I am not a candidate for office. I am a volunteer and helping to run the local Mayor/Town Council campaign. I have a passion for making Berkeley Heights the best town it can be!
Over the last few months on social media and more recently in a political mailing and letter to the editor, my contribution to our Town has been called into question. In addition, I have been called a local operative, “ugly and disgusting.”
I could respond in a number of ways, but I am choosing to share my devotion to our Town and belief in our tradition as well as our bright future.
We should celebrate all the things that we have in Berkeley Heights, especially our wonderful, caring people. What makes our town special is the people. The friends I have made here are true friends. There is no pompousness, no airs of “I am better then you,” and no pretentiousness. I love the fact that the people that grew up here come back to raise their families. That speaks volumes on how special our town is.
We moved here about 15 years ago to raise my family. I worked for Goldman Sachs for 9 years, and left as a vice president around the time of 9/11 with the birth of my first of three children. It was then that I decided to offer my skills to our community. I have participated in multiple PTO projects and always lent a helping hand. I started a fund for a little boy with cancer in my daughter’s class to help with the bills. I believe in giving back to the community. I am a volunteer and I am involved.
And that’s why I got involved on the Downtown Beautification Committee. I had not known Jeanne Kingsley prior, but introduced myself to her at a soccer game and said that I would love to volunteer and help our downtown. I am now assisting with the Mayor and Town Council campaign because I see first-hand how dedicated our Mayor and Town Council members are to making Berkeley Heights the best place to live. I have worked side by side with the Mayor and Town Council members on ways to better our downtown and provide our residents with a great experience. That is how the concepts of Restaurant Week, Beauty & Wellness Weeks, BH Walks, the new design standards, the historical banners and all the new flower baskets Downtown came to be.
Along the way, I have seen first-hand how much this Mayor and Council cares about the residents of Berkeley Heights. They stay up late to work on how to best to serve the community. They work for the Town while on vacation. They spend countless hours with our staff to ensure that the needs of all residents are met. They forge ahead to make things happen while receiving criticism from people, some of whom do not have the facts and have even never spoken with the Mayor, Council or Town employees to understand the complexities and legalities of their policies and decisions. I continue to be amazed at how intricate and complex running a municipality can be and we should be grateful to have our current Mayor and Council members who have been able to leverage their expertise in law, finance, accounting, engineering, planning and the numerous other talents required to meet the day-to-day challenges. Frankly, I have seen these members sacrifice their time with their families for what most would consider another full-time job.
As a witness to their work, I felt the need to ensure the word got out that they are serving YOU the residents of Berkeley Heights. They ran for election on the promise to bring a new Municipal Building to Town and ensured the public heard all the options in over 19 public meetings. They managed the affordable housing mandated by Democratic State legislators and the courts, negotiating a substantial reduction from 860 to 210 new housing units. They kept the YMCA in Town and saved BHCP. They are keeping the municipal part of your taxes low and are continuously improving Berkeley Heights experience, from adding community events and bettering the sports fields and looking out for our seniors.
This work does not get done by sitting back and watching from the sidelines. This gets done by rolling up your sleeves, serving the residents, and researching options for the best way to get things done. It means creating opportunities for volunteers to make our downtown better and improving communication, both digitally and through face-to-face events. These improvements happen because your Council and Mayor are dedicated to Berkeley Heights. They tap qualified volunteers from various backgrounds for help and do not look at their party before reaching out. There is no evidence of back-room deals or pay-to-play with this current team. They are not lobbyists. They are established residents with families in our town that seek no additional aspirations through politics - they are dedicated to servicing Berkeley Heights. So yes, if I am passionate about anything it is making sure that Berkeley Heights remains as one of the best towns in New Jersey!
Facts do matter. Do your homework on all the candidates. Make sure you Google them all. Your vote will determine how our Town moves forward. Our town needs leaders who are honest, hardworking and have a proven record of delivering results. Now is the time to continue the momentum, as positive change is already here. Just look at our thriving downtown, greener fields and significantly improved communication. And, don’t let Union County take over our small town. On November 6th- You decide.
Vote Column B - Woodruff, D’Aquila and Greco