Chatham Township is incredibly lucky to have a wonderful group of citizens who volunteer their time and talents to make our community an outstanding place to live. These volunteers are an army of adults with real careers, impressive degrees, and sophisticated skills. These people deserve respect and admiration for being the fabric that holds our township together. Sometimes we are the beneficiaries and sometimes we are the ones making the sacrifices. That is what makes our community strong.
If every volunteer in Chatham Township stopped tomorrow, we wouldn’t have firefighters, EMTs, recreation teams, most after school enrichment classes, government commission members, or even our elected Chatham Township Committee members. No one would raise money for our library. There would be no extra money for our schools from fundraising by the PTOs or grants from Chatham Education Foundation.
Please stop and think about what it takes to run the PTO at Southern Boulevard School, a role that entails managing 60 committees with over 100 organizers and even more volunteers. Now imagine having tremendous success running that important business without the benefit of salary and bonus to maintain and motivate your “staff” of 100+ volunteers. It requires a high level of management skill, financial oversight, and excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Also, picture what it is like to build a coalition and spend 2 years convincing Morris County to reduce Shunpike Road from 4 lanes to 2 lanes of traffic. Conceptualize the hard work and dedication of not only being an EMT, but doing it for free.
Stacey Ewald and Celeste Fondaco have done these things and much more. They are educated, dedicated, respectable members of our community. They have held serious positions in our community and deserve to be taken seriously for the work they have done. Choosing service over a paycheck is a moral and philosophical choice; one many of you make or support as well. Volunteerism is a valuable gift our volunteers give our community. Think of all the taxes that would need to be collected to cover these important roles. Is it really reasonable to vote for people that not only expect volunteers to bear the burden of keeping our taxes low but turn around and trivialize the worth of volunteer work?
We need community leaders who are ready and able to work with everyone in Chatham Township. We need Committee Members who will listen to everyone’s concerns with respect for their inherent right to speak up about their governance. We need voters to show up on November 5th and demonstrate their belief that asking Chatham to be the best it can be is not an insult or a complaint. It is a hope for our future. Please join me in voting for Stacey Ewald and Celeste Fondaco for Chatham Township Committee on November 5th.