This November, New Providence will go to the polls to vote for two people to represent their interests on our borough council. As with any New Providence Borough Council election, it’s important to vote for whom you think are the two best candidates. Your vote should be based on whom you feel is the most qualified person to help New Providence navigate some serious issues that are going to present themselves in the near future.
Some of the major issues affecting New Providence are:
- Court mandated affordable housing obligations
- Increasing tax obligations
- Aging infrastructure
- Traffic and pedestrian safety
- Other state mandates such as forced consolidation of municipalities and school districts
New Providence is in the middle of dealing with a court-mandated affordable housing obligation. Besides the deleterious effect this obligation can have on our schools, traffic and population, this obligation will also affect our taxes, emergency services and our infrastructure. Rob Muñoz and Michele Matsikoudis have the experience and knowledge to tackle these issues. Rob has been a member of the borough council for 9 years and has been involved in the current affordable housing issue for the past several years. He has attended mediation sessions and court hearings throughout this process. He has spent countless hours with the borough’s attorneys and planners discussing how to best handle this issue.
Tied to the affordable housing obligation and increased traffic it can create, is the issue of pedestrian and traffic safety. As a past president of the Salt Brook PTA, Michele Matsikoudis was one of the first people to work with our police department to help make the routes to school safer by lobbying for additional sidewalks near Salt Brook Elementary. As a board member of the New Providence Educational Foundation, Michele also spearheaded fundraising efforts from corporate donors, raising in excess of $125,000.00 during her tenure. Keep in mind that this $125,000.00+ raised from corporate sponsors was $125,000.00 less that our residents had to pay in taxes to help support our schools.
New Providence is changing. We are fortunate to have people living in this town not only from all walks of life, but also from many religions, cultures, races, and nationalities. It’s important that our borough council be representative of our citizens and be diverse in its make-up so that each councilmember can bring their own unique perspective, as well as draw from their own work and life experiences. In this election, Rob Muñoz and Michele Matsikoudis are the only ticket to offer the diversity New Providence needs. Rob Muñoz was born and raised in Texas. He was educated at Boston College and Seton Hall University School of Law. He is New Providence’s first Latino councilperson. Michele Matsikoudis was born and raised in Bayonne, New Jersey and educated at Rosemont College. She is of Italian, Jewish and French background. Both have raised their families in New Providence, both are actively involved in community organizations, and both are hoping to represent you on our Borough Council.
New Providence is moving forward. Over the past 9 years, New Providence has gone from a dry town to a town with four thriving restaurants that offer alcohol. Over the past 9 years, New Providence has gone from a town with a dilapidated field at Oakwood Park, to a town with some of the nicest athletic fields in the area. Over the past 9 years, New Providence has gone from a town that had a high vacancy rate in its downtown, to a town with one vacancy in its downtown. New Providence was just named as one of the safest places to live in New Jersey. New Providence is thriving. Let’s keep New Providence moving forward. Elect and re-elect the people that have kept New Providence moving forward. Please vote for Michele Matsikoudis and Robert Muñoz on November 5.