To the Editor:

When I first learned four years ago that Steve Schnall, who is my wife's cousin, was planning to run for South Orange Trustee, I was very excited for our town. I had known Steve to be about the most decent, caring and dedicated person you could find, and I knew those attributes would translate well to serving our town. 

He hasn't disappointed. Steve has spent more time, energy and devotion to making South Orange a better place to live than most people commit to their paying jobs. His curiosity, willingness to take on tough assignments and remarkably positive approach to deep-seated challenges has made us a better community. 

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Although I don't know Walter Clarke and Karen Hilton as well as I know Steve, I have been deeply impressed with their commitment to South Orange, the countless hours they've volunteered to the community, and their vision for an even brighter tomorrow. 

Walter's efforts on environmental stewardship - including his leadership in moving us to a better, safer water company - are making us a cleaner, more sustainable town. He has been a tireless advocate for South Orange during his time as a trustee. 

Karen has been an unelected, volunteer champion in our community for years. She's a proven leader, having been the founding head of both the Friends of the South Orange Library and Emerge New Jersey, which encourages women to run for public office. Now that she's following Emerge's own advice and running for the first time, South Orange will be a better town for her service. 

I'll be voting for my friend Steve Schnall and his South Orange 2017 running mates, Walter Clarke and Karen Hilton, on May 9, and I ask you to do the same. South Orange needs their leadership.