Over the last nearly 18 months of my administration, we have faced some difficult topics, challenges and unimaginable events. 

Yet, in the middle of a pandemic, a senseless, horrific act of violence was committed, and another African American life was lost. This pierces the soul of America, pierces the soul of our Township, and it certainly pierces my soul.  It is hard to convey heart ache with simple words on a page. So, to say my heart is broken at the unimaginable and unacceptable circumstances in which George Floyd was murdered is an understatement. 

On Friday, I reached out to the Berkeley Heights Diversity Council to ask how we could collectively honor the life of George Floyd and call attention to the work that needs to be done here at home. Because working collectively is the only means of effectuating real change. 

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As elected officials, we try to represent every part of our community, and in particular, those who feel marginalized by society. 

Undoubtedly, the Berkeley Heights Police Department has done an outstanding job of developing a comprehensive community policing program since 2012. I believe, as Chief DiPasquale believes, we can build on those successes and make our community richer, stronger and even more ready to grow as Berkeley Heights becomes more diverse.  Every member of our department is eager to roll up their sleeves and continue their hard work with the residents. 

Additionally, I am proud of what my administration has done to promote and celebrate diversity. But we must do more.

So, today I am announcing, in conjunction with BHPD Chief DiPasquale, a special community Diversity Advisory Council to the Mayor. The advisory board will meet with me on a regular basis and will be comprised of one member of the independent Diversity Council, the police chief and public members that will be representative of our growing diverse community.  Our success will be steeped not in one vigil or remedy but rather in the long-term commitment to making everyone feel like Berkeley Heights is their home. 

Hate has no home. Not in Berkeley Heights. Please stay healthy and safe. As always, I am proud of you Berkeley Heights.