By Steve Sears
Mount Olive Township Council President, Joe Nicastro, is announcing his candidacy for Mayor.
“I’ve been here 20 years,” Nicastro says of his time in Mount Olive. “I truly love this township, and I really love the residents of this town.”
Nicastro’s ticket will be announced in April “I think it’s important to have somebody who can surround themselves with good people,” Nicastro says. “To listen to your vision, and do things to help you make that vision come true.”
Robert Greenbaum, Mayor since 2012, will not run for reelection, therefore leaving the door open for Nicastro in 2023. “We (the township council) have been successful, and have been Republican for a long time,” Nicastro says. “By the time I run for mayor, I’ll be on council for 12 years and Council President for 9, and it’s stayed Republican all 12.” Nicastro notes Greenbaum’s influence on his own service. “Rob’s been a great inspiration, a great mentor to me. He’s someone who cares about the town a lot, and it’s not about politics, it’s about what’s good for the residents. I’ve learned a lot from Rob. He still has a year plus to complete and still has a lot more he wants to accomplish.”
While Nicastro cites as a major accomplishment the fact that Mount Olive residents have not had a municipal tax increase in the past 10 years, he knows there are always things that can be improved and worked on. “I do believe in keeping our water and our environment clean, and my whole platform is wanting to do more for the residents,” he says. “I want to maintain what we’ve been doing, but also improve more on working with the residents, finding out the needs of people, and what we can do to help.” One of the things Nicastro wants to address is expanding the Mount Olive Food Pantry, working more with senior citizens, and looking at new, innovative ways to do things in town. “From the standpoint of the environmental side, adding more solar vehicles, adding more solar lighting, and things like that. We can save money, save the environment, and help protect our land as we always have. Mount Olive is 70% to 80% in the Highlands, and that’s a huge number. We have a ton of open space, we have a ton of trails, we’re launching two new parks, and we’re going to work on the beach area. I want to finish, obviously, the things that aren’t completed, but I also want to look into more things to help the residents of Mount Olive.”
Nicastro, who is originally from Garfield, moved to Mount Olive in 2004 because it was (and still is) a beautiful area. “We love where we are,” Nicastro says of his Budd Lake side of town location and, even though new construction for residential developments has taken place in Mount Olive the past few years, he states the township still has much open land, and that will not change. “There’s one more development that’s going to be put up, probably during my term if elected, which will be over on the ITC north side of town. Homes and condos are going to go up there, but that’s the last use of land that’s buildable and residential. We have a lot of open space that we preserve land with, and I don’t want to change the dynamics of Mount Olive at all. I love what we have. I want it to be the great mixture it is.”
Nicastro, who since 2005 has been co-owner with his wife Mary of My Life Publications which included Mt Olive Weekly and now Mt Olive Life newspaper, is also a member of the Mt Olive Chamber and Lions. Nicastro is proud of the township’s relationship with Morris County itself. “We have a great relationship with the county. I have a great relationship with our commissioners and we always did as far as the county goes. The county is very good to us; they’re very responsive and easy to access. Mount Olive is one of the larger communities, and we have a lot of shared services, and we’d like to keep expanding those shared services to provide to other communities. It’s important, number one, because we can do it, and number two, it helps us with revenue, and it helps the other communities with their revenue. We have a good relationship with a lot of the towns around us with all the services that we provide.”
For Nicastro, the prime goal is (and always has been) to serve. “Everything I feel like I can do to help residents just makes me feel good,” Nicastro says. “I have compassion for a lot of people that have needs, and I want to help those people.”
The most important thing to Nicastro is the need to represent all residents of Mount Olive.” No matter your party affiliation, my job is to make sure all residents’ voices are heard and represented” Nicastro stated.
I look forward to serving the residents if they so choose me as their next Mayor.
Visit www.nicastroformayor.com for more information.