Vote Madhu Pai, Wayne Eastman and Peggy Freedson

In the upcoming election for South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education, I’m supporting Madhu Pai, Wayne Eastman and Peggy Freedson.

This slate of candidates is the best for our community on taxes and fiscal responsibility.

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When a person is on the Board of Education, that person must make tough decisions on difficult issues—one of the hardest is the balance between taxes and the school budget. On taxes, Madhu and Wayne, who are currently serving on the Board, have consistently shown that they have the courage and strength to stand up for the interests of taxpayers. (I know Peggy shares that commitment.)

If one looks historically at school tax increases in our community, one can see that they have been trending downward since Wayne (and later Madhu) joined the Board. That’s not a coincidence. Wayne—a Harvard-educated lawyer and a business school professor—and Madhu—an executive in a global advertising firm—have used their financial skills to help our district hold down taxes while maintaining an excellent education for our children.

I’m a parent of a child at Marshall elementary school (with one more on the way), so I get how tough this issue is. I know Madhu, Wayne and Peggy understand our schools are under tremendous financial pressure. (All three candidates have children who are in our public schools or graduated recently.) At the same time, Madhu, Wayne and Peggy realize that the middle class in our towns is at a breaking point when it comes to taxes.

I also believe this slate is our best best for improving the quality of our teachers.

As Peggy has noted, every parent in this community knows that the teacher a child gets makes a huge impact on their education. She is a professor of education (and former teacher) whose life is dedicated to training educators.

Peggy has pointed out that we need to do everything we can to attract and retain the best teachers. And she brings new thinking and fresh ideas on how to help our teachers be excellent. That she has chosen to run with Wayne and Madhu convinces me that this slate really is the complete package.

I’ll hope you’ll join me on November 7 in voting for Madhu Pai, Wayne Eastman and Peggy Freedson for South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education.

Your vote is important to your property taxes and your child’s education.

Andrew Lee

Maplewood, NJ