BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Each week leading to the November 6 election, the candidates running for Berkeley Heights Township Mayor and Township Council have the opportunity to answer question(s) that will be run in a series by TAPinto Berkeley Heights.
The following answer is from Democratic Mayoral Candidate Angie Devanney for Week 1.
Week 1 Questions:
- Why are you Running for Office?
- What unique skills or knowledge will you bring to the elected office you are seeking?
- What do you think the major issues facing Berkeley Heights are at this time?
Berkeley Heights is a great community, but we can do better. I am running for Mayor because as a mom sitting on the sidelines at many ball games, I witnessed our fields fall into disrepair; as I looked around the town, our roadways seem to be worsening with each year. Opportunities for additional revenue and cost saving measures were missed. Many aspects of our town can be managed better; we need improved management and fiscal responsibility. My experience with running the day-to-day operations of Berkeley Heights government will allow me to hit the ground running on Day One along with my team, Alvaro Medeiros, Stephen Yellin and Susan Poage. I also believe in service and giving back to the community whenever possible. It is a privilege to serve the community where I am raising my two children - Abbey, a 5th grader at Mountain Park and Ryan, a junior at Governor Livingston High School - and ensuring that they continue to grow up in a community that makes us all proud.
I gained vast knowledge of town operations and experience during my time as Township Administrator; I ran business operations, overseeing the departments of DPW Public Works, Engineering, Finance, Zoning/Construction and Public Safety. I am skilled at creating shared services; such as the agreement I reached with the County in IT and printing. My experience and relationships in local, county and state government will allow Berkeley Heights to maximize grants funds and other resources.
Deep knowledge of the community and issues facing families, seniors, volunteers and taxpayers is important in order to stay grounded. My volunteer activities, including involvement on the PTO, Mountain Park PTO President, and my current role as BH PAL Board Secretary helps me connect and listen to the community. Over the last several months, I have learned about issues our residents care about by talking with many different people, and I look forward to working with all of them.
Financial health and planning for our future are the two most pressing issues facing our Township. We are embarking on the largest public project of our lifetime – the new municipal complex - which is already $4 million over budget. The project depends on unrealized tax revenue from several projects that are not yet built. And, we will have nearly 1,000 new housing units by 2020 taxing our road, infrastructure and services. We need to negotiate Community Impact Fees with developers to help offset these costs; I have negotiated such fees for a luxury housing project to help a nearby town. As Mayor, I will institute the same fee on any incoming development to lessen our burden. Leadership in the future will be more important than ever. I am passionate about Berkeley Heights and genuinely want to ensure our Township continues to be the wonderful and secure home that I have found it to be.