LETTER: Vote for preservation of Madison’s character

EDITOR: New Jersey Monthly’s September 2019 article “Madison Tops our 2019 List of Best Places to Live” mentions the words ‘history’ and ‘historic’ a total of five times, along with descriptions like these:

• “Extremely civic-minded;”

• “An ideal place to raise a family;”

• “The town traces its history to Colonial times;”

• “Home to … one of the biggest and longest-running professional Shakespeare companies in America;”

• “… A popular field-trip destination that explores the history and lives of New Jersey workers;”

• “Old-book smells at Chatham Booksellers;”

• “Has a substantial community of Italian-American Catholics, whose ancestors came to work as gardeners in the late 19th century;”

• “Bottle Hill Historic District settled in the 1700s;”

• “Residents interested in marinating in local history have plenty of places from which to choose;”

• “There are so many reasons to love this town.”

Read all the Letters to the Editor in support of our 2020 candidates.

Those of us who already love Madison know that it is much more than just a suburb with a “low crime rate, relatively reasonable taxes, great schools, and … rising home values.” We know that our town’s institutional richness and architectural beauty — its Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Drew University, Shanghai Jazz, Fairleigh Dickinson, Shakespeare Theater, YMCA and Kirby Children’s Center, Community Pool, Chatham Booksellers, Dewey’s Comic City, St. Paul Inside the Walls, Police and Fire Department, Giralda Farms, Madison Santa, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, and the state’s most “handsome stone train station” and Borough Hall, both architectural masterpieces built in the early 20th century, not to mention its charming historic houses, streets, and neighborhoods — are what give Madison its unique character and sense of community.

What we might sometimes forget is that our schools, houses, churches, museums, mom-and-pops, parks, and beautiful buildings are precious resources that need careful stewardship if we want to protect that character. It is up to the people of Madison to decide whether to protect its standing as one of New Jersey’s best places to live. Without all of us working together to preserve Madison’s past, the town could easily lose the very things that make it special and that support those home values. Some things have no price tag, and once those things are gone we can never, ever get them back.

When you cast your vote for Borough Council this year, vote for Madison’s best future. Vote for (Democrats) John Hoover and Robert Landrigan’s vision to preserve the charm and character of our historic town through downtown revitalization, small business aid, a stronger historic preservation ordinance, and investments in the arts and culture.



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