at 07:25 PM
These candidates did nothing for the people of Livingston when we were without heat and light. But they want my vote. Show your community what a true leader you can be in times of crisis of need, not just when you want me to put you on a council.
Karen Samiec November 06, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Jersey Girl - it is not the ones looking to be elected. it is for the ones you elected or are on the Town Council NOW!!!!

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