MADISON – In a prepared announcement, Democratic candidates for Madison Borough Council, Councilwoman Astri Baillie of East Lane and Debra Coen of Hoyt Street, encourage all Madison residents to vote on November 6.
The candidates stated: “We encourage all voters – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – to make their voices heard this Election Day by exercising their right and obligation to vote. Many commentators have described the election as ‘the most important is a lifetime.’ Control of both the Senate and House of Representatives are at stake. And for the first time in a generation, our congressional district (the New Jersey 11th) is up for grabs.
If you have concerns as to the direction this country has been taking, then you need to get out and vote. It is critical nationally and also important locally, as three Freeholder seats, the County Clerkship, two Borough Council seats and two Board of Education seats are up for election on November 6th. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the results.”
Baillie and Coen also want to remind voters that if they are denied the ability to vote at the polls, they are still entitled to complete a Provisional Ballot at that time. For example, if a voter has received a mail-in ballot, whether they requested one or not, the voter will not be permitted to vote at the polls. (The reason that a voter may have received an unsolicited mail-in ballot is that a recent state law mandates that anyone who voted with a mail-in ballot in 2016 will get a one this year.) If the voter comes to the poll, having not submitted their mail-in ballot, the voter should ask for a Provisional Ballot to complete at the polling location. In this case, however, the candidates recommend that the voter complete their mail-in ballot at home and send it in prior to Election Day. It is a lot easier.
Looking at the local election, Candidate Coen stated “A lot has been accomplished since Astri returned to the Council in 2012. Budgets are now 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 the municipal tax rate increased by less than 1%, and the Borough is again returning $1.5 million from the electric utility surplus to our ratepayers. Together, Astri and I want to build on this fine record”
Baillie and Coen continued, “If elected, we will look for new opportunities to control municipal costs and increase revenues. Contributing to the ongoing revitalization of our downtown and developing a stronger working relationship between the borough and the school district will be priorities for us. Earlier this month, Council offered to partner with the district in a joint project to turf the baseball and multi-purpose fields directly above the MRC complex. Another high priority for us will be to work with the Planning Board and our residents to craft a new Master Plan for the borough. We want to help protect the character of our business districts and neighborhoods and ensure that Madison remains a diverse and vibrant town for all.”
Councilwoman Astri Baillie is a life-long Madison resident. She is currently completing her fifth term on the Madison Borough Council and has over thirty years of experience in municipal government. Prior to her election to Council, Baillie served fourteen years on the Madison Zoning Board, of Adjustment, including four years as chairperson. She has also served as a member of the Environmental Commission and is currently in her fifteenth year on the Madison Planning Board.
For the past three years Debra Coen had served the community as a member of the Madison Board of Education. Prior to that to joining the Board, Debra was active in the Parent Teachers Organization (PTO) of the Central Avenue School. Ms. Coen was 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.
Baillie and Coen concluded, “If elected, we will continue to give Madison residents the kind of good government that they have come to expect – government that is sensitive to the needs of the community, listens to its constituents and delivers dependable public services in a fiscally responsible manner. We also ask that Madison voters consider voting for Bob Menendez for Senate, Mikie Scherrill for Congress, Mary Dougherty, Rupanda Mehta, and Richard Corcoran for County Freeholder, and Shala Gagliardi for County Clerk. It is time for a change.”