As I continue to meet residents as we go door to door, I have been asked why I want to be on this Town Council again. And my answer is simple: I care about this Town and know that my years of engineering experience are needed at this very critical point in our history.
When I first moved to Berkeley Heights in 2005, I started to attend Town Council meetings for two reasons. One, I wanted to get informed about what was going on in Town; and two, I was able to actually interact with my elected officials. Growing up in New York City, I really didn't get to interact with the government. Here, I was amazed that I could actually ask questions and have conversations with Council members or the Mayor.
And when serious talk turned to building a new municipal complex for Berkeley Heights—a project that was 20 years overdue — I wanted to get involved. I knew that if I served on the Council, the Town would be able to tap all of my engineering experience to ensure a state-of-the-art facility—one that that my children and neighbors would benefit from.
Fast forward to 2018. Our new complex is under construction. A new salt dome is being constructed and the foundation dug for our new municipal complex. I am committed to ensuring that our Municipal Complex is solidly built, on budget and ahead of schedule! And I have the skillset to make this happen.
In fact, I am actively helping to manage this project, reviewing timetables and budgets to be sure we stay on track and on or under budget. I’m looking at potential “green” options for the building. This is all happening now and the type of expertise I bring will be extraordinarily useful over the next several years.
There are other projects underway that will benefit from my engineering, construction and facility management background. The old Community pool is being removed to make way for a new pool and YMCA building. Several abandoned buildings in Town are slated to be replaced with new residential developments that will create a more vibrant downtown. (These developments are part of the Council’s settlement Trenton to reduce our mandated affordable housing requirement by 75%.)
I want to continue serving on this Council to see these projects to completion and hold the developers to their commitments. In addition, I will continue to work on other projects that enhance our Town and strengthen our infrastructure. I am committed to finding alternative funding sources (Like the Paving for Pizza Grant). And I want to ensure our small-town feeling is not lost. We’ve done a lot to build up community spirit and a more vibrant downtown: Look at all the community events we have like Restaurant Week and the Winter Walk. Look at the new banners and Berkeley Heights branded signage. Look at the new businesses that have opened that are following our new street scape design standards. Look at the improvements to our field. We are moving this Town forward and want to continue to help get these kinds of results for the people of Berkeley Heights.
That’s why I want to continue to bring to the Council my strengths in budgeting, capital planning, project management and facility and construction management. I want to ensure once our new municipal complex is completed, we are ready to operate it and maintain it for the next 40 years.
BOTTOM LINE: I care about this Town and I am ready and willing to continue to put in the long hours needed to successfully carry out the duties of a Berkeley Heights Town Council Member alongside our strong and experienced team.
On Election Day, Tuesday November 6 please vote COLUMN B – Woodruff, D’Aquila and Greco.