April 1, 2014 at 7:31 PM
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - “One of the reasons we ran for Council three years ago was our belief that a vibrant downtown was critical to our community’s economy and residents’ property values. The financial crisis and subsequent recession had taken its toll on our town, and Bob Woodruff and I were determined to make a difference,” said now Council President Jeanne Kingsley. Over the past three years, she and Woodruff have worked diligently with fellow Council members, township residents, volunteers, landlords, businesses and corporations to help strengthen our downtown. Kingsley initiated the Downtown Beautification Committee raising funds for flags and banners, new holiday decorations and more. “We are seeking to bring a cohesive and pedestrian friendly look and feel to our downtown,” she said. Added Woodruff, “There are a number of facets in keeping and growing a vibrant downtown including good zoning laws, building codes, signage guidelines, traffic patterns, and roads and sidewalks that keep a town looking inviting to businesses, consumers, and residents. While landlords ultimately decide what type of business may reside in their property, the Mayor and Township Council play an important role in encouraging them to seek a diverse array of shops, restaurants, and services.” During my previous tenure as Mayor and as a Councilman, establishing a good working relationship with our downtown businesses and landlords has been a top priority. Even if a property is currently vacant, we encourage landlords to maintain that property. How one area looks affects the feel of the whole town.” Woodruff is currently the Republican Municipal Committee’s nominee for Mayor. He is again running with Kingsley along with political newcomer, Marc Faecher. “We’ve accomplished a lot over the last three years, but there is more work to do, and we need everyone’s help and support to do it,” said Kingsley.
Woodruff and Kingsley recently attended the Suburban Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner that recognized one of Berkeley Heights’ largest companies, Summit Medical Group, as Business of the Year. “We congratulate Summit Medical Group on this outstanding achievement,” said Woodruff. “They have been a great partner to our town and are one of the lead supporters of the Downtown Beautification Committee,” said Kingsley adding, “The Connell Company is another fabulous neighbor and wonderful sponsor of community events.”
“Corporate neighbors are essential,” commented Faecher, “Not only are corporate rateables crucial to the local economy, corporations are also important to public/private partnerships.” Faecher served as a two term trustee of the Overlook Hospital Foundation Board and Chair of its Annual Giving Committee for five years. A twenty year Berkeley Heights resident, Faecher said, “We can’t make the improvements needed on the back of the taxpayer alone; we need to continue to keep our current businesses and attract more. Pursuing grant monies from County and State sources are equally important as well.”
The Woodruff, Kingsley, Faecher team are committed to the premise that it is only when the Mayor and Township Council work effectively together with the residents, volunteers, municipal staff, non-profit organizations, business and corporate community along with School, County and State officials that we can effectively move forward. The Republican Municipal committee invites you to hear more from their team at their “Meet Our Candidates Together: Building the Future of Berkeley Heights” event on Friday, April 4th at 7:30pm at Mt. Carmel Hall. For details on the event, please call (908) 665-1130.