Voters going to the polls on Tuesday, June 6th have a third choice in the race for Berkeley Heights Township Council: they can vote for Susan Poage and Alvaro Medeiros. Poage and Medeiros are running in the Democratic Primary along with the entire “Column A”, Democratic team. They are backed by a growing movement of Democrats, Republicans and Independents who support Change We Can Agree On. Voters can learn more about them on their Facebook page, BH 4 All and by emailing them at email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
“While we may be the only Democratic candidates on the ballot for Township Council, we’ve lived in Berkeley Heights a long time and know not to take any vote for granted,” said Poage and Medeiros in a joint statement. “Because of this we want to take this opportunity to tell voters about ourselves, and share our vision for bringing Berkeley Heights together to make change happen.”
“Since we announced our candidacies in April, we’ve listened to hundreds of residents across our town as they shared their thoughts with us. From these conversations, and from our own experiences as community leaders, parents, and residents for almost 25 years, we’ve formed our vision for how we make the changes we need to make a better Berkeley Heights.
First, we share the concerns of residents who believe that we can do better than where we are now. They tell us that they want change, and we do need to make changes in many areas. We share their belief that electing the same people year after year is not the best way of making change happen.
We believe the best way to make change is to bring Berkeley Heights together, by welcoming all ideas and perspectives and treating all residents with respect and civility. This is why we are running under the vision of Change We Can Agree On.
Second, we share the frustrations of residents who look at their street, their downtown, and their sports fields, and see little or no improvement year after year. Some progress has been made; so, too, have been mistakes that have held back progress or hampered our quality of life.
We must rapidly speed up the slow pace of road repairs, think outside the box to reshape and revitalize our downtown, bring stakeholders together to fix our sports fields, and do our part to protect the environment. Above all, we must do a much better job of informing residents what our town is doing, actively seek and welcome their feedback, and bring our community together to find the best solutions to make real changes happen.
Third, we share the belief of residents that we need new, bi-partisan local government to ensure these changes happen. For 6 years, Berkeley Heights has been led by only 1 group, and we’ve heard the frustrations of many that their Mayor and Council do not seem to listen to them and their concerns and ideas, or even let them know about the major decisions that are changing our town in the last few years.
This lack of communication has led to widespread feelings of suspicion, distrust and cynicism about the transparency of local government, deserved or not. We can respect our opponents while still showing why we are the better choice to make change happen, and that is the high road we will continue to travel.
Fourth, and finally, our strengths as communicators and consensus builders, whether in the classroom, the corporate boardroom, or simply as parents and neighbors, make us the right people to forge the consensus we need to find Change We Can Agree On. Apart from our other plans to increase social and fiscal responsibility in local government, we want to do all we can to bring Berkeley Heights together. We can do better than the status quo, and we need to work together to make that happen.
If you agree with us, we respectfully ask for your vote in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, June 6th, in Column A on your ballot, and in the general election on November 7th, respectively. If you are registered as Unaffiliated/Independent you can still vote for us on June 6th, by casting a vote in the Democratic Primary. We look forward to the race ahead against whomever Republican Party voters may choose on June 6th, and to making the case for why we should embrace Change We Can Agree On!”
About The Candidates
Susan Poage is already well-known to many Berkeley Heights residents as a longtime teacher at Mary Kay McMillan Early Childhood Center, teaching Kindergarten and 1st Grade. Extremely popular with her students as well as their parents, her accomplishments in the classroom led her to receive the coveted Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematical and Science Teaching in 2008, receiving the award from the President of the United States at a White House ceremony. Susan and her husband, Russell have lived in Berkeley Heights for 23 years, and raised 2 daughters who went through our public schools.
Alvaro Medeiros is a successful business leader with a proven record of service to others. Over a 25-year career at AT&T, he has rose through the ranks to Sales Center Associate Vice President, where he oversees a sizable budget and has negotiated many large deals on behalf of the company. Locally, Alvaro has served as a Committee Member and Troop Activities Coordinator for Boys Scouts of America, Troop 368, and in several leadership positions with the Governor Livingston High School Marching Band. Alvaro and his wife, Amalia have lived in Berkeley Heights for 22 years. They have 1 son and 1 daughter who have also gone through our public schools.