To the Editor:
During my first term in office (2010-2013) and now in the first year of my second term (2016-2019), I have had the opportunity to work side by side with two of the most selfless, dedicated professionals in this Borough. I refer to Jim Collander and Vicki Fife, who are both running for re-election to Council and they both deserve your vote. Here’s why I’m voting for them.
Jim Collander has proven time and time again to be the voice of reason. I have yet to see a knowledge of municipal finance that matches his expertise in achieving great things for the Borough at the lowest possible cost. Under his watch, our Borough climbed to an S&P rating of AAA, only one of 16 towns in the state to have such a coveted rating. That allows us to borrow funds more easily and at less cost.
Jim is a proven consensus builder. He has taken on the tasks of working on Public Safety and ensuring we have the first-rate police department we have. In fact, it is a nationally accredited department. He further devotes himself to safety by working on the Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee. He fought to have the flashing lights installed at Coleman & Main and at the North Railroad Plaza and Fairmount Avenue. He fought along with “Safe Routes to School” to improve sight lines on Dellwood Avenue. He worked with the Kings Road community to install traffic calming. He saw to it that there were crackdowns on speeding, cell phone use and texting while driving.
On top of this, Jim is liaison to the Shade Tree Commission and worked to save the Scarlet Oak Tree on lower Lum Field and set aside budget dollars for the treatment of Borough trees against the Emerald Ash Borer. Jim does all this because he wants to. He always serves in very non-partisan way. That is my kind of person. My kind of representative. You should re-elect him enthusiastically.
Vicki Fife is a results-driven individual. With her background in realty, she saw the potential in the River Road industrial zone as “Chatham’s Gateway.” She worked hard to have that area re-zoned so that it became mixed-use. This means retail, residential and commercial could co-exist and with our advocating to NJ Transit for a rail stop there, the River Road area will truly become “Chatham’s Gateway.” This is due to Vicki’s vision for the future.
Vicki has started some new Chatham traditions. Spring Clean has become a much looked forward to event in town. Many residents volunteer to beautify the Borough each spring after the dead of winter. Planters are filled with flowers, mulch is placed around trees, and the downtown is spruced up. Part of that involved the total revamping of Rotary Park, right next to Café Beethoven at the corner of Main Street and Fairmount Avenue. Remember what the park was five years ago and look at it today. Vicki imagines. Vicki cleans up. It is not beneath her. My kind of public servant.
Christmastime in Chatham has special meaning with its white lights to which many Chatham residents donate generously. It has allowed the Borough to make Chatham look so special each and every year. We look forward to the lights being strung around the trees and the main Christmas tree being placed in the Gazebo. And, not to forget others of different faiths, we have a Menorah lighting and a Crèche in Reasoner Park. Vicki Fife imagines. Vicki looks for thempossible. Vicki gets it done.
Vicki also led the effort to update the Borough Master Plan. She did so in a way that elicited the views of every Borough resident, every Borough merchant and every Borough store owner. By reaching out and listening to what all had to say, a Master Plan that respects the wishes of the community is developed.
Listening, hard work, caring, non-partisan. That’s Vicki Fife. She listens. She works hard. She cares. She is non-partisan. This, too, is my kind of representative. I’m glad she represents me. You should re-elect her enthusiastically, as well.
Chatham, NJ 07928