MADISON, NJ - Candidates for Madison Borough Council Maureen Byrne and Jeff Gertler invite the public to their campaign kickoff picnic on Sunday, Sept. 15 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at 142 Ridgedale Ave. 

The candidates stated, “We look forward to celebrating our official campaign kickoff with Madison residents and hope that many of you can join us. Assemblywoman Mila Jasey and Assemblyman John McKeon will be attending, as will Mayor Bob Conley, Council President Carmela Vitale, Councilman Ben Wolkowitz and Councilwoman Astri Baillie.  Mila and John have been good friends to Madison these past two years, and we are pleased that they are running again in 2013 and will be joining us on the 15th.”

“A suggested donation of $25 per person or $35 per couple is requested of attendees,” said Madison Democratic Committee Chairman Tom Honohan. “Donations can be made at the door or can be sent to Mike Hilgendorff, Treasurer, 16 Carteret Ct., Madison N.J. 07940. Checks should be made out to ‘The Committee to Elect Byrne and Gertler’."

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Maureen Byrne currently serves as chair of the Friends of the Madison Public Library and was an active participant in the library’s strategic planning effort.  A four-year member of the Madison Downtown Development Commission (DDC), she supervised the establishment of the Madison Farmers' Market on Waverly Place and now on Green Village Road. Byrne also co-chaired the popular DDC Taste of Madison event for the past two years. She has been an active member of the Thursday Morning Club for eight years and served on the committee that successfully raised $2.3 million for the renovation of the Madison Community House. 

Byrne stated, “My husband Tom and I have lived in Madison for almost twenty years – longer than we have lived in any other place.  We’ve raised a family, volunteered on exceptional committees, and met people who have challenged us and made our lives richer for the experience.”

Prior to moving to Madison, Byrne was an assistant vice-president of finance for Paine Webber, where she structured real estate and leasing deals for corporate and individual customers. She also served two years as development director and director of education for the Blue Ridge region of the American Cancer Society.

Jeff Gertler, a 15-year resident of Madison, said, “Blessed with great neighbors, friends, school system and overall quality of life, my wife, JoJo Starbuck, and I have not, for one day, ever taken for granted how fortunate we were to have found a home in Madison and had the opportunity to raise our family here.  I also recognize that our good fortune would not have been possible if not for so many Madison residents who have and continue to donate their time and energy and create this wonderful environment.  It’s the volunteerism aspect that has intrigued me and beckoned me to always do more."

Gertler was first appointed to the Madison Planning board by Mayor Jack Dunne and has served on the board for the past eleven years.  Recently, he was a member of the special subcommittee of the board that was asked to study the existing zoning and allowable uses for the Green Village Road School property and to develop strategies that would maximize the full potential of the property.

Gertler has also served on the Madison Environmental Commission for six years and was a member of the original group that started the Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Advisory Committee.  “Having acquired and preserved valuable property in Madison, including the property for the Madison Recreational Complex, this committee has proven its great value to the community,” he commented. 

Jeff Gertler graduated from Rutgers with degrees in Civil Engineering and Economics and has a degree in Architecture from CCNY.  He began his own architectural firm in New York City in 1985.  The firm performs work nationwide, for institutional, health-care, commercial, industrial, residential and retail clients. 

Honohan concluded that “all Madison friends and residents are invited to come and meet Maureen Byrne, Jeff Gertler, Bob Conley, Carmela Vitale, Astri Baillie, Ben Wolkowitz, Mila Jasey and John McKeon, at our kickoff picnic on Sunday, Sept. 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. at 142 Ridgedale Ave. Please do come and join us”