In 2018, I served as a member of Town Council alongside Councilwomen Jeanne Kingsley and Susan Poage and other members.
Councilwoman Kingsley’s diligence and accomplishments far exceed any other Councilmember. She has proven to be able to work alongside anyone, regardless of their political affiliation. In the short time I was a Councilwoman I was able to witness Jeanne’s tenacity when she wrote and applied for the Safe Routes to School and Safe Streets to Transit grant in 2018. The Safe Routes to School initiative was started by Jeanne in 2016. She met with community members to understand their needs and priorities. Jeanne also met with the Board of Education, school principals and the PTO to create new programs and groups to support the Safe Routes to School initiative. She did the research to identify requirements and complete all the applications needed to make Berkeley Heights eligible to apply for such a prestigious grant.
Jeanne’s hard work paid off in February 2019 when Berkeley Heights was awarded grant monies of $410,000 – the largest (non-roads) grant ever awarded in Berkeley Heights history. Councilwoman Kingsley is too humble to tell anyone how hard she worked on this grant, but I was there—I saw her tenacity, her diligence and her attention to detail.
Although Jeanne’s grant application was submitted long before the Grants Committee was formed, it was a major contributor of Berkeley Heights receiving the Innovation Award in 2019.
This is just one example of the positive impact that Jeanne has had on our Town of Berkeley Heights. Let’s continue to benefit from Jeanne’s incredible drive, smarts, and heart by reelecting her to Town Council. Competence is on the ballot this year. I am voting for Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley and Jeff Varnerin for Berkeley Heights Town Council - Column B.