One of the many things which makes a particular municipality strong and vibrant is its support of the local business community – what are oftentimes referred to as a town’s “corporate citizens.” Whether retail, service-oriented or otherwise, successful commercial enterprises within a town’s borders provide its residents with an actual opportunity to “shop local” and continue to invest in the ratables which keep the property tax burden on those residents lower. Just as importantly, successful local businesses provide job opportunities. Candidates for elected office, whether running for re-election or for the first time, seem to always want to tout their understanding of this concept and their commitment to it. But I’ve found over the years that when you examine those candidates’ records, including following through on promises made to support the local business community, the results are slim to none. I’m pleased to say, however, that I can personally attest to former Randolph Township Mayor Roman Hirniak’s record of following through on those types of promises and would like to let your readers know how he truly understands the need to invest in our corporate citizens.
I opened Core Salon in February of 2011 and immediately set about advertising to Randolph Township’s residents the various trendy, upscale hair studio services which are offered by the professional stylists who work there. After a somewhat short period of time, I realized that our location was not ideal in providing the maximum exposure to the public which I had hoped for. Likewise, parking for our clients seemed to regularly be an issue and the site itself was presenting daily challenges. In a nutshell, in order for my business to continue thriving and being able to employ over two dozen local residents, I needed to find another location. My hope was to stay in Randolph, but at a certain level, locating within another town may have been an opportunity that I could not ignore.
Through my involvement in the community, I was introduced to Mr. Hirniak, who at that time was a Randolph Township Councilman. We talked about my predicament, explored some of the options available here in town, and he set to work in helping my employees and me stay here in the Township. While he was the Deputy Mayor in 2015, Mr. Hirniak put me in touch with the owner of the College Plaza Shopping Center on Route 10 East, with whom I immediately struck a chord and began moving ahead with relocating my business to one its storefronts. What impressed me even more, is that Mr. Hirniak continued to play an active role in this process and while he was the Mayor in 2016, put me in contact with the wonderful professionals at Town Hall who assisted in getting us up and running. Today, we’ve expanded into a second adjacent storefront, employ an even larger staff and work with our commercial neighbors to cross-sell services to each of our respective client bases. Through Mr. Hirniak’s work and commitment over those years, my business benefitted, the surrounding businesses benefitted and all of those employees benefited. Most importantly, Randolph Township benefitted.
This positive experience serves to always remind me, particularly during election time, that it’s important to elect local leaders who can point to concrete examples when campaigning on their records. Mr. Hirniak clearly understands what it means to invest in our local business community and promote its development. My story is one of those examples. I proudly have one of his signs in the Salon’s entranceway and just as proudly support his campaign for re-election to the Randolph Township Council. Please vote for Roman Hirniak on June 5th!
Michelle Parkes, Owner
477 Route 10 East
Randolph, NJ 07869