MILLTOWN, NJ - On November 5, borough residents will be electing a new mayor. Milltown Mayor Eric Steeber is not seeking re-election next month. Democratic Councilwoman Trina Jensen Mehr is running on a ticket alongside Democratic borough council candidates Anna Neubauer and Phil Zambrana Jr. Her opponent is Republican Councilman Richard Revolinsky.
Jensen Mehr is a Milltown native, leaving to earn her undergraduate degree at Smith College and her masters in Business Administration from Tulane. Currently, she works at Bristol-Meyers Squibb as a Compliance Project Specialist. After briefly living in Florida, she and her late husband Peter returned to Milltown in 1998. Her three grown children are in their twenties.
Jensen Mehr has a long history of public service beginning with co-founding the Milltown Education Association, serving with the MEF as a trustee for eight years and also serving on the Milltown Board of Education. In 2017,she ran and won a seat on the borough council. She was appointed as the chair of the Utilities Committee in January of 2019 and previously served as the chair of the Environmental Health and Social Services Committee. Jensen Mehr is the liaison to the Milltown Municipal Alliance and the Milltown Board of Education. In addition, she chairs the steering committee for the Schwendeman Nature Center and is the organizer of the Milltown Strategic Planning Committee.
Her goal if elected in November is to restore the communication, transparency and accountability that she feels has been missing at borough hall.
"I’m running for mayor to bring change in leadership to the borough of Milltown," Jensen Mehr explained. "I’m running to lead by collaboration, not division and to bring a common sense approach to the issues facing the borough."
"My experience on the BOE and on the council prepares me well for the office of mayor," she continued. "I was the chair of the Strategic Planning Committee while on the BOE and I’ve started to institute a long range planning process for the borough of Milltown. Also, my background in business and compliance allows me to identify the risks and impact of projects and decision-making."
There are a few issues on the minds of voters in the borough this November, including water and infrastructure problems along with high utility bills.
"Our aging infrastructure is a very important issue," Jensen Mehr said about the matters impacting the borough. "We recently had to bond for $500,000 to repair the aging force main sewer line. We also have issues with our water lines. The rate increase for water/sewer has been difficult for many residents. I’ve also heard from many residents about this year’s extremely large tax increase. The redevelopment of Ford Avenue continues to be an issue in Milltown."
"My goal is to provide leadership for Milltown that is transparent, accountable and fiscally responsible," Jensen Mehr continued. "I would prioritize long terms capital and strategic plans. The replacement of the water and sewer lines are long overdue. I would continue to collaborate with the county and the state to assist with our infrastructure needs."
Milltown holds a special place in her heart, growing up here and returning to live, raise her family and serve the residents.
"I love Milltown’s small town feel," Jensen Mehr explained. "I like that it’s a walkable town. It was a great place to grow up and it was a wonderful place to raise a family. Most importantly, the people of this town are my favorite thing. It’s so nice to live in a place where you know your neighbors and can count on so many people at any time. The best part of campaigning has been talking to many people throughout the town.
"I’ve been honored to serve on the borough council for the past two years," she added. "I’m excited to be running for mayor of this great town."
Jensen Mehr and her opponent Revolinsky take center stage at Milltown's Mayoral Candidate Forum at Borough Hall on Wednesday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. The pair will answer questions from local media representatives as well as audience submitted questions. The forum can be watched in person or live on the borough's Channel 15.