BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Each week leading to the June 6 Primary election, the Republican candidates running for Berkeley Heights Township Council will answer question(s) that will be run in a series by TAPinto Berkeley Heights.

The following answers are from Republican candidate Jeanne Kingsley.

I'm Jeanne Kingsley and currently serve as Council Vice President.  A Strategic Planner and CPA by profession and a 21-year taxpayer, I'm fiscally prudent but understand the importance of the big picture. Committed to leadership through collaborative action, I believe together with our residents, businesses, and volunteers, we have made great strides in our town. I am looking forward to continuing to have positive community impact through sound fiscal decision-making and developing more Public/Private Partnerships. Click here for full list of previous Organized Volunteer work in Berkeley Heights.

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Question 1. What skills or knowledge will you bring to the Council?

As a Councilwoman, I have used all my professional management, financial, and planning skills to assure that we are getting the most out of every tax dollar. And I’ve applied what I’ve learned as a long-term resident raising a family in Berkeley Heights and by listening to residents of our community every day. As an active volunteer, I understand the critical importance of partnerships and fundraising through grant writing and fundraising initiatives. In today’s economic environment, we must do both. Cutting services is NEVER an answer…finding new ways to pay for them is the solution. The introduction of volunteer advisory committees has saved the taxpayers the expense of costly consultants.  Volunteers raise funds for projects and communication improvements include live streaming of Council meetings and an evolving user-friendly website. Partnerships like the Memorial Park Renewal Committee result in cost savings.  The pursuit of alternative and new grant funding for projects help us get what we need and maintaining affordability. Together, we get things done, improve the quality of life for our citizens, deliver services to our seniors, and create a pedestrian-friendly and welcoming downtown.

Question 2. Why are you running for Council?

I'm seeking re-election to continue the work we have begun to enable Berkeley Heights to reach its full potential. Our downtown is recovering from the Recession by attracting new businesses. We’ve introduced new standards for sidewalks and lighting. But our work is not complete. Our new Municipal Complex is on the horizon. After extensive research, due diligence, and over 20 public meetings to obtain citizen input concerning the location and design of the new Municipal Complex, our community is anxious to move this project forward. As the direct result of the public's participation, the new center will be built on the grounds of the current complex, becoming a central hub for services and activities. This project is important for our citizens and local businesses because it will enable us to safely provide the services our citizens want and deserve while making the downtown area more attractive to visitors and shoppers. Together, we are creating a vibrant downtown.  Volunteers have partnered with our municipal government to renovate parks and initiate new programs. There is an excitement and energy that is contagious. The growing momentum of community spirit can be seen throughout the town. Our businesses have brought us the Winter Walk and Street Fair where thousands of people gather to celebrate and get to know each other and what our town has to offer.  Together we’ve created an atmosphere that says, “Welcome!”  And even more is yet to come.  

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in the answer are the candidate's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the candidate.