LETTER: Democrats are neighbors who listen and lead

EDITOR: As a cub newspaper reporter covering Berlin, Conn. — about the same size as Madison’s 16,000 residents — I learned how local leaders differ from state and national leaders.

They’re our neighbors.

We see them at softball games, the community pool, the supermarket, “Bottle Hill Day” — heck, they even come to our homes to engage us and seek our approval via the ballot box.

But neighborly niceties aren’t enough. They need to be smart and effective, too. That’s why I’m endorsing (Democrats) Mayor Bob Conley and Councilwoman Maureen Byrne for re-election, and Rachel Ehrlich for election to the Council.

Madison didn’t become NJ Monthly’s No. 1 Town of 2019 by accident. This year alone, our tax rate won’t increase. The utility dividend, paid to us customers as a rebate on our electric bill, rose by 50 percent. The Council invested in roads, upgraded utilities, and improved our parks and playgrounds, all while securing an enviable AAA credit rating. And that barely scratches the surface of recent, and often innovative, accomplishments.

That alone should earn Conley and Byrne another term.

Rachel Ehrlich moved here just four years ago and has already served two years on Madison’s Planning Board. She’s gained an impressive understanding of how to marry Madison’s governmental capabilities with the needs of its people. She’s an accomplished architect with a civic-minded firm that builds affordable housing in New York City.

Conley, Byrne and Ehrlich also share one other indispensable quality for local leaders. They listen. After all, they’re our neighbors.

Smart and effective neighbors.

JOHN F. HEENEHAN

Kensington Road

Madison

Read this letter on the Madison Eagle.