Thank you, Berkeley Heights, for the privilege of serving as your Councilperson and allowing me to work on your behalf to help improve our community.
Berkeley Heights means so much to me and my family. We have lived here for over 25 years, and I am always looking for ways to give back. With a background in accounting (CPA) and strategic planning, I knew I had something to offer on Berkeley Heights Town Council. I have been determined to have an impact on our town, specifically pursuing sound fiscal management. My focus has always been on providing the highest value to our residents for their tax dollars.
As I am running for re-election, I humbly ask for your vote. I would like to share some of my proudest accomplishments as a public servant in Berkeley Heights:
I have actively worked with Township employees and volunteers to secure grant money for Berkeley Heights because to provide the services our community needs, we cannot rely on tax revenue alone.
· My application for Safe Routes to Transit Grant resulted in Berkeley Heights receiving its largest, non-roads, grant in history - $410,000. This grant was the primary component for Berkeley Heights receiving the 2019 Municipal Innovation Award.
· I lead the charge to recover over $110,000 in unused grant money from Union County.
Over the years I helped deliver efficient services while keeping your taxes down by implementing Shared Services.
· Board of Education for field improvements and vehicle maintenance (and until 2019, garbage pick-up)
· IT services with Madison
· Court services with New Providence
· Animal Control with Millburn
· Public Health Services with Rahway (until 2020)
· Equipment sharing Long Hill
· Equipment sharing, Salt Dome, DPW Director and recently Dispatch Services with Union County
One of my proudest accomplishments is the founding of the Downtown Beautification Committee which continues to innovate new ways to enhance our downtown.
· The successful Restaurant Week and Health & Beauty Week
· Bright Lights during the holidays.
· Flower baskets lining Springfield Avenue
· Seasonal banners displayed along Springfield, Plainfield and Snyder Avenues during the holidays
· Peppertown Park clock has become a landmark.
Public input and listening to our residents is essential. My involvement with the Communications Committee over the years helped bring impactful improvements to the Townships communication.
· Assisted in the design and requirements gathering for the new Town website
· Established the Township of Berkeley Heights Facebook page
· Created an “E-News” email newsletter that residents that provides residents with information on Township events
· Initiated a “Swift 911” portal that notifies residents of emergencies and other critical information
· Implemented live streaming of Town Council meetings
The Municipal Complex is a long-term project, which started back in 2014. The new complex consolidated the Administration Offices, Police Station, Library, Recreation Department and Senior Center. Once completed, it will be supporting residents long into the future. The process has been long, as we spent the time required to get input from residents and made adjustments along the way. From the 20 public meetings held at the high school auditorium and Town Hall, to the hours of discussion and updates provided at ongoing Council meetings, the input of our citizens has been a priority. As a result of the public’s participation, the location of the new complex was moved to the current Town Hall location and several modifications were made to the building and the site. The Municipal Complex is important for all residents and local businesses because it will enable us to safely provide the services residents deserve. I continue to fight on behalf of the taxpayers to rein this project in and get it completed.
I am proud to be running with Jeff Varnerin. Although new to local government, he is not new to community involvement. Jeff is a project manager with a scientific background, and willing to offer his skills to our town. He has a track record of volunteerism from his days as an EMT to coaching local sports teams. Jeff will be a tremendous asset to the Town Council.
I am humbly asking for your support for myself and Jeff Varnerin. Jeff and I are the right people with the right skills to lead Berkeley Heights forward. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.