I am a full-time faculty member of the English Department in the Division of Humanities at Essex County College. As a Freeholder, I serve on the following committees: Chair, Policy and Administrative Code Committee; member, Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund; member, Parks, Public Works, and Facilities Committee; Liaison, Commission on the Status of Women; Liaison, LGBTQ Ad Hoc Committee. In addition to my legislative work and my occupation as a college professor, I currently serve as Eastern Division President of the Community College Humanities Association (CCHA), a national organization dedicated to preserving and strengthening the humanities in two-year colleges.
Why I am Running:
I am running for re-election for a full term as a member of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders because I am committed to public service and I see how important it is have a strong body to represent and serve all 21 municipalities within our county. I am proud to be a part of a Freeholder Board that closely examines the county budget to ensure that we are maintaining the high quality of services Union County residents have come to expect while we stabilize and, in some areas, lower taxes. The result is a good, responsible county budget that has stayed below the 2% cap.
As Chair of the Policy and Administrative Code Committee for the Freeholder board, I work to review, modify, and update ordinances, policies, and codes to be adopted by the full board. As a member of the Open Space Trust Fund, I work with my colleagues to augment the Union County Parks system by adding more acres for public recreation and conservation. I am in the forefront of LGBTQ advocacy, working with the Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs on outreach and advocacy events to address housing, senior services, education, health, public safety, community engagement, and other areas of concern. In addition, I continue to advocate for shared services as part of the “Best Practices” continuum to help save tax dollars while maintaining quality services.
I believe that you should vote for the team that will continue to provide support and resources, as well as the highest quality services available, to all Union County residents. I attend as many events in our municipalities as I am able to and, as a result, have gotten to know many outstanding residents, who share a variety of concerns and ideas with me. I have been on the board about a year and a half, and I am open and accessible to all constituents across the county, and you can (and do!) always reach me. I follow up on your concerns, and I reach back to you to ensure that you are satisfied with the result. I have always been a “grassroots” public servant, and being on the Freeholder board doesn’t change that—I remain mindful of the needs of all our residents as we advance our progressive agenda on your behalf.
We have focused on improving our infrastructure (especially our roads, parks, and drainage), enhancing our parks and activities for the increased enjoyment of our residents during their leisure time, building on Workforce Development opportunities to bring more jobs to the county, and finding additional ways to increase efficiencies. Working with the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition and other elected officials, we advocated successfully for the return of the off-peak one seat ride for our RVL commuters, even as we continue to push for peak service.
It is my distinct pleasure to be on the ballot with individuals such as Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski, Freeholder Sergio Granados, and Surrogate James LaCorte—all ethical, effective, dependable, and dedicated public servants with exemplary public service records. I am proud to be a part of this Democratic team and I hope that on Tuesday, November 5th, voters will re-elect all the Democrats in COLUMN A to keep moving Union County forward.