May 29, 2014 at 11:16 AM
Dear Residents of Berkeley Heights,
My name is Bob Woodruff. I am extremely proud to live in and serve the Township of Berkeley Heights. Several months ago, I was asked by residents, volunteers, business leaders, my fellow Council members, and the Republican Municipal Committee to run for Mayor. They shared with me their concerns about our town and its future, and how they believed I had the skills and abilities that could help move us forward. I was honored. I have been proud to serve our community in several capacities: as a Coach, Recreation Commissioner, PAL Board Member, Interim Mayor, and Councilman. I know firsthand the challenges facing us, and that most of all; it is only if we work together: residents, volunteers, municipal staff and first responders, non-profit organizations, business and corporate community, along with School, County and State officials that we can meet these challenges and build a prosperous future. These are exciting times with many ideas and initiatives which must be carefully examined as to benefits and costs, timelines and impact.
The job of Mayor requires the ability to initiate, negotiate, manage, facilitate, communicate, and collaborate, serving as the conduit between our Council and the business community, our citizens, employees, and County and State Representatives. The Mayor must be an advocate for a clear and distinct vision for the community. This is a process which requires deliberation and discipline and the ability to work with all involved. Financially demanding times require us not just to be prudent, but to be innovative, creative, and open towards seeking new sources of revenue. WE CANNOT MOVE FORWARD ON THE BACKS OF THE TAXPAYER ALONE. The Mayor must be the premier advocate for the town, particularly in securing grant funding available for the community. Grant funds are available in almost every category: from streetscapes, sidewalks, bike paths, and tree planting; to bridge and road repair to senior citizen projects; to emergency services equipment to recreational, art, and historical support or restoration. All of these programs are supported by our tax dollars and are distributed at a County, State, and Federal level. Each category requires the efforts of the Mayor in identifying the funding available, ensuring the applications are completed properly and deadlines are adhered to, meeting with appropriate staff and officials, and monitoring requirements for requested submissions. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake in this process. Berkeley Heights deserves every consideration for such funding, and it is the job of the Mayor to make sure this is done. When the Mayor doesn’t do this for Berkeley Heights, our tax dollars essentially fund projects in other towns, and we see nothing change in our own town. This is not acceptable.
A TOWNSHIP BECOMES A COMMUNITY BECAUSE OF ITS PEOPLE. We are proud of our citizens’ involvement and look to encourage greater participation. Our non-profit organizations and volunteers provide outstanding services. Our Rescue Squad, Fire and Police Departments ensure our safety every day. Our Beautification Committee, under the leadership of my running mate, Council President Jeanne Kingsley, has begun to reshape our downtown. There is more work to do, and towards that end, we are fortunate that Marc Faecher has joined our team running for our town Council. Jeanne and Marc have outstanding backgrounds in fundraising and in developing public/private partnerships and will be tremendous assets in securing funding to help with our efforts to improve our facilities. We will create a Task Force on Community Growth and Development, comprised of groups and individuals, regardless of political affiliation, whose mission will be to identify ways we can partner to improve our downtown and recreation areas, roads and municipal facilities, streetscapes, lighting, signage, and traffic and pedestrian patterns, and to make sure we do not miss out on any funding opportunities. The Mayor should not tell the taxpayers what services they can or cannot have. It is the job of the Mayor to listen and to work with the Council, County, and State and to collaborate with public/private entities to help secure the funding necessary to continue to provide desired services. We envision what we believe all residents envision: a safe, vibrant community that continues to attract businesses and volunteers, a place that remains affordable for all residents, and a community where all opinions are sought and valued, and all citizens are treated with dignity and respect. We are prepared and passionate to serve our town. We hope you will join us, Together: Building the Future of Berkeley Heights, by voting for us, Column B, in the June 3rd Republican Primary. The polls are open from 6am to 8pm. Thank you for your support of the Woodruff, Kingsley and Faecher team.
Berkeley Heights Councilman and Candidate for Mayor
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