Letters to the Editor

Investing in our Community


BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - My wife and I (and our three children) recently moved to Berkeley Heights from Cranford and we couldn’t be happier with the emphasis on open space, the wooded environment, and peace and quiet.  The town lacks a large and vibrant downtown, which some people complain about, but not us.  Anyone who has ever spent 20 minutes trying to drive a half-mile through Cranford or Westfield knows what an overstretched downtown can mean to a person’s quality of life.  Let us retain our mindful, bucolic, and quiet landscape and leave the quasi-cityscape to someplace else.  

However, this quiet environment does make it harder to lock arm-in-arm as a community.  There is no centerpiece that brings all sides of the town together.  Sometimes  it feels like four separate towns, with each side going in a different direction.  Residents often visit libraries in other towns and belong to private community clubs because there is little public access in Berkeley Heights.

This could change with the proposed land swap.  We need a robust community center, a modern library, and a municipal building that doesn’t resemble a third world facility.  This town is too nice to be in the situation is it in.   Take a look at all of the neighboring towns.  Look at Long Hill’s facilities, and compare them with ours.   We need to change that, and the swap allows us to do that at a relatively low cost, with relatively little environmental impact, and relatively little disruption to residents. 

If the swap fails, then what?  What if Little Flower decides to sell the land to a private developer, with high density housing (and plenty of it) as a likely result?  It’s happening in Cranford.  A developer scooped up land that was zoned for commercial use, filed an affordable housing lawsuit, and has been approved by the state to build a 300-unit apartment complex (of which only a portion of units are devoted to affordable housing).  The complex will be surrounded by single-family residences in a quiet and bucolic area that eerily resembles the land being considered for swap.   Once it happened, the residents had no recourse, no vote, and no way to turn it back.  Through the vagaries of the affordable housing law, the state and developers held sway.   There is talk of having to expand schools and other infrastructure to accommodate this, including roads and traffic lights.   I’m not saying the same thing could happen to Berkeley Heights but anything is possible in the world of private development.  If Cranford officials could foresee the future, they would have done everything possible to buy the property outright.

Regardless, we need an updated library for our children and all other residents; basketball courts and indoor exercise areas for our youth (who have to play at 10pm on school nights due to our lack of facilities); classrooms for our adults; meeting halls for our seniors; and a decent place to call home for those who protect and serve us.  Somewhere to congregate and become more active.   Something to unite us.  

As for the long term debt obligations, one must invest to simply endure, never mind to flourish.

The time to invest is now.

Brian Campbell

The opinions expressed herein are the writer'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 writer.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer'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 writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

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Berkeley Heights

Center for Hope Hospice Starts 2018 with $10,000 Donation from RSI Bank

February 18, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – RSI Bank, headquartered in Rahway, has been a long-time supporter of the Center for Hope Hospice, which offers hospice and palliative care in its two residences, in patients’ homes and other healthcare settings.

A generous donation from the bank has helped the Center start the year with $10,000 more in its Charitable Care Program, which enables those ...

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New Jersey Youth Symphony Announces Bring A Buddy Week March 4-8

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Colleen Mahr Is The Leader Our Party Needs

February 13, 2018

Dear Editor:

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Dear Editor:

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Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

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‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

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Upcoming Events

Sun, February 18

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green


Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

Lawton C. Johnson Middle School , Summit

New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra Free ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, February 18, 7:00 PM

Villagers Theatre, Somerset

Hairspray Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, February 19

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Mon, February 19, 7:00 PM

Villagers Theatre, Somerset

Hairspray Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, February 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Invest Like a Tortoise -- Not Like a Hare

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