PEAPACK AND GLADSTONE NJ  - Amy Dietrich is trying to do something that no one has done in recent memory:  Win an election to the Peapack-Gladstone Borough Council as a Democrat.  While she is running as a Democrat, Dietrich does not believe that the party label is important.

If elected to the borough council, Dietrich plans to focus on communication and problem solving.

"The public needs someone to listen to them," said Dietrich, who plans to draw on her expertise in corporate communications and human resources, and her experience serving on volunteer committees.  "There are a lot of different residents, and everyone has different needs.  If elected I will hold meetings with residents and listen to their stories."

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Dietrich earned a bachelors degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and a Masters in Corporate Communication from Seton Hall University.  She is Director of Organization Development and Effectiveness for Level 3 Communications in Florham Park.

Dietrich currently serves as Vice Chair of the Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC).  She is in her third year on OSAC.  She is the Secretary of the Borough's Historic Preservation Commission, where she has served for four years.  Before joining OSAC, Dietrich was a member of the Peapack-Gladstone Recreation Commission for six years. 

In addition to her professional preparation, Dietrich has taken a one-day Rutgers course on municipal land use law.

An eleven year resident, Dietrich lives in Peapack-Gladstone with her husband, Wayne and her sons Elliott, age thirteen and Christopher, age ten.  The two younger members of the Dietrich family attend public schools in the Somerset Hills School District.

Dietrich sees the renovation of Liberty Park as the top issue facing the Peapack-Gladstone Borough Council.

"Liberty Park is the physical centerpiece of the borough.  It needs to be a place where people of all ages can meet," the candidate said.  "Hiring a landscape architect was a good first step, but the council needs to listen to the public, and bring about a plan that works financially and meets the needs of the borough."

"It will be an interesting test for the community," concluded Dietrich.

The election will be an interesting test for Amy Dietrich.  The Democrat Party nominee is challenging Republican nominees Councilman Roy Smith and Land Use Board member Lisa Saunders for one of two three-year terms on the borough council.  The general election will be held on November 7.