By JULIE FIGLAR and RINA FRANCHINO
As the Team Purple candidates for Township Council, we’re proud to ask for your support to keep making Progress We Can Count On in Berkeley Heights by electing Julie Figlar and Rina Franchino to Council.
Understanding our community and the needs of our residents is something we value and live every day. We interact daily with our younger population and as mothers of young children we listen and talk to our community continually, whether it is on the sports fields, at PTO events, neighborhood barbeques, at the dance studio, Girl Scouts or even in the grocery store, we are part of the fabric that makes Berkeley Heights great. Running for Council was a decision we made because we are here for the long run, and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work!
When Mayor Angie Devanney and Team Purple took charge in January, Berkeley Heights was facing tremendous challenges. We are proud to stand behind their record of accomplishments in year one including:
- Keeping costs under control;
- Cutting waste;
- Fixing more roads with grants and alternative financing for repairs;
- Building a bi-partisan group of committee volunteers;
- Adding new committees to address critical needs, boosting environmental and historic preservation efforts as top priorities, and much more.
Together, we can do even more – we’re ready to join Team Purple and deliver Progress We Can Count On! We’re running a positive, issues-driven campaign that focuses on how we can make Berkeley Heights government work better for everyone, building on the accomplishments made by Team Purple in 2019. Here are some of our specific ideas to do this:
- Host a “Shared Service Summit” in 2019, inviting neighboring township officials, shared services experts, neighboring department heads, and other stakeholders.
- Refine the Township Master Plan to include specific plans for revitalizing our downtown, using the township’s citizen and business committees as a focal point.
- Appoint a Council “point person” to lead the coalition of residents and stakeholders involved in our Sports and Recreation programs to create an action plan with a timetable.
- This would include incorporating our commitment to improvement of fields and recreation spaces as part of a Parks & Recreation Master Plan, as well as any long-term infrastructure plans and working to create more walking/biking/jogging trails along the Passaic River.
- Develop a 5-year budget forecast and a 5-year ratable forecast, both being essential for long-term planning needs.
- Conduct a professional Management Study in 2020 to find additional cost savings and efficiencies which would complement our budget and ratable forecast.
- Continue to evaluate the feasibility of shared service agreements on services such as 9-1-1 emergency dispatch.
- Ensure that any future (re)development agreements include penalties for if/when developers do not meet certain project deadlines.
- Work closely with Union County to preserve green space in our town.
- Together with the Environmental Commission and our business community, enact a ban on businesses providing plastic bags/straws to customers, joining the growing movement across New Jersey for environmentally sustainable policies.
- Pass an ordinance ensuring all establishments in Berkeley Heights that serve food to print in their menu when/if their food is cooked in any sort of highly allergenic substance, such as nut-based oil (peanut, coconut, etc.).
This is just the beginning. You can read about these ideas and others in greater detail on our website www.BHTeamPurple.com (to be live by September 15). We also welcome your ideas and questions, so please shoot us an email at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively. Our platform will continue to grow and be updated as our campaign unfolds. Stay tuned to our website and our Facebook page, Julie and Rina 4 BH (facebook.com/bh4all) for updates as we get closer to Election Day, Tuesday, November 5th.
Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you!
– Julie Figlar and Rina Franchino, Team Purple