I would like to respond to Ms. Chirinos recent statement, in TheAlternativePress.com, where she stated that I "did not do my due diligence" in regard to the farmers market and stated that I said "let's try it."

First let me say that I did speak with one of the farmers in town, Mr. Mondelli who indicated to me that he would not suffer any hardship. Second, let me say that as a retailer with 34 years of experience in malls and in freestanding off malls stores, I safely say that one of the fundamental keys to any successful business is to 1. Bring as many customers to your location as possible. 2. Have what the customer wants, when they want it, and at the right price!

My Credentials as an Expert in the field of retailing have never been challenged, but just as a point of reference, I have been in the Retail Business for 34 years and I am currently the Manager of the largest JCPenney store in the state of NJ. I am also presently the First Chairman of the NJ Retail Merchants Association (NJRMA) located in Trenton NJ...This is Berkeley Heights NJ located in the United States of America. The last time I checked we encouraged a Free Enterprise System that is called Capitalism...Not Protectionism.

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It is also necessary to point out that if Ms. Chirinos did her due diligence and research she would have informed the public that Summit has a Kings and a Shoprite and New Providence has an A&P and is in the process of building a new A&P Super Center.  It also has a fresh produce stand at Barth's Meat Market on South Street.

I am always open to try new ideas to support our downtown areas. So Yes, Let's Give it a Try so we can measure if it is a good idea or not!

Joseph G. Bruno is a Councilman in the Township of Berkeley Heights.  He is currently running for re-election with running mate Councilwoman Elaine Perna.  They are facing challengers Alexandra Chirinos and Charles Hasz.