I’m writing to tell my fellow Verona Residents about Jack McEvoy, a friend of mine since childhood who is running for a seat on the Verona Town Council.
When Jack informed me that he was running for Town Council I immediately said, “Yes!” You see, Jack is not a politician, but yet can dive into the world of politics and not only survive, but thrive. He has spent countless hours doing research, reading, reviewing and preparing for every meeting he attends…simply because he cares. There is no hidden agenda. He competently and respectfully approaches the public portion of each of these meeting when he feels that something is missing, or when he disagrees with an ordinance or when an item of importance should be brought to light. In doing so, Jack has proven that he is a dedicated hard-working advocate for Verona. Running for Town Council is NOT self-serving for him. Again, he just cares so much about this town and he’s all about fairness.
Jack began attending Verona municipal meetings about 5 years ago when a developer applied to severely alter a piece of property across the street from the Annin Flag Factory. The plans called for rock blasting for up to a year, as close as a 15-20 feet from residents' homes, in order to build a three-story mini mall. Jack, an experienced contractor, researched the plan and discovered that if executed, it would likely damage, if not destroy the neighboring properties; residential homes that have surrounded Everett Field for well over a century. The residents in those surrounding homes were rightfully frightened and didn’t know how to combat this application or protect themselves from this invasive plan.
Jack and his wife, Jessica, immediately hit the pavement to make people aware of this and while doing so, retrieved over 750 resident signatures on an anti-blasting petition in just one week. They presented it at a Council meeting but the petition was shrugged off. Jack then led the fearful residents by explaining the complicated plans, keeping all interested parties updated on meeting schedules and, month after month, continued to challenge these plans based upon their technical flaws. This wasn’t a quick process. It went on for years. And he kept at it. All told, Jack played an instrumental role in seeing two of this developer’s three applications get turned down.
It was because of the disdainful disregard for his fellow neighbors and their homes that Jack became active in our municipal government. While the “Everett Field plan” was being considered by the Board of Adjustments, Jack also attended the Durrell Townhouse application proceedings being heard by the Planning Board because those residents were also upset. But his proactive manner didn’t end at Board of Adjustment and Planning Board Meetings. He concurrently attended the past five years of Town Council meetings because he found so many discrepancies between what was being done vs what should be done throughout our town.
There is a selfless quality about Jack. All that he’s done has been guided by his giving nature, and common sense. His efforts come directly from his heart because he genuinely cares about his hometown community and its future. I can say this because having known him for so many years, he has always been a trustworthy, honest, reliable and considerate individual. Jack is the guy that helps his friends, his neighbors, his neighbor's friends across town and strangers without being asked and without any other reason other than: they needed a hand.
Jack has stood up for pedestrian and bike safety, traffic issues, local business issues and ways to help support our downtown community. He’s spoken out for sustainable development and against over-development, so that Verona can maintain its charming character. He’s spoken up about our new fields on the Hilltop, about how we’ve overspent and how all residents should have access to them. And he has spoken out against wasteful overspending, and our how to save for our future, proving that he wants to maintain oversight on our budgetary and public bid processes.
The last thing I will say on Jack’s behalf is this: Besides Mayor Kevin Ryan, who has conscientiously served for the past six years, there are no other candidates that have been active in our municipal affairs besides Jack. He’s a mainstay at all of these meetings and has been for five years straight. If you are like me, you want an informed and wholly prepared candidate to sit on our Council…one that understands Verona’s evolution, one that has the guts to vote his conscience and one that can properly represent our concerns as we move forward through new challenges. That candidate is Jack McEvoy.
Thank you for taking a few moments of your day to read this and please do your absolute best to get out and vote on May 9th.