MADISON – It was supposed to be an outdoor event, but the Madison monsoons intervened, and the Madison Democrats gathered for their summer social on the porch and inside the historic Maple Avenue home of Ann and Herm Huber on Friday, July 26th.
Happily, the rains didn’t dampen the turnout for the fund-raiser in support of Councilwoman Astri Baillie’s and former Board of Education member Debra Coen’s campaign together for seats on the Madison Borough Council.
After thanking everyone for coming out on a rainy evening and thanking Ann and Herm Huber for being such gracious hosts, Mayor Conley noted all the new faces in the crowd and how that reflected the increasing presence of the Democratic party in Madison. He then introduced the 2018 candidates for Borough Council and invited them to speak.
In her remarks Baillie stated, “I look forward to running with Debra Coen this fall. She will bring fresh perspectives to the Council. Madison has always been a great place to live and work in, and I feel most honored to have been elected to the Borough Council for five terms. Today, I serve on a great Council, one that has kept taxes low, maintained all its services to the community, and instituted an efficient pay-as-you-go capital plan for maintaining and improving our roadways and utility and sewer infrastructures, and one that has returned a $1.5 million dividend to our utility rate-payers this year.
The Open Space Trust Fund, an initiative I started together with Republican Councilman Don Bowen in the early 2000’s, has helped to protect our open spaces, drinking water, playing fields and historic sites. If elected, we will devote ourselves to making sure Madison residents continue to be well served by municipal government and that Madison remains the great town and community that we all love. “
Debra Coen introduced herself as “the newcomer on the ticket.” She noted that she and her family have lived in Madison since 2004 and like Councilwoman Baillie, she is a graduate of Drew University.
Coen stated, “When Astri called me to discuss running, I was flattered to be asked. She has served the Madison community so well over her thirty plus years in municipal government, and I very much look forward to working with her on Council. As many of you know, prior to running, I served on the Madison Board of Education for three years. Now I hope to help bridge the gap between the Council and the Board and increase shared services among these two elective bodies that serve our town. Shared services make government more efficient, increases flexibility, and helps to control taxes.
Another issue that is important to me as a resident and as a parent is preserving Madison’s open spaces and our recreational field space. The Council has been doing a great job in keeping as much open space in town as they legally can, and they continue to work to improve the quality of the spaces that have been acquired in the past. Maintaining diversity in Madison is also important to many of our residents and to me personally. If elected, Astri and I will continue the current Council’s efforts to control taxes, invest in our infrastructure, and maintain or even increase municipal services in a fiscally responsible manner.”