To the Editor:
As a life-long conservative and 22-year member of the Republican Party (until 2016 when I changed my affiliation to Independent), I share the beliefs of responsible growth and fiscal conservatism with much of my community. 
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For the last four years, I have been honored to represent the residents of Bridgewater on the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional Board of Education. During this time, I have served on the Board along side Mr. Jeffrey Brookner. During the hundreds of hours of meetings that Mr. Brookner and I jointly attended, I came to know him, and the thoughtful way in which he considered voting decisions while respecting the opinions of others. Mr. Brookner has often demonstrated a desire and aptitude to tackle financial, legal, and policy issues while considering both the big picture and the short term impacts. He asks thoughtful, compelling questions and articulates a vision for the work, while never losing focus on the most important goal - doing what is best for the future of Bridgewater and its residents.  

Mr. Brookner is a long-time resident of Bridgewater, a man committed to his family, respected in the community, and someone who has volunteered thousands of hours of his time over the last 10 years serving on the school board. He has often been seen talking to parents, other residents, and staff at school plays, football games, concerts, and other events – even when his kids were not involved in these activities. He participated in the Teach for a Day program so he could step into an educator’s shoes and shared with me how much he learned about the challenges our teachers face, and often talked about his favorite event of the year, the Thanksgiving lunch hosted by students at BRHS. I’m sure he will bring the same passion and commitment to the Township in his role as mayor.
Though he and I are seemingly separated by the labels of political affiliation, there are more important considerations. I trust him. I respect him. As a result, I believe our township best served with Jeffrey Brookner as its next mayor and he will have my vote on Nov. 5.

Melanie Thiesse
*This endorsement is as a private citizen and not as a member of the BOE.