To the editor:

Our election for South Orange Village Board of Trustees is just around the corner on May 9th.  I’m compelled to sound a call to action to vote for Stephen Schnall, Walter Clarke and Karen Hilton—the SouthOrange2017 Row B slate—when we are invited to the polls.  I’ve lived in South Orange Village for almost 17 years, but only recently appreciated the tremendous talent so many of our residents give to help make South Orange a place we want to live.  This team has my vote for several reasons.

Steve, Walter, and Karen each have shown they can make things happen in the very challenging spaces of volunteer local government and public service.  Their list of wins is long (see Web site southorange2017.org), but I’m sure they would say they’re just getting started.  Importantly, they are accessible.  They’ve listened to concerns I’ve shared, and they have worked in earnest to engage our residents in new and different ways to help understand and act on quality of life priorities in South Orange (in the context of a million moving parts).  Walter’s commitment to sustainability and our environment means we’ll see him walking the river in his muck boots on River Day clean up.  Steve’s commitment to our recreational programs and the arts means we’ll see new opportunities in town for our kids and adults alike to expand their horizons.  Karen’s leadership and commitment to core public interests like education and social services means we can hold onto a vision for a community institution like a public library.

They are our taxpaying neighbors who drive the same streets, walk our Village centers, rely on the same resources, and raise families.  They celebrate the broad diversity and character that make us South Orange.  They are like many of us.