The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all look at the world differently. We approach our health, our finances and our children’s education from an entirely new perspective.
Looking at who to support for local leadership on the Town Council should be no different. We need to see this election through the lens of a post COVID world, and ask ourselves which candidates will best help us take on these new challenges?
In our opinion, the choice is clear. We are experienced and time-tested professionals, ready for these difficult and evolving times. We pair together financial expertise as a CPA and a trusted foundation of fiscal reason on the Council with a scientist adept at managing large and complex projects.
We want to be clear about the work that both of us have been doing in the community and our positions regarding how best to proceed.
- It was Jeanne Kingsley who drove the process to reevaluate and cut our town budget once COVID-19 became a reality and financial challenge for all of us and for our town. Jeanne’s financial and accounting experience were critical to bring our town budget down to a 0% increase this year. Jeff didn’t sit by quietly; instead he was actively involved in the public Zoom budget meetings – offering his expertise.
- As a Councilwoman, Jeanne’s grant application for Safe Streets to Transit Grant received the largest non-roads award in Berkeley Heights history - $410,000. The Safe Streets to Transit grant was a major contributor to the township’s 2019 Municipal Innovation Award received. Additionally, Jeanne is an innovative manager who over the years implemented many shared services agreements to keep Berkeley Heights costs down.
- Jeanne has always been a leader supporting our small businesses. One of her proudest accomplishments is founding the Downtown Beautification Committee which continues to innovate new ways to enhance our downtown. Her passion and expertise will be a driving force in assisting in the recovery of our local economy.
- Jeff is also a regular and active participant in Town Council meetings – offering his project management expertise to assist the troubled Municipal Complex project that experienced significant cost overruns and delays in 2019.
- Jeff is a highly distinguished scientist and project manager working at one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. His team was directly responsible for turning around its’ pharmaceutical division. You can read about their success in Fortune Magazine – 7/22/2016 “Can Big Still Be Beautiful” by Erika Fry.
- Being solutions focused and having a keen eye for details is critical to Jeff’s success. He routinely manages multi-billion-dollar projects that leverage thousands of resources. Jeff is referred to as the “fix it guy” who can find solutions to problems regardless of the situation.
- Jeff’s approach is “we must focus on simple, fit for purpose solutions that make sense to help make our limited tax dollars go a long way. My father always said volunteers make a town a home. It takes volunteers who will treat the town like their own property and invest the same effort and insist on the same pride to ensure things are done right. I want only the best for Berkeley Heights and to ensure that we make it a place that everyone can call home for generations to come. We can achieve this by being open to diverse perspectives and common-sense solutions which emerge from simple dialogue.”
The future of Berkeley Heights depends on your vote in this 2020 election cycle. A vote for us, Jeanne Kingsley and Jeff Varnerin, will be the right direction for our town. Don’t wait to return your ballot. Mail it in today or bring it to the secure ballot box at Snyder Park.
Jeanne Kingsley and Jeff Varnerin