Make your voice heard.

Vote November 7th

The Plan

To Connect Committee to Community

It’s time for our voices to be heard in Middletown, and I have a plan to make it happen.

1.

Hold the needs of the residents above the wants of the developers.

Big developments (Town Center/Village 35, Taylor Lane, Avaya, Bamm Hollow, Estates on West Front Street) are changing the landscape of Middletown.
Sandy has had a dramatic impact on development and rebuilding.

It seems that the developers are controlling Middletown instead of vice versa.

We need comprehensive reexamination to be led by a Planning Firm with at least 5 stakeholder meetings open to the general public. As a minority voice on the Township Committee I will serve as a “watchdog” in the first year. As more like minded people are elected to serve the Township Committee it will evolve into an active policy making objective.

I will intentionally and persistently ask for clarity and transparency from my fellow Township Committee members and Mayor. You can expect to see this in open discussion at Public Meetings, in the time allotted Committee Members make comments at the conclusion of all meetings, and you can count on it in Executive Committee meetings.

2.

Immediately and effectively build a comprehensive means of including residents in the process of making decisions here in Middletown.

Currently the Township adheres to the minimal legal requirements for announcing public and open meetings. In a town with more than 67,000 residents the bare minimum is not good enough. It is also a means of easily moving through a process without input and/or challenge from the township at large. If you live here, you are a stakeholder and co-investor in the decisions being made in this town. You deserve a place at the table and I will advocate tirelessly to make sure you know you are invited. This will include target mailings, social media posts, robo calls and texts to both hyper local and township wide initiatives.  This will well exceed the legal obligation of posting on a website that does not see daily traffic and/or newspaper announcements buried in newsprint. This effort will intentionally seek an audience that craves information.

3.

Diversify the members of the various boards and councils that govern and set policy in Middletown.

This is the pathway to policy that considers smarter and safer zoning policy that protects both a residents right to sell and/or develop their land and the greater communities need and right to a strong and protected quality of life in town. In my first year I will actively recruit, vet and advocate for new voices and perspective and a cross section of town to be our representatives on these important governing boards.

4.

Implement a Community Coalition.

This is to connect the leaders in the community and energize and engage them to use their connection to also achieve the above listed goal of keeping the township involved in what is happening before it happens. Community leaders are already joining this movement and we are meeting now. The format will be a monthly meeting, held in a Town Hall style open to the invited leaders of community groups and organizations. I indeed recognize that as a Township Committee member at times I will be restricted by legal parameters from sharing some content, yet at no time does that eliminate my obligation and commitment to listen to community concerns and suggestions. I will purposefully use this forum to explain items on consent agenda to ensure that our community knows just what is up for conversation and discussion, and will facilitate the ability of leaders to populate Township Committee meetings and request agenda items important to them are pulled off the consent agenda and made available for public comment PRIOR to decisions being levied and voted upon.

5.

Actively listen and act so all members of the community will know they have been heard.

This does not necessarily result in decisions that all members of the community agree with. It does mean that you will leave your conversations with me knowing that your comments, experiences and knowledge are valued. Regardless of my personal opinion on any matter, I will make sure your views are reflected in the decision making process.

6.

Proactively inform residents, thereby reversing the current philosophy of educating the public after decisions effecting your municipal tax bill are decided upon.

Reverse the process embraced by the current Town Committee of making a decision and then educate the public. I will seek to use the above and new and evolving ideas to first inform and educate the public and solicit their feedback and input while moving through a process.

7.

Build a communication and cooperation bridge between the Board of Education and the Township Committee.

These are independent governing boards with completely separate elected members.  I am not advocating for a cross-over of governing responsibilities.  At a recent Township Committee meeting, the Board of Education attended to respond to an issue.  From the podium, multiple members of the current and incumbent Township Committee made note of the fact that it was nice to see the Board of Education at their meeting and they could not recall, any of them, ever having attended a Board of Education meeting. We partner with and share services with our Board of Education.  We share garbage services, park maintenance and upkeep services, there are shared responsibilities for some maintenance of trucks.  It stands to reason that the Township Committee ought to have a member attending the Board of Education meetings for relationship building. I commit, regardless of whether my initiative is formalized, to attend no less than 4 Board of Education meetings and maintain a regular dialogue with the Board of Education. The Board of Education has incredible access to our families and I sincerely see an avenue where the Township Committee can partner with the Board of Education to enhance communication of important issues as they arise both in the hyper local districts and township at large.  A strong relationship between the Board of Education and the Township Committee is a win for the community as a whole.