BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Each week leading to the November 6 election, the candidates running for Berkeley Heights Township Mayor and Township Council have the opportunity to answer question(s) that will be run in a series by TAPinto Berkeley Heights.
The following answer is from Republican Mayoral Candidate Bob Woodruff for Week 1.
Week 1 Questions:
- Why are you Running for Office?
- What unique skills or knowledge will you bring to the elected office you are seeking?
- What do you think the major issues facing Berkeley Heights are at this time?
For the past nine years, I have had the privilege of serving the citizens of Berkeley Heights as both Mayor and Councilman. Our town has been recognized as one of the State’s best places to live and we are now undergoing a major transformation which addresses both our pressing infrastructure needs and affordable housing requirements while simultaneously preserving our local traditions and “small town” feel. We have accomplished a great deal in these past few years but there is still more work to be done. I love this town and I am running for re-election because I am confident that, working as a team, we will see this transformation through together to its successful conclusion.
As an attorney, I have a broad array of professional skills which have facilitated my ability to effectively oversee our town’s operations and employees, including managing labor union negotiations, contract disputes, affordable housing litigation and major development projects. Together with our great staff and qualified town professionals, we have brought the following important projects through the redevelopment process: (1) two attractive apartment complexes with retail space and self-contained parking where the old Kings market and movie theatre previously resided; (2) a 55 and older rental unit project on Locust Avenue; (3) a Toll Brother’s town home development on Hamilton Avenue; and lastly, (4) the jewel of our redevelopment – our new Municipal Complex which includes a new recreation center, senior center, library, administrative offices and police headquarters. All of this brings our town into compliance with our state affordable housing obligations —and into the 21stcentury.
As Mayor, I have also strongly encouraged collaboration with private entities and our partnership with the YMCA is a perfect example. Through extensive discussions between the town, the Board of our struggling Community Pool and YMCA management, we were able to enter into an agreement where everyone emerged a winner. The YMCA will now build a new facility on the community pool grounds, pay rent to our town and operate the community pool for the benefit of all of our residents. We should all be proud of this accomplishment and I applaud the hard work of all those involved in the process.
All of these projects, as exciting as they are, will require an experienced and knowledgeable leader with an experienced and knowledgeable team to make sure this activity is well managed—both operationally and fiscally—and well controlled. Keeping an eagle eye on the various developers to ensure they adhere to the underlying agreements, town standards and construction timelines is paramount to our success. Quite simply, now is not the time to change out a successful and results-oriented management team for the sake of change.