This year marks my family’s 20th year living in Berkeley Heights. In 1997, my husband and I were faced with a situation where the city we resided in at the time was on the decline. Property taxes were out of control, the school system was deteriorating, crime was on the rise, and home values were on a serious and devastating decline. This dire situation was the result of electing township officials and council members with little to no experience, who made promises during the campaign trail of “change” and “better things to come.”  Well those promises were not kept and the only change that came was a hometown that rapidly declined, along with quickly sinking property values.

After much extensive research for our relocation, we purchased a home in Berkeley Heights, NJ.  I must admit that for most of our time in Berkeley Heights we did not take an active role in the political landscape.  However, due to our personal experience with seeing the hometown we loved deteriorate, over the last several years we have taken a more proactive step to get to know the candidates who run for office. We did not opt to listen to “noise” or “hearsay.”  We did not focus on political party. We opted to understand each candidate’s true platforms, experience and contributions. 

The two questions we ask ourselves during each election season is: 1) Is this candidate the best choice for the future of our town; and 2) Does this candidate have the necessary qualifications and experience to lead our town into a prosperous future? 

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Those questions have been clearly answered.  In fact, at the most recent debate held at GLHS, I had the opportunity to listen intently to the five candidates running for Township Council, I was left both astonished and impressed.  Astonished at three candidates who clearly have little to no knowledge or experience regarding the critical issues faced by our township. The League of Women Voters moderator explained that two questions had been given to all candidates in advance. Each had the opportunity to do their homework. Despite that fact, it became clear that three candidates were astonishingly lacking in preparation, skills and qualifications.  Answering questions by stating, “I do not think you need to know about the town council to sit on the town council” or “I will rely on the experts,” is quite troubling for our town and its future.  

On the other side of the spectrum there is Jeanne Kingsley and John Sincaglia.  To say I left the debate impressed by their expertise, experience and commitment to our township is an understatement.  I was truly blown away by their in-depth knowledge of serious issues that are critical to the future of Berkeley Heights.  Their ability to understand and navigate matters such as budget management, articulate their position on alternative ways to fund improvement projects without putting the burden on the taxpayer, and lead us to a more prosperous future was remarkable. There is no question their collective experience is unmatched.  There are times when making a choice in an election is tough due to strong and capable options; however, this November 7th there is no question that the ONLY choice for the future of Berkeley Heights is Kingsley and Sincaglia

Having lived through the promise of “change” that only led to a town turning from an upswing to a decline, I am deeply invested in sustaining all that makes Berkeley Heights a great place to live.  This August, Berkeley Heights was ranked #6 on the list of Best Places to Live in New Jersey and made the list of 100 safest cities in America for the first time in 2017. Preserving the quality of life, the safety of our community and the incredible momentum that is taking place to create a more vibrant downtown are critical to our future, and ensure our property values continue to rise.  

The vitality of our town and the accolades it receives are the direct result of the hard work, experience and in-depth knowledge of those like Jeanne Kingsley and John Sincaglia.  They are clearly capable of continuing to move Berkeley Heights into the future and delivering excellence in leadership that every resident deserves. 

After much due diligence on the right choice for Berkeley Heights and the most experienced and qualified leadership for our community, there is zero doubt in my mind that Kingsley and Sincaglia are the right and sensible choice for Town Council.

Guiding our municipality into the future is complex business and requires being an expert, not simply relying on them. Jeanne Kingsley and John Sincaglia have the experience and in-depth expertise needed to maintain all that makes Berkeley Heights a great place to live. It is for these reasons my family and I will proudly and confidently cast our vote for Jeanne Kingsley and John Sincaglia on Tuesday, November 7th.

I also encourage our residents to watch the debate and let the results speak for themselves:

Kelly Manieri
Berkeley Heights, NJ