Elections matter and the people we elect really make a difference.
This is a truth that I have believed in for most of my life, but it has become glaringly obvious during the last two years as I watched our nation struggle through a contentious and debilitating national election with shocking results. It is also true as our township’s leaders embark on unprecedented development while struggling to keep up with running the township effectively and considerately addressing community concerns.
We need to change the direction in which we are heading, and it starts at the local level. Berkeley Heights reflects the national stage, and, like the country, our town is as wonderful a place to live but struggles with challenges that come with change. How do we maintain our infrastructure at a time when rising costs have eclipsed the ability to just raise taxes again? How do we reflect the dreams and needs of our community as the town evolves with inevitable growth and development? How do we care for our aging population and solve for the need of everyone to know what’s happening in their town with transparency and sensitivity?
Last year I ran for Town Council to bring the right type of change in our community. What I saw and continue to see in our leadership worries me. I have a lifelong record of community volunteerism and leadership. I’ve canvassed for issues and elections, I joined the local Scout Troop Committee, I helped lead the Governor Livingston Marching parent volunteers and I’ve helped nonprofits fundraise to make things happen. My goal last year was to take a more active role in the township and to be part of the leadership, to be at the table when decisions that affect us all are being made, to help bring about change for the better. My running mate Susan Poage won, and I nearly joined her. I fell short by eight votes; more proof that EVERY VOTE MATTERS, particularly on the local level. As the only sitting Councilmember of a different party on the dais, Susan is hamstrung by a leadership that votes in unison and, in my opinion, often with disregard for any opposing opinion or viewpoint.
This year I’m running again to help bring change that is positive, community based and effective. I am thrilled to join two outstanding candidates who bring qualified and experienced leadership to our team - Stephen Yellin for Council and Angie Devanney for Mayor. Together, we have the skills, creativity and know-how that are a perfect fit to solve the challenges we now face. Together, we have an opportunity to effect change for the better, to address those issues that are paramount to our community and our taxpayers. Berkeley Heights is a great township, and together with you, we can be “purple” and we can be even better.
You can learn more about us at our website, http://www.ChangeWeCanAgreeOn.com, and please feel free to email me at AlvaroforBHcouncil@gmail.com.