Dear Union Residents
At this time every year, we start to think about closing the door on old chapters of our lives and planning ahead for the new journey of a new year. In years past I would be meeting with my colleagues and laying the foundation for the next leg of our journey serving our residents, but instead I find myself saying farewell after 19 years of service. Over the past few months, I have had the chance to look back at all of the things we have accomplished, and I’m proud of the legacy I am leaving behind.I remember my first term as mayor- only 18 months after I was first elected into office- and the steep learning curve that I had to quickly adjust to, in order to have the chance to make a real difference in town. Together with my colleagues, and through there support, we brought to life one of my strongest beliefs- that politics is compromise, and that if we could find the middle of the road on any issue, that we could do wonders. These wonders came in many forms and were characterized by innovations, efficiencies, and collaborations in the areas of township economics, public safety, and strong community building. Through fiscal planning, programs like 2004’s Back to Basics plan, and becoming business friendly, we have kept our township financially sound through bad economic times, created thousands of jobs, and converted old industrial sites to retail locations. We have seen the incoming of various Fortune 500 companies, like Wholefoods, the Home Depot, and Target; and the development of new residences like the Ave and Avalon Bay among others. It has always been my motto that new things are the future and we can not go backwards. It is in this spirit that we worked tirelessly with congress to bring a train station to Union and are continuously working to establish “one seat ride” service into New York City. By this same token, we endeavored to outfit our Police and Fire departments with the most innovative technology. In my first year in office we were able to fund a new 911 system to improve communications and more recently, we have seen a dip in our crime rate as a direct result of good policing and the use of City Stat- a system that has allowed us to use previously collected crime data to coordinate more effective direct patrolling of our neighborhoods. These measures have allowed our public safety units to go from being reactive to proactive; a notion which I hope will be one of the ideals that my legacy will be remembered by. Being proactive in the wake of resistance is what has made our community stronger, and what has driven so many successful community projects like the relocation of the controversial methadone clinic in Vauxhall, the creation of the Vauxhall Branch Library, and the creation of the community Senior Center.
Thank you Union