Hometown: Cranford, NJ
Birthday: September 21
Bio: John is the state politics reporter and Patch liaison for The Huffington Post. He is the former editor of Westfield Patch, a position he held from May 2009 to August 2011. John, Westfield Patch's launch editor, came to Westfield Patch from three years as a freelance journalist covering real estate and politics in New York and New Jersey. During this time he broke some of the biggest political and real estate stories across New York State. Earlier in his career he was a reporter for Worrall Community Newspapers in Union County, reporting on the communities of Summit, Clark, Mountainside, Union and Springfield. A Cranford resident, John received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Niagara University and his master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.Totally unplanned, he managed to become Niagara’s first triple minor, with minors in Communication Studies, Environmental Studies and Religious Studies. He has worked in Corporate Communications for a major financial services corporation and as public information officer of the Niagara Falls Charter Revision Commission. John's first book, The Next Generation: Young Elected Officials and their Impact on American Politics was published by Continuum International Publishing in 2010. For the book he has interviewed over 90 current and former young elected officials across the country. He has won a community reporting award from the New Jersey Press Association, first place for in-depth magazine reporting of state government from CapitolBeat and an award for daily reporting from the New Jersey chapter of the Society of the Professional Journalists. He has served as an awards judge for the Deadline Club of New York, the Idaho Press Club and the Columbia Journalism School Alumni Association. He volunteers as a Board Member and Program Committee Chairman of the Columbia University Club of New York and as an alumni admissions recruiter for Niagara University. John is passionate about Niagara and Columbia sports (warning come March, he will want Niagara to win the MAAC). He will also willingly answer any question about the Niagara Falls/Buffalo area and enjoys discussing politics, real estate and a variety of other subjects. He likes to bike, jog, swim, read and hang out with friends.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible and human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal certain key beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable.
This disclosure is not a license for our editors to inject these beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that our beliefs are on the record will force us to be ever mindful to write, report, and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you, the user, ever think you see evidence that we failed in this mission, we wholeheartedly invite you to let us know.
• How would you describe your political beliefs?
I consider myself a moderate on most issues; however, on certain issues I trend liberal. I vote based on the candidate and not the party.
• How religious would you say you are? Casual, observant, devout, non-religious?
Observant. As an undergrad, I was both a Lector and a Eucharistic Minister, and I attended several campus ministry retreats. As a Religious Studies minor my particular focus was on the relationship between religion and modern society.
Local Hot Button Issues
• What do you think are the two or three most important issues facing the community?
Downtown Parking and Parking Enforcement
Traffic and Pedestrian Safety
The redistricting of Roosevelt Intermediate School
• Where do you stand on each of these issues?
While I’ve been in and around Westfield most of my life, I am just now approaching the town looking at many of the issues facing the community from a “resident’s perspective” and I need to give them more thought before saying where I stand on them. Obviously, I am a proponent of any policy that champions the safety of pedestrians and motorists.