What do you love most about your current occupation?
I love to serve the public and help people. I am very fortunate to have a variety of interesting responsibilities such as economic development, business relations, sustainability, open space and farmland preservation, and special zoning projects.
How long have you been a member of the NJAPZA?
I have been a dues paying member since 2013. I joined after enrolling in Zoning Administration and Enforcement classes at Rutgers Center for Government Services. I actually first discovered NJAPZA after going through some files when I first started working for Hillsborough. I also found a super cool NJAPZA Officer pin in my desk at the time.
Why did you join the NJAPZA?
The purpose of the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL) is to encourage municipal action to guide the appropriate use or development of all land in New Jersey, in a manner that will promote the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare. Generally speaking, in the land use world, elected officials, board members, planners, architects, engineers, and even lawyers seem to get most of the attention. However, there is only one group of people, the Planning and Zoning Administrators and Zoning Officers, who on a daily basis are responsible for ensuring that the purpose of the MLUL is carried out. I am proud to be a member of NJAPZA and drive forward the mission of the organization.
What is a typical work day like for you?
Every day presents a new challenge to experience. No one day is the same, especially during this pandemic. More than ever before, my daily focus is on engaging with and supporting the business community, as every day there can be a new order impacting them.
What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I am an avid Star Wars fan with a dedicated room in my home for collectibles. I enjoy the many movies, books, and comics. I have a number of Star Wars Lego collections, and I enjoy building and displaying them. I became a dad for the first time in February and have already been able to share my love of Star Wars with my son.
What do you enjoy most about the NJAPZA?
The people; it’s all about building connections with your peers and professional colleagues. There is only so much you can learn from taking classes, reading books, studying ordinances, and personal experience. It’s the experience and perspectives of others that can have a positive impact on you and push you to the next level.
Who inspires you?
My wife, Eileen, especially now that she is a working mom.
When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
Chores! My wife and I own a fixer upper that was built in 1861, so there is no shortage of short term and long term projects!
What’s the best advice you would give someone in your line of work?
For many of us who have been trained through the certificate programs at Rutgers, we were taught, “When in doubt, deny.” I have struggled with that advice, and I would like to add to that. Your decision as a professional cannot be based simply on the knowledge you possess at that given moment on that specific subject, but rather, it is your responsibility to seek knowledge when making a decision and to utilize the statutory deadlines to do so. As land use professionals, we must avoid the temptation of subscribing to, “ignorance is bliss” and be thorough and diligent in our decision making.