Chris Chiacchio hasn't lived in Moorestown very long. But he knows he wants to raise his family here. That's why he decided to run for town council.
"We're going to be here for a long time," said Chiacchio of his family, which includes his wife, Renee; his daughter, Grace and another child on the way. "I'm not going to sit back and complain and let others do the heavy lifting."
Although new to Moorestown, the 43-year-old Chiacchio is not new to politics. He was one of the youngest Republican County Committeemen in New Jersey and was active in Cinnaminson Township serving on the planning and zoning boards during the township's riverfront redevelopment.
The big issues facing Moorestown, according to Chiacchio, are taxes and spending, town hall and Main Street development.
"I would like to see responsible growth on Main Street," he said. "We want to grow rateables, but it's a town. We need to maintain the character with the growth.
"We need to bring in the rateables and keep Moorestown a great community."
"I know Chris shares a deep respect for having a disciplined approach to decision making and problem-solving," said Councilman Mike Testa. "Couple that with his legal expertise and the Council should benefit from his fresh perspectives especially on helping us grow rateables."
Along with growing rateables, Chiacchio believes the town needs to find ways to cut spending.
"The buck stops with us," Chiacchio said of the council. "We need to look at where we can save money. We can't be extravagant."
Chiacchio believes that everything should be looked at for possible savings, and that the council should go through each department, look at their budgets. Cost-cutting he says, only goes so far.
"We can't say spend money and then raise taxes," he said. "Those days are over."
As an attorney and a business owner, Chiacchio believes he'll bring a unique perspective to the council.
Chiacchio, a litigation attorney, also brings a naïveté to the job.
"I'm not experienced in Moorestown, I don't know the usual suspects," he said.
For the immediate future, he sees the town hall decision to be a key topic in 2011.
"I would like it all downtown," he said. "I don't see the benefits yet of moving it. It is called Town Hall, not Industrial Park Hall. I do believe it's cheaper to build new; modern is the way to go."