To the Editor:
I am writing to add my voice to the chorus of Chatham Borough residents who are excited by what Thad Kobylarz has started and want to give him a chance to continue as Mayor.
In the two years that Thad Kobylarz has been a member of the Borough Council, he has developed and executed a framework for encouraging businesses to locate to office space in the Borough. This is an accomplishment that is easy to miss because in lieu of a storefront, it has instead increased foot traffic leading into the businesses along Main Street. The initial development of flexible work space (The Station) and relocation of Boxcar to Chatham are just the first small dividends of a long-term strategy to reduce the tax burden on residents without compromising our town’s character. Don’t be swayed by arguments belittling these efforts: there is simply no downside when legitimate businesses are added to a town that needs to expand its tax base. It’s these creative, less noticeable solutions that set apart a great leader from a mediocre one.
As a member of the Shade Tree Commission, it has been disheartening to grapple with the necessity of cutting down trees to improve the reliability of our overhead electrical wires. Thad Kobylarz heard the concerns of residents and in response formed a committee to review the possibility of installing underground wires. This initiative again shows long-term, strategic thinking as well as an ability to hear concerns of residents and act on them.
Karen Koronkiewicz and Irene Treloar, who are running for Borough Council, have invested much time on the "undergrounding" effort and similarly display the kind of expansive, forward-thinking approach that we need to keep pace with the new normal in the form of more intense and frequent storms.
Expect more from your leaders. Practical solutions are fine but we also need vision -- and intelligent, creative ideas to get us past the challenges the Borough is facing. I am confident that Thad, Karen and Irene will deliver on all fronts.