LETTER: Madison Council shows leadership in climate, Drew Forest efforts

TO THE EDITOR: I am writing this letter to express my appreciation and support for the Mayor and Council related to their efforts to combat climate change and to save the Drew Forest.

It would be easy for Madison to decide we didn’t have the resources or that we were too small to matter and ignore the important role at the municipal level of making every effort to implement environmentally friendly policies and programs.

I have been proud to see Madison take its responsibilities seriously, setting achievable goals that reflect the importance of taking action now. It mirrors the importance many of us are taking personally in our own lives to make more climate-friendly choices. And it’s getting noticed with Madison being in a leadership position and being asked to help other towns to chart a course to set and meet climate action goals.

I am also grateful for the leadership from the Mayor and Council to work patiently, purposefully, and in the spirit of partnership to come up with a solution to Drew University’s threats to sell the Drew Forest to developers due to their dire financial situation. Coming up with a solution that limits the burden to taxpayers and also offers a fair price to Drew has required Mayor Conley especially to lean into the relationships he has built at the federal, county, and local levels for funding. Council meetings regularly include updates on progress and a reminder of how seriously the entire Borough takes their responsibility in ensuring the Forest is preserved.

At a Council meeting in May, it was moving to hear Council members Bob Landrigan and John Forte talk about how seriously they take the responsibility of doing what they can to find a creative solution to a complicated situation.

Bob Landrigan talked about how, “we all do it for one reason. It’s for the kids down the road.”

And John Forte first thanked the amazing Friends of the Drew Forest volunteers and went on to verbalize what so many of us feel: “We’re stewards of everything that we’ve inherited from generations before us and I think it would be an awful shame to lose something like this on our watch. It would be a shame if I, as a fifth generation resident, left this earth without the Drew Forest here and my great grandchildren could never see it.”

I urge everyone to show your support for the kind of leadership and personal commitment shown by the Mayor and Council at the upcoming November 7 election.

Mayor Conley, Councilmembers Bob Landrigran and John Forte, and their fellow candidate Melissa Honohan have earned my vote.