To whom it may concern,

As an elected official for more than 20 years, I have come to learn that effective government includes people who possess the ability to communicate, problem solve creatively and moreover bring people together on issues that matter.

I’m proud to say that over the past several years I have been privileged enough to work with two individuals on the Township Committee who embody these characteristics and go above and beyond for our community every day. Manuel Figueiredo and Michele Delisfort are the epitome of what it means to be dedicated public servants.

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They are always present and willing to attend to the varied needs of our residents and do so with a unique sense of pride.

When our residents have asked for stable taxes they have worked overtime to ensure that every year our budget remains under the two-percent cap.

When residents asked for improvements to our roads, Manuel and Michele worked with our Engineers, Administration and Contractors to make sure that we could improve more roads than ever before. In 2016 more than 50 roads were serviced, in 2017 more than 60 roads were serviced and in 2018 we are projecting more than 80 roads to be serviced; and a great part of this can be attributed to the advocacy of this great team.

When residents were concerned about the vibrancy of Union Center, Manuel and Michele got to work. With Michele’s unique background in urban planning, and Manuel’s understanding of the needs of our working class families, they put together a plan that has not only diversified housing options without burdening our schools, but beautified the area and brought in diverse retailers that are excited to invest in Union. These businesses include the likes of Killer Vegan, Norma’s Flowers, Bon Chon, Cashi, Kung-fu-Tea and Vision Eyewear.

When residents expressed concern about public safety, Manuel and Michele have been the first to respond. With both of them having served as liaisons to the Fire and Police Departments, they know first-hand, the importance of ensuring that these departments are fully staffed and equipped with the latest and most effective technology. They have advocated for new fire engines and lifesaving tools for our Fire and EMS, and most recently were instrumental in the upgrading of the radio and dispatch center to streamline emergency communications.

And when our residents ask for new and improved means of recreation, this team has been at the forefront of ensuring that Union is ahead of the curve. From initiating a greater commitment to diversity through cultural celebration, to improving parks and playgrounds through the “Play Places – Safe Spaces Program,” their dedication has been remarkable. In addition they’ve worked with our Recreation Department to expand our Recreational Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities (R.O.I.D.) Program, and have added programs like LEGO, Tennis, and Golf to the roster of growing activities for our youth. Finally, in response to the growing number of youth leagues Manuel and Michele were advocates for new turf fields at Volunteer and Conlin fields, and a brand new Field House at Hall Stadium.

All of these areas have required a great amount of communication, tried and true experience and dedicated partnership with their colleagues, administration and the community. Their unwavering commitment to progress and success come second to none and because of this I am proud to endorse both of these candidates in their bid for reelection to the Township Committee.

Joseph Florio