In a prepared statement, Councilwoman Debra Coen of Hoyt Street announced that she will be running with Board of Health President Eric Range of Belleau Avenue for election to the Madison Borough Council in 2021. The candidates will appear together on the Morris County Democratic Committee, Inc. line on the June 8th Primary ballot.
“We will be running as a team,” stated Coen. “Three years ago, I had the privilege of running with Councilwoman Astri Baillie. But this year, Astri has chosen to not to run for what would have been her seventh term.”
“It has been a great honor serving the residents of Madison,” stated Baillie. “I have enjoyed meeting and working with an incredible group of volunteers and employees, who all care so much about our town. But after what will be 18 years on Council, I think it is ‘time to pass the torch’ to a very capable next generation.’’
Assessing her years of service, she continued, “My colleagues and I have worked diligently to be fiscally responsible, maintain quality municipal services, provide a strong capital improvements plan, and enhance the many amenities that make Madison such a desirable place to live.”
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One of the accomplishments that she is most proud of was the establishment of Madison’s Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund in 2004. “The fund has enabled us to increase Madison’s open space, provide recreational facilities and preserve the town’s historic treasures,” Baillie observed.
Looking forward to this year’s election, the veteran councilwoman stated that “Debra Coen and Eric Range are both active volunteers and share my love and commitment to Madison. I have particularly enjoyed working closely with Debra on Council these past few years. If elected, I know that they will continue to work for all residents, providing services we all depend upon and ensuring that Madison remains a strong, vibrant and caring community.”
Prior to serving on Council, Debra Coen spent many years as a volunteer in the school system – from serving on various PTA boards or chairs of events, to serving on the Madison Board of Education. She also volunteered as the registrar and treasurer for the Madison Soccer Club and was a parent participant on the Madison Public Schools Technology Advisory Committee. During her first two years on Council, Coen served as liaison to the Health Department and began working with its president, Eric Range.
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“Eric and I worked closely throughout this pandemic year, to ensure that what was being done by the health department was communicated to the Council and borough administration, she stated. “In addition, we worked together to establish how activities such as flu clinics and the rabies clinics could continue despite the Covid-19 contagion.”
“Eric showed his organizational skills, concern not only for the community but also for the staff of the health department who were on the frontlines,” she said. “He was essential to helping coordinate the efforts of contact tracing within the schools and the safe reopening of Drew University for the spring semester.”
Eric Range moved to the Madison area more than twenty years ago to attend Fairleigh Dickinson University. He never left. “Madison is a community of ‘doers,’” observed Range. “The town’s fabric is woven by borough professionals and community members working together to create a vibrant home for families, artists, business owners, educators, students, athletes and activists alike.”
He has been a member of the Downtown Development Commission (DDC) for the past 16 years. “During my tenure on the DDC, I have served as Commission Chairman, as well as stints chairing numerous sub-committees including the Taste of Madison, Marketing and Economic Development, Parking, Sign & Facade and others, he stated. “I am also a founding trustee of the Madison Main Street Foundation, a 501(c) (3) sister organization to the DDC.”
Candidate Range concluded: “Deb Coen and I bring decades of dedication and knowledge to the team. We are both committed to continue to help our downtown maintain and improve its vitality, to work on preventative historic preservation around the town and to ensure our sustainable future. There is much good work that needs to be done as we all work as a community, to recover from the human and economic devastation of Covid-19.”