MADISON – In a prepared statement, Councilwoman Astri Baillie of East Lane, describes her years of service to the community and explains why she is running for reelection to the Madison Borough Council and what she hopes to accomplish if reelected. Ms. Baillie’s running mate is former Board of Education member Debra Coen of Hoyt St. Baillie and Coen are running together as a team.
Astri Baillie stated, “I am a life-long resident of Madison seeking re-election to the Madison Borough Council. I would like the opportunity to continue to help make Madison a great place to live, and I am excited to be running for re-election with Debra Coen. For the past three years, Debra served the community as a member of the Board of Education. Her experience and dedication to public service will be real assets to the Council and will help it to continue to provide great service to our residents.”
Astri Baillie has over thirty years of experience in municipal government and will be completing her fifth term on Council in December. Starting as a member of the Madison Environmental Commission, she then served fourteen years on the Zoning Board of Adjustment and four years as its chair. After leaving the Zoning Board, she has served fifteen years as Borough Council liaison to the Planning Board.
“What I believe is most important is that I have worked with both Democrats and Republicans on Council to maintain all services, keeping taxes low, improving active and passive recreation, preserving our history and environmental resources, and balancing land use with beneficial development,” stated Ms. Baillie. “In recent years, the Councils I have served on have established a frim record of open and transparent government. These Councils have also created a strategic plan for planning and budgeting for the borough, a five-year plan for capital investment, and an electric rebate program.”
Besides her municipal experience, Astri Baillie is a past President of the League of Women Voters, a member of the Advisory Board of the Great Swamp Watershed Association, a former trustee of the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, a current Director on the Board of the Madison Area YMCA, and a member of the Madison Garden Club.
Ms. Baillie observed, “Many people have asked why I continue to run for office. My answer is simple: I love the town where I grew up in and raised our family. I want to give back to the town that has given so much to me and my family. I first ran for Borough Council in 2001 and have just kept on running. I believe that my actions on Council have made a positive difference for the town. I have supported open and transparent meetings and communication, and I have reached out to many in our community to help make Madison a great place to live and have always shown respect for all points of view.
One of the contributions of which I am most proud is my work with Don Bowen, a fellow Council member and Republican, to establish the Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. This fund has leveraged many state and county dollars to provide new playing fields; passive recreation; preservation of the historic Luke Miller house; restoration of the James Library Building, the home of the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, and the protection of open space and aquifer recharge areas. My efforts to balance land use and development have helped to preserve Madison’s unique character. My work on the strategic plan on budgeting helped create sound fiscal policy for the borough, something that has helped us to control our taxes and maintain our AAA credit rating.
Although our Councils and administration have accomplished many good things for Madison, there is much more to do. I would like to work with the Planning Board, Council and our residents to craft a Master Plan for the 21st century. I would also like to continue to seek grants to improve our recreational facilities. My running mate Debra Coen and I are both committed to holding the line on taxes; maintaining services and infrastructure; paying out the electric dividend to residents; keeping our residents safe; promoting a healthy environment; supporting our downtown; and ensuring that Madison remains a diverse and vibrant town for all.
In the coming days, I look forward to campaigning together with Debra and talking to Madison voters and earning their vote. We are both deeply committed to Madison and its residents.”