Daniel Dunay is one of four candidates for two seats on the Fair Lawn Council this year.
Dunay, a Republican, is a Fair Lawn native who moved back to the borough about two years ago after living in New York. He holds a degree from Harvard and works in corporate finance, is a member of the Fair Lawn Zoning Board and is active with the Knights of Columbus and Sunrise Rotary.
Dunay said he hoped to continue the work of Mayor John Cosgrove and fellow Republican council members Jeanne Baratta and Ed Trawinski, whose terms expire at the end of the year and who are not seeking re-election. He pointed to the upcoming project to repaint the Morlot Avenue water tower, the end of lawsuits from borough police officers and the post-Irene repairs to Memorial Pool as a few of the successes since Republicans took the majority of the council seats.
“Morale in the police department, morale in the borough hall is increasing,” Dunay said. “You talk to people, I think people are happy in the direction Fair Lawn is going.”
Dunay said he believed his experience in finance would be a valuable skill for the borough when the council puts together the annual budget. He said he would work to control and cut spending, where possible, as well as seek out new sources of revenue through shared services like the recent interlocal agreement signed with Elmwood Park for a construction official, building subcode official and zoning official.
“That’s not a ton of money, but if you can find one of those or two of those every year, it’s enough to offset increases in expenses elsewhere,” he said.
Dunay said he believed his other strength is his ability to talk to residents and listen to their concerns. Taxes are always an issue across the town, but local issues like traffic, an abandoned house or a broken street light are also important, he said.
“My pledge is to basically get out to everything I can, get to know everyone I can,” Dunay said. “I always listen to everybody. I’m always very interested to hear everyone’s perspective and what everyone really wants from the town.”
Another important part of officials communicating with residents should be to help spread the word about the various services Fair Lawn offers, Dunay said. The borough could be better-promoting services like the Fair Lawn Community Center, library and Memorial Pool through more advertising, events and creative fee structuring, he said.
“I think if we, as a council and as a community, did a better job of advertising this stuff, you would see a lot more people a lot more excited about some of these services we have in town,” he said.
Dunay also said he’d like to reconsider the idea for a dog park in Fair Lawn, which the council nixed earlier this year due to concerns over the cost.
Making people more aware of Fair Lawn’s services could help increase property values, Dunary said. Also, continuing to support the Economic Development Corporation’s efforts to promote local business could lead to more local jobs and an increased tax base, helping keep taxes for residential property owners down.
The election will be held Tuesday.