|Astri Baillie Campaign Statement
Six years ago, when I first ran for re-election to the Madison Borough Council with Ben Wolkowitz, we called for the restoration of fiscally responsible, open government – a government emphasizing accountability, consensus and bi-partisan cooperation. Looking back over the past five years, I believe that I can safely say that we have fully delivered on those promises.
We supported financial reforms that have preserved the borough’s AAA credit rating and stabilized municipal property taxes. The Borough’s budgets are well under control; borough services have been improved; and millions of dollars have been invested in our roads, sewers and utility infrastructures on a pay-as-you-go basis. This year we expect to see a minimal increase in the municipal tax rate of less than 1%, and the Borough will again be returning $1.5 million from the electric utility surplus to our ratepayers in the form of a monthly credit on their electric bills.
Maintenance of the borough’s Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund has received my consistent support. As the liaison to the Open Space Committee, I facilitated the use of Trust Fund money to pay for the installation of permanent bleacher seats and a new press box at the Madison Recreation Complex (MRC) and to fund improvements to the Memorial Park outdoor skating area in 2017. Other recent trust fund disbursements have gone to support county grants for the rehabilitation of the Hartley Dodge Memorial plaza, the James Building, home of the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, and improvements to the trail system in Summerhill Park.
This year I am very excited to be running with former Board of Education member, Debra Coen. For the past three years, Debra served the community as a member of the Board of Education. Her experience and dedication to volunteer public service will be a real asset to the Council and will help us to continue to provide great service to our residents.
I am a lifelong resident of Madison, and like my running mate, am a graduate of Drew University. In addition to my years on Council, I have also served Madison government in numerous other capacities, including fourteen years on the Zoning Board of Adjustment, nearly fifteen years on the Planning Board and as a member of the Environmental Commission. I am a Trustee of the Great Swamp Watershed Association, a former Trustee and Secretary of the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, and am Board Member of the Madison Area YMCA.
I believe that our team will build on the Council’s recent successes and that we will plan for Madison’s future in a prudent and fiscally responsible way. We have accomplished a lot for Madison in these past years, but there is still a lot more to do. Please vote for Astri Baillie and Debra Coen for Madison Borough Council on November 6.
|Debra Coen Campaign Statement
Madison is a town that offers much to its residents, its business community, and to its visitors. We have a beautiful downtown, fine schools, terrific amenities, and wonderful sense of community. This hasn’t happened by accident. It is the result of the efforts of countless dedicated professionals and community volunteers all contributing to making Madison the great place it is today.
As a parent with children in the school system, I have volunteered much of my spare time to Madison’s schools. For the past three years, I had the privilege to serve as a member of the Madison Board of Education. While on the Board, I served on its Curriculum Council and its Building and Grounds Committee, and for the past two years was chairperson for Building and Grounds. Prior to that to joining the Board, I was active in the Parent Teachers Organization (PTO) of the Central Avenue School. I served as a Class Coordinator for two years and was Second Vice President of the PTO Board and co-chaired several Tricky Tray fund raisers. I also a parent participant on the Madison Public Schools Technology Advisory Committee and was a board member of the Madison Soccer Club, serving as its Registrar and Treasurer.
My goal now is to serve the broader community and was honored to be asked to run for the Madison Borough Council with Astri Baillie this year. Astri’s many volunteer contributions to Madison are known by all in the community. She and her colleagues on Council have given us six years of stable budgets, improved services, and needed infrastructure investment. I look forward to working with them to help plan for Madison’s future – for our downtown, our residential neighborhoods, and our parks and recreational facilities.
I am a graduate of Drew University and hold a Masters degree in Technology Education from Montclair State University. Over the past 17 years, I have been a teacher in the West Orange school system and am currently a technology and engineering teacher at the West Orange High School. Over the years, I have received numerous awards for my teaching. Recent awards include the NJTEEA Integrative Teacher Award and the NJSBA Innovative Special Education Award for Adaptive iSTEM in 2016 and the NJTEEA Impact award in 2015.
As a team, Astri and I will bring a solid record of success in education and government to the Council, and we will work together to ensure that Madison will always remain that wonderful town that we all so very much love. Please vote for Astri Baillie and Debra Coen for Madison Borough Council on November 6.