In a prepared statement, Astri Baillie, candidate for Borough Council, calls for a restoration of open government with accountability, consensus, and bipartisan cooperation.  “Madison is a great place to live.  I grew up in Madison, attended its public schools, graduated from Drew University, and raised my family here.  I have also served my home town for twenty-four years as a member of Council, the Planning Board, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment. I am also a past President of the Madison League of Women Voters, a Trustee of the Great Swamp Watershed Association, Trustee and Secretary of the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, and a Board Member of the Madison Area YMCA. 

When I first ran for the Borough Council in 2001, I stated that respect by the Council members for the community is essential for the town’s well-being. Those words could not be more appropriate and timely today. 

I believe that Council members must be entirely open in their discussions of the issues facing our town.  They should also reach out to the many talented people in Madison who can bring fresh perspectives to those issues and show respect and civility to the residents who come to the Council with problems or proposed solutions. 

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Unfortunately, these are attributes that have been sorely lacking in members of the current Council majority.  As I said in my prior three campaigns, including my joint campaign with Republican Don Bowen in 2004, the issues facing this town are neither Democratic nor Republican; they are Madison issues.  In this town, we expect our elected officials to leave their party affiliation at the door and represent each and every resident and this is how my running mate, Ben Wolkowitz, and I will approach the job.

Our elected officials must work together to deliver dependable services, be fiscally responsible, establish a strategic plan to meet our future challenges, and  re-establish a capital plan that deals with our aging infrastructure of roads, water and sewer lines.  We must increase shared services and use our assets to our best advantage to increase revenues.

I am deeply committed to Madison and its residents. For nine years, I represented the people of Madison on Council. I believe that with our experience, expertise, dedication and integrity, Ben Wolkowitz and I are the unquestionable right choice to serve you for the next three years