To the Editor:

When Thad Kobylarz was elected to the Chatham Borough Council, he immediately set out to tackle a major issue - to close our growing revenue gap while keeping our taxes low. He already had an idea: improve the business climate in Chatham by helping us to pivot to the new economy. A few months later, the hard work began to pay off. He established a collaboration with the Morris County Economic Development Corporation, which was seeking to start a program with a similar purpose, called Startup/Moveup Morris. Thus, Startup/Moveup Chatham was born.

We had the pleasure of attending the opening of one of the first real-world manifestations of that effort: The Station coworking space at 14 Fairmount Avenue. It is a wonderful, modern space that attracts the kind of growth businesses we need in Chatham. In fact, upon opening, transit startup company Boxcar moved their headquarters to The Station!

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We have all witnessed a recent spate of business openings downtown on Main Street. Our family makes a point of supporting these businesses, as do many of our neighbors. If we want these businesses to truly flourish, they need as broad a customer base as possible. That is why Startup/Moveup Chatham is so vital. More businesses mean more workers, which means more potential customers downtown each day. We have approximately 50,000 square feet of vacant office space in Chatham. If we can create more successes like The Station, we can have a vibrant local economy, without having to trade off the things we love about our town. 

As Mayor, we expect Thad to continue to move Chatham into the new economy by making the best use of our assets, while protecting the character of our beloved borough. That is why we are voting for Thad Kobylarz for Chatham Borough Mayor on November 5. 

Joanne and Jonathan Wilcox