CHATHAM BOROUGH, NJ - When voters enter through the voting booth on November 2nd in Chatham Borough, they will have three candidates to consider and can choose up to two to serve on the Chatham Borough Council. Two of the candidates, Councilman Jim Collander and Vicki Fife are running together. The third candidate, Anna Tivade, did not respond to multiple requests for an interview for this story.
Jim Collander is no stranger to town politics. Collander is currently serving the community as Borough Council President. Collander has worked on many committees in Chatham Borough including being the head of the Budget and Finance Committee. With his background in the finance industry, Collander drew on his experience to help navigate the town’s budget especially when the town needed to tighten its financial belt. Pension costs are a concern.
In addition to gaining a handle on budget expenses, Collander wants to continue to work on keeping Chatham Borough a place where “people feel close to their community.” Jim Collander believes that the Council and Chamber of Commerce need to be a strong force in Chatham Borough. “The downtown area is safe and clean and it is a great place to go to shop and dine,” Collander said.
Also, Collander wants to continue to support the idea of shared services with other communities. Chatham Borough shares recreational programs with neighboring Chatham Township and will share police communication services with Morris County in 2011. “Shared services are critical in New Jersey communities,” Collander said. Even with shared services, Collander maintains that individual towns still must keep their own identity and maintain their independence.
Regarding his running mate Vicki Fife, Collander said, “It is critically important to have great people at the local level and Vicki is one of those people. She will be a tremendous asset to the council,” Jim Collander said.
Long time Chatham Borough resident Vicki Fife has enjoyed the opportunity to serve her community in various ways. Up until her youngest graduated in 2009 she served on the PTO in many different positions. She sat on District Council and has been an active member of Education Counts. She and her husband have been members of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce.
Vicki Fife has always had a strong interest in politics. “I want to empower more women to get involved in politics,” Fife said.
Fife credits the work that the current council members are doing to keep Chatham Borough “unique with our strong sense of community and togetherness.” Building on that success, Fife believes it is now her turn and time to help Chatham Borough continue to be the place where residents and community members are proud to say they live, work and play in Chatham Borough.
With her experience as a realtor in Chatham Borough and surrounding communities and her countless hours that she has devoted to volunteering for both the school district and the town, Fife is ready to take her community service to the next level.
As to her running mate, Fife told The Alternative Press, “Jim has served the community well, he works hard and is a true gentleman and that is what you want for local government.”
For more information about the Collander-Fife team, check out their website at www.collanderfife.com