Strong, effective leaders collaborate, seek out feedback and challenge assumptions in order to make tough decisions. Most importantly, effective leaders take responsibility—they don’t point fingers. 

Some of that is clearly missing in Berkeley Heights. When Council Members Medeiros, Poage and Yellin took over control of the Municipal Complex 18 months ago, this important town project was on schedule. The project is now 7-8 months behind and is facing at least $2 million in additional costs to finish as planned. So it was with dismay that I read these Council members’ letter to the editor on May 21st essentially saying:  it wasn’t us!  Seriously? That is not what I expect from my elected officials.

I recognize that it is not uncommon for large projects to encounter delays due to unplanned issues uncovered along the way. But I expect my elected representatives to lead when faced with a challenge--which in this case means communicating the problems to the public, weighing the options, and then deciding on how best to move forward. What I don’t expect is a letter to the editor abdicating responsibility.

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Mr. Medeiros has been President and Ms. Poage Vice President of the Town Council for almost a year and a half so if there were significant problems surfacing with the Municipal Complex project, they should have sounded the alarm.

Regardless of who did what when, what is absolutely essential right now is getting this project done as quickly and as cost effectively as possible. That goal MUST be a shared responsibility by all Council Members going forward--or we as citizens of Berkeley Heights will surely suffer the consequences.

So the bottom line for me is simply this: please stop with the blame game and get the job done—because that is what you were all elected to do.