NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Each week leading to the November 5 election, the candidates running for New Providence Borough Council have the opportunity to answer question(s) that will be run in a series by TAPinto New Providence.
The following answer is from Republican Borough Council Candidate Michele Matsikoudis for Week 1.
Week 1 Questions:
- Why are you running for Office?
- What unique skills or knowledge will you bring to the elected office you are seeking?
- What do you think the major issues facing New Providence are at this time?
Why am I running for office?
Living in New Providence with my husband and 3 children for more than 20 years, and recognizing what this town has provided to my family, I am excited about this opportunity to give back to the community.
My decision to run for Council came after much thought and consideration. I feel strongly that having a diverse Borough Council, where members bring unique ideas and perspectives plus work and life experiences will create an environment that serves the entire community. Only with diversity on Council can a senior citizen, a stay-at-home mom, a commuter, a new family, residents of various religions and cultures as well as the numerous small businesses feel represented in local government.
What unique skills or knowledge do I bring to the council?
In addition to having a full time career, I have devoted time and energy not only to raising our family but volunteering in multiple community organizations.
I have dedicated much time to New Providence serving our children and families in various ways. I was a member of the CAAB, PTA President at both Salt Brook and the New Providence Middle School. In these roles, my most significant contributions included successful fundraising for the schools and initiating and implementing programs and activities between the Middle School and the Recreation Department.. During this time I was also invited to participate in PBSIS, a character education and positive behavior initiative run through the NJ State Dept. of Education. New Providence Middle School was one of the few schools selected statewide to participate in the pilot program. Currently, I am serving on the New Providence Board of Health and the Economic Development Committee. It is very rewarding volunteering on these boards and has strengthened my desire to serve the community on Borough Council. Additionally, I served as a board member of the New Providence Education Foundation where I assisted with their fundraising efforts. The Corporate Sponsorship Program, which I chaired, raised in excess of $125,000 during my tenure. The Foundation has raised almost $1,000,000 since its inception. These programs are still in existence today.
My career has spanned multiple industries including Vice President in the Municipal Bond Department at Morgan Stanley for 15 years and Director of Business Development with Worth, Ltd.; a women’s luxury clothing company that helps empower women through their own personal style. Today I am in Business Development and Realtor Associate with the Sue Adler Team of Keller Williams Realty.
My skillset and experience will enable me to think outside the box and be an effective addition to our current Council.
What do I think the major issues are facing New Providence?
As you consider supporting me for Borough Council, I would like to share a few issues I consider a priority for our town: In the wake of court-mandated high-density housing, I am concerned about the increasing demand on our infrastructure, including wastewater, traffic, parking, and our student population. Pedestrian safety is clearly a growing concern as well. Fiscal responsibility, including keeping taxes low and controlling spending is critical. Confronting these issues becomes especially challenging as we work to maintain services and programs while controlling costs. Continued, thoughtful planning and a commitment of time and energy will be required of all Borough Council members to keep our town running smoothly. I am confident that my longevity in town, combined with my professional experience and my volunteer service will enable me to address these challenges successfully.