Dear Editor-

I am writing to encourage all Chatham Borough voters to vote to re-elect Council Member Jim Collander on Tuesday, Nov. 8. I have known Jim as a neighbor and friend for 48 years and there is not a better choice to be on Chatham Borough Council for another term. Honesty and integrity and a sense of reality in problem solving are but a few of Jim’s character traits.

Jim has always been someone to volunteer in the community long before he became a Chatham Borough Council member. These many years of volunteering gave Jim a terrific understanding of Chatham and fueled the desire to continue to volunteer. Jim brings a great deal of financial and business expertise to the Council and the Chatham community benefits. Chatham is one of only 16 communities out of 565 in New Jersey that has the coveted AAA bond rating. Much of that has been due to Jim’s efforts over the last 12 years on Council.

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He is also instrumental in leading public and traffic safety improvements within Chatham. He was responsible for the flashing crosswalk lights at the Train station on Fairmount Avenue as well as those at Coleman and Main Street.

I’ve read with interest where his opponents claim that they can reduce traffic on Chatham’s Main street. What his opponents fail to understand or perhaps choose to ignore is that Chatham’s Main Street is a state road. That means that the state of New Jersey controls all aspects of traffic. Jim has told me several times that he and the council have repeatedly approached the state on many issues and the reality is that the state makes the decisions and the Borough of Chatham has little decision making power in that regard. That being said, Jim is relentless on achieving what he can regardless of the difficulty.

I’ve also read where his opponents claim they can do a better job on the annual budget. Good luck with that. Jim has lent his personal expertise to the job for the past 12 years and has done an exceptional job. Honesty and experience count in my book.

For these reasons and more, I encourage all Chatham residents to vote for Jim Collander on November 8, 2016.

Rich Rafford