Like many of you, I'm following the local election for New Providence Borough council, and like many of you, I'm interested in what the candidates have done to prepare themselves to be our leaders. How have they prepared themselves to lead one of most desirable towns in NJ to live and raise a family?

I've heard a lot about Jamie Baer Peterson and Keith Doll being nice people, and I'm sure that's true.  However, I've heard very little about Ms. Peterson’s and Mr. Doll's experience and past service to our community.  What Borough boards or committees have they served on and what did they accomplish there?

Nadine Geoffroy has lived in New Providence for over 20 years. She is a Certified Public Account, a member of the Municipal Alliance and has served on the executive board of the PTA/PTO. She has served as a Girl Scout & Cub Scout Leader and as a soccer & hockey club team manager. She holds a certificate in land use and planning from NJ Department of Community Affairs and has served as a member of the planning board.

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Dr. Bob Robinson is a lifelong resident of New Providence. He provides oral cancer screenings at the New Providence Senior Health Fair, has served on the Board of the American Red Cross and as a lieutenant in United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He serves on our sustainability committee, helping make our community greener. He is a long-time member of the board of health, implementing a cost savings shared services agreement with Westfield.

Rather than run on a record of service to the community or offer concrete proposals, I’ve heard Peterson & Doll’s talking points about the need for a voice for everyone and the need for empowerment, inclusiveness, values and diversity in our community.  On that, of course, we can all agree.  But are those qualities really missing in our community?  The guiding principles of our diversity committee are inclusion, equity, non-favoritism, sensitivity, respect, flexibility, reasonableness, and the embracing of diversity.   

I've also heard a lot about the demise of our “mom and pop” businesses and the decline of our downtown, which is simply not true. There are over 40 "mom-and-pop" businesses in our diverse, active and occupied, walkable downtown. If you have lived in town for a reasonable length of time, you have witnessed a significant and ongoing downtown transformation. Phase two of our downtown streetscape project is expected to begin next year; we have adopted a comprehensive downtown master plan and are revising our downtown zoning rules to encourage redevelopment.

While Peterson & Doll offer unfounded critiques of New Providence, they do not offer a vision. What are their goals and objectives and how would they achieve them? 

New Providence needs Leaders who are actively involved in our community; Leaders with a record of service to our community; Leaders who have gained needed experience to serve on the borough council by investing their time, energy, and resources serving our community. 

Vote for Experienced leadership on November 7th.  Vote for Councilman Dr. Bob Robinson and Nadine Geoffroy.