To The Editor:

We are enthusiastically endorsing all three of the “South Orange 2017” slate of candidates for village Trustee. Steve Schnall and Walter Clarke are running for re-election. Karen Hilton has served the village as a Library Trustee and on school system affairs; she will be a compatible and innovative member of the team. 

Steve and Walter dramatically exceeded our wildest expectations as they served since 2013. They have been vital to creating a renewed sense of excitement about the village; they have expanded cultural, recreational, and business activities, solving infrastructural problems like that of the water system, and have kept tax and debt increases down in the noise. Steve and Walter are proven team players who work smoothly and creatively with the Village President, other trustees, and Village employees.  It’s a pleasure, for example, to see collegial cooperation at public meetings. One of us (Richard) regularly attends monthly Public Works committee meetings and is familiar with Walter’s skillful handling of infrastructure issues and projects. Another of us (Nancy) observed how creative and gruelingly hard-working Steve was as he founded the SouthNext festival and continues to serve on the Public Information and Marketing committee,

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Karen is running for the first time but has been a leader in Village volunteer work affecting our schools and public library for many years... As president of the South Orange Public Library and founding President of the SOPL Foundation, she has guided planning, including work on feasibility studies for a visionary overhaul of the existing library and the historic Connett building.  She led the SOMS Home and School Association and the Junior League of the Oranges (Karen).

We go back over 30 years in this Village. Never in that time has there been as positive, constructive, and effective a set of elected Village officials, working with a vision of South Orange as a thriving, inclusive, and creative community. Their incredible passion for giving back to our community is what makes them exceptional. Walter, Steve, and Karen all deserve your support to keep progress going in this Village. Be sure to vote for them on May 9th!