Business & Finance

'Breakfast with the Mayor' Focuses on Revitalizing Downtown Berkeley Heights

e4a833d220d972bd5c38_100_1284.jpg
Mayor Joe Bruno, left, talks about plans to make downtown Berkeley Heights more pedestrian-friendly. Dr. Pat Smith of the Surburban Chamber of Commerce looks on. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
4b51878bfe49f29dea76_100_1282.jpg
Dr. Pat Smith talks about upcoming events in Berkeley Heights. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
d7e7c5212d9654cf32d1_100_1288.jpg
Township Administrator Amey Upchurch talks about plans to incorporate dogwood trees into the Berkeley Heights streetscape. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
2771de81cc9ee3e4c06d_100_1289.jpg
Police Chief Michael Mathis talks about changes in the police department, including a walking beat downtown. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
bad7493ab298ac6ad1fe_100_1292.jpg
Local Mary Kay consultant Laurie Gaulke talks with fellow business owners. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
59a2af8400a364f83446_100_1293.jpg
Township Committee member Ed Delia (right) talks with Jim Wood. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
3335efb18e431e3eee40_100_1294.jpg
The mayor said he envisions the downtown paved with stones like those already in front of Marcello's on Springfield Avenue. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
38c2eb172b43dcdf13fd_100_1295.jpg
Township Administrator Amey Upchurch told local businesses the town would like to improve the area around the train station to help give the town an identity. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
6b318c7d3abe8d14f051_100_1296.jpg
The meeting focused on hw to help downtown Berkeley Heights become a business-friendly, pedestrian-friendly area with a uniform look and its own identity. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
e4a833d220d972bd5c38_100_1284.jpg

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Business and municipal officials met this morning to talk about making downtown Berkeley Heights a more welcoming, pedestrian-friendly area that not only attracts businesses, but keeps them.

The Suburban Chamber of Commerce sponsored Breakfast with the Mayor this morning at town hall, giving local business people a chance to hear about initiatives the town is looking toward for giving Berkeley Heights a shot in the economic arm.

Mayor Joe Bruno talked about the new businesses coming into the town, and assured those assembled that the town is aware of the things that need to be done to attract even more businesses to town to fill empty store fronts and revitalize the downtown.

Sign Up for E-News

“We should make ourselves a business-friendly community,” said Bruno, who recently retired after 38 years as an executive with JC Penney. “There’s a lot we can do to make Berkeley Heights appealing.”

The mayor referred to the four Ps of good business: promotion, place, people and product.

“We’ve already got the place,” he said. “Berkeley Heights is a great community. You know that – it’s why you opened your business here.”

The town has been named one of the best communities in the state by Money Magazine and New Jersey Monthly.

Bruno pointed to the town’s need for a Special Improvement District, something fellow Suburban Chamber towns Summit and New Providence already have in place.

“If they think it’s a good idea, it probably is,” he said. “Why don’t we have one?”

The mayor said Berkeley Heights is “looking for an identity,” something that can be helped with a few touches that will give the downtown a unified look. He said the town is looking to purchase three town clocks, one by the train station and two at the entrances to the town. He also said he’d like to see paver stones on downtown sidewalks, like those already in place in front of Marcello’s. Paver stones, lamp posts and benches would make the downtown feel welcoming.

“It’s time for us to make our community homogenized,” Bruno said. “We need to make it a walking community.”

Township Administrator Amey Upchurch pointed out that the town tree is a dogwood, known for its springtime white blossoms. She said the town would like to incorporate more dogwood trees into the streetscape, particularly around the train station, to help give the town an identity.

“We want people to know they’re approaching Berkeley Heights,” she said.

Upchurch talked about two state funding programs the town wants to apply for, including Main Street New Jersey and the Improvement District program. To get ready to apply for those, she said, the town needs a commercial concentration, an idea of how they want the town to look, and broad-based support within the town.

Police Chief Michael Mathis gave an overview of what the police department is doing in town, and how it benefits the business community. His department has recently revived the Crime Prevention Unit and trained new officers, who he said will visit businesses for a security assessment.

Mathis also has reinstituted the downtown walking beat, which now includes a bicycle patrol, and a youth academy for those young residents interested in a future with law enforcement.

The police department also has started up the former Traffic Bureau, which will be a boon to downtown safety and peace of mind for those who own businesses in town.

Dr. Patrick Smith, who is on the Suburban Chamber board, gave an overview of ongoing and upcoming events in town, including:

  • BHTV, Berkeley Heights’ local TV station, a joint effort under the leadership of the Communications Committee that includes Governor Livingston High School. “This Week in Berkeley Heights” news program airs weekly.
  • The new township website, www.berkeleyheightstwp.com , which offers up-to-date information aimed at helping residents stay connected to what’s happening in town.
  • The Collection, the Chamber’s 40,000-circulation publication
  • The Rubber Ducky festival, scheduled for Saturday, June 9 (rain date June 23), a community event held annually to raise funds for the Berkeley Heights Rotary Club. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
  • A “Shop Local” mailer sent out in the spring. Smith said the mailing was so successful, the Chamber hopes to do another one in the fall, if not sooner.
  • Jersey Pilot’s baseball is coming to Snyder Avenue Park in June. The semi-professional team made up of local college stars will play on Thursdays and Sundays. Sponsorship opportunities ar available.
  • Berkeley Heights Summer Concert Series in the Park (Memorial Field) and Movies in the Park will get underway again in July. Tom Barton, recreation director, has more information on sponsorship opportunities.
  • Height’s Fest 2012 is a new festival that will be held on Saturday, Aug. 4 (rain date Aug. 5). More information is available at www.heightsfest.com. Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are available.
  • The 16th Annual Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race and Fitness Walk is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 16 at Memorial Field. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, visit www.berkeleyheights5k.com.
  • Community Pig Roast and Family Barbecue is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22 at the VFW on Locust Avenue.  Details, ticket information and sponsorship opportunities are available via the chamber weekly eblasts.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July 18, 2018

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Union County Honored for History Projects

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that two national achievement recognitions for history projects have been presented to the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Union County is rich in history, and this Freeholder Board is committed to engaging the public with ...

Union County College Foundation’s 3rd “Close the Gap” Campaign Surpasses Goal

CRANFORD, NJ – With over 150 guests and volunteers in attendance, the Union County College Foundation surpassed their goal and raised nearly $55,000 at their 3rd Annual Close the Gap Campaign cocktail reception. Held on July 11, in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford campus, this campaign was developed by a small group of dedicated community volunteers to support the ...

ReNew Salon and Spa Welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo

GILLETTE, NJ - ReNew Salon and Spa welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo to their staff. Mormilo brings with her over 20 years of excellent customer service in the salon and spa industry.

She has extensive product knowledge, focuses on keeping up-to-date on industry standards and practices, believes in mentoring young stylists, and is a team player who strives to ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c8cb6b45d2b342be3cbb_nancy_ori

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer

Arts & Entertainment Travel

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer at NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, July 22, 2:00 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Moths and other Pollinators

Education Green

Carousel_image_634bcda860ed17650f72_93a8625c-ce9d-413f-a61e-4b2df4fe0604

Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website, www.berkeleyheightstwpnj.gov.

 

The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...