I am delighted to endorse Walter Clarke, Karen Hilton, and Steve Schnall, and urge all South Orange residents to vote for them in the May 9 Village Trustee election.

All three of these candidates are long-time residents of South Orange and they share my love for this community and a desire to serve, each with their unique talents. We need Walter and Steve, proven leaders on the Board of Trustees, to continue the excellent work they have accomplished during their service. Karen, with her incredible experience and knowledge about government, planning and board management as well as the issues and challenges for our town, will bring much added value to the table.

Walter Clarke has been a dedicated, active participant on the Board of Trustees, bringing a strong desire to promote sustainability and improvement of infrastructure in our town.  His sustainability projects have led to South Orange being certified at the bronze level with sustainable Jersey several years. His River Day project has been a great success, not only in cleaning up our river but also bringing community members together to volunteer. Projects such as solar powered recharging benches, a forestry plan and a sustainable yard program are more examples of Walter’s energy and commitment.

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Karen Hilton has been actively involved in our community from the time she first moved here. I have known Karen for a number of years, through her volunteer work for South Orange-Maplewood schools and as the Chair of the Public Library Board. She is intelligent and has tremendous drive and enthusiasm and I look forward to seeing her use these talents in her work on the Trustee Board.  She has extensive experience in government service and community-based nonprofits and will be able to hit the ground running when elected.

Steve Schnall is incredibly energetic and shows up for everything South Orange! Deeply rooted in the community, he has focused on the arts and is the founder and producer of “South by South Orange,” now called “SouthNext,” an annual festival bringing more Arts, Ideas and music programming to our community.  As chair of the Recreation and Cultural Affairs committee and the Public Information and Marketing committee, he is actively involved in getting the word out about happenings in our town and celebrating our diverse community. 

The Clarke, Hilton & Schnall team also understand the importance of coordinating with the Board of Education and other municipal governments, promoting South Orange’s interests and those of the South Orange-Maplewood School District as a whole.  We need Trustees who are cognizant of the challenges facing our towns and schools and who will advocate for them at the county and state levels.

Please join me in voting for Walter Clarke, Karen Hilton, and Steve Schnall on May 9.