Dear Editor,

I have been a Chatham Borough resident since 1973. I have had the privilege of serving on the Chatham Borough Council for the past fifteen years, participating in and chairing many of its committees. I believe my background and service with the Council provide me with a lens to view current community political issues and compel me to write this letter.

I am asking Chatham Borough residents to reflect upon past governmental policies, ordinances and initiatives that have made our town the place it is today. These practices have encompassed decades of responsible stewardship by predominantly Republican mayors and Council members. I also respectfully acknowledge the service of members of the Democratic Party and independents who have served Chatham responsibly.

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Lean government, lower property taxes, a focus on local issues, and a culture of volunteerism are what distinguish Chatham from numerous surrounding towns. Our Moody’s Triple-A rating reflects the Borough’s strong financial position. Our town’s infrastructure investments have been funded through disciplined capital budgeting and grants received from the state and county. We have laid the groundwork for future growth by actively engaging State and County DOT and New Jersey Transit in a long-term effort to find solutions to our traffic congestion and parking issues, including current efforts for an additional train station at River Road and Watchung Avenue. We have explored intelligent redevelopment to revitalize our downtown and keep property taxes stable. We’ve renewed and improved our public spaces, including the Memorial Park swimming pool and fields, Shepard Kollock Park, and the Lum turf field.

I believe the team of Bob Weber, Stacey McEvoy and Paul Kelley are committed to honoring the legacy of effective, responsive government that Republicans past and present have worked very hard to build. I know they will be true to these ideals and will work together along with other Council members to ensure a great future for Chatham Borough. Therefore, on November 5, I encourage Borough residents to elect Bob Weber for Mayor, and Stacey McEvoy and Paul Kelley to the Borough Council.

James J Collander
Chatham Borough Council President