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Master Plans need to be followed

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I was indeed puzzled and amazed at the fabrication that was published recently by the Doll-Peterson campaign about our parks and fields.  Having been a member of the New Providence Athletic Foundation (NPAF), PAL Football Commissioner and Chairman of the Community Activities and Advisory Board (CAAB) over the past decade, it’s absurd and misleading for anyone to make false claims about parks and field projects in order to make campaign points with folks who’ve recently moved to New Providence. I supported the Oakwood Park Referendum, and make no mistake, the Mayor & Council in 2010 supported it as well.  However the people of New Providence did not support the Referendum to sell Oakwood Park to Union County and it was soundly defeated.  

Our family has lived in town for 22 years.  Up until recently, all of our recreation facilities have been untouched since we moved here.  I helped raise money to build the Lieder Field complex at New Providence High School, and I’ll bet that few are aware that our Championship Marching Band has used that facility as much as any athletic team or program which is a testament to the inclusivity and diversity that community projects bring to a small town such as ours.  I’ve worked with Borough Council to support the project at Hillview Field, and was part of the volunteer groups that the Council worked with on all the concept plans and designs of the other projects.  As CAAB Chairman, I helped formulate grant requests to obtain funding from Union County Kids Recreation Trust Fund as well as collect input from residents and neighbors on what they wanted to see done with our parks and fields.  As a PAL Board member I helped pass the Open Space Referendum to expand the use of funds to renovate our existing fields and parks because the frank reality is we have no open space that we could acquire.  

The current administration and Council have maintained a commitment to implement the Recreation Master Plan for the Borough.   I give their committee so much credit for soliciting resident input and the results are truly reflecting the inclusion of the community.   In terms of the walking trails our Scouting program has done a tremendous amount of work around our community building trails, walking bridges and helped improve our picnic areas and passive recreation spaces.   It’s quite offensive to criticize the Eagle Scout projects that have become such an integral fabric within our community which boasts perhaps the largest per capita Eagle Scouts in all of New Jersey.  

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Adults and politicians shouldn’t be making false statements to get votes moreover which offend volunteers and Scouts who’ve contributed so much to the community.  It’s clear two candidates have been involved and know what remains to be done and the others only who make baseless and false representations.   I’m proud to support Bob Robinson and Nadine Geoffroy for Borough Council on November 7th.  

 Bill Harvey

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