My name is Jeanne Kingsley. Together with my husband Ed, we have been residents of Berkeley Heights for 19 years. We have four children and have found our town a wonderful place to raise a family and make lifelong friendships. Like all of you, we juggle family responsibilities, home and work commitments, busy schedules, school and kids’ activities, sports, and the like.
Three years ago, I also felt it important to make a commitment to our Township. The financial crisis was taking its toll, and I wanted to help our community. I am grateful for your support in electing me to the Township Council. In 2014 I became Council President, assuming this leadership role because of my belief that together as a community we needed to work on our town’s future.
I have been proud to serve on the Berkeley Heights Town Council for the past 3 years. I take my responsibilities as a representative of our residents very seriously and am committed to ensuring effective and efficient government.
Three years ago I promised the residents that I would work with the Mayor and Council to address our aging infrastructure; institute zero based budgeting; build partnerships with local businesses and landlords and establish a committee to focus on improvements to our downtown and streetscape. During this time, working with the Council, Administration and department heads, I led the charge to implement a zero-based budget process. Collectively, we have examined staffing models, looked for ways to take advantage of technology enhancements, and sought alternative sources of funding including county and state grants, to keep our taxes in check so that all residents can afford to live here. I was directly responsible for establishing the Downtown Beautification Committee. I am committed to working with the downtown landlords, business owners, and residents to improve the appearance of our town and to create a pedestrian friendly environment.
Under my leadership, the Committee has purchased new flags and banners as well as holiday decorations that have brightened our streetscapes. The clock at Peppertown Park is a testament to the partnership between local businesses and residents. All of these enhancements were privately funded and did not increase the burden of our taxpayers. We have made great strides in developing public/private partnerships and we will continue to research and pursue alternative funding for downtown improvement.
I personally met with the major downtown property owners and shared our vision for Berkeley Heights. Working together with the landlords, we have been successful in updating much of our downtown district to include paver sidewalks, decorative streetlights, and benches to meet the new standards.
As a council, we implemented a 5- year capital plan and began to tackle our aging infrastructure. The significant issues that we face are numerous – from our dated buildings, to our vehicles, roads and sidewalks – all are in need of repair or upgrade and the cost is significant. As a Council, we are addressing these issues, prioritizing them and looking for alternative sources of funding. Gathering ideas and input from the public on how best to tackle these issues is critical to us as no Council can be effective without doing that. These are difficult decisions that require leadership that can make the tough prudent decisions and yet still have an eye for the future.
I have proven my dedication to the Berkeley Heights community through various volunteer efforts over the past 19 years – I show up, do the work and make things happen! My strengths in consensus building, strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting are a good compliment to the Council. Along with Bob Woodruff for Mayor, and Marc Faecher for Township Council, I am asking for your support on November 4th. Please vote Column B. The polls are open from 6 am- 8 pm. Together with you, we can build the future of Berkeley Heights. Thank you for your continued support.