Berkeley Heights Town Council Election 2016

November 8, 2016

It has been an excellent run for Berkeley Heights Town Council  and I would like to remind you about me and ask you once again for your vote!  

I am not a politician, but a resident and taxpayer like you.

I love Berkeley Heights. It is a great town and an ideal place for raising children. It offers the perfect balance, being close to NYC but far enough away from the traffic and noise of the city. Berkeley Heights is a great town, however I feel it could be even better.

The main issue facing Berkeley Heights today is that we are facing a large expenditure, $27,000,000 for a new municipal building. The people behind this may sincerely feel that this project is in the best interest of the town, however this is too big a decision for that small group to make alone. The people deserve the right to have a referendum on this matter and are being denied. A decision that will affect our entire town of about 5,000 households should not be made by the Council alone, and as your Councilman I will not allow that to happen!

I initially entered the race because my taxes increased dramatically ( about 50% over 11 years ) and I wanted to find out what this money was being spent on. We all pay taxes here (even tenants, as part of their rent), and I know it is alarming to see our tax bill grow year after year, 3 to 8% every year. Our salaries don’t grow at this rate on a consistent basis and our home prices also do not grow at this rate. Many people in town are on a fixed budget and cringe each quarter writing that huge check to the town. Social Security COLA this year is .3% and for prior years has been 0, 1.7% and 1.5%, so retired people are seeing only small increases in their benefits.

While some in this town can afford the tax increases others need to cut back on other items to find ways to pay this ever increasing burden. But even for those that can afford these taxes, many often wonder what are we getting in return? Are roads getting better? Is downtown becoming better? Are playing fields being maintained? What are we getting in return for these taxes?

Personally, I feel we can do better. I envision a downtown business district with an eclectic atmosphere that represents our diverse town. I want to attract more independently owned stores instead of chains, music and arts venues where our local artists and performers can find their audiences, and restaurants serving international cuisines.

I am the only candidate who is not part of the entrenched political establishment. I am running as a Libertarian to distance myself from that establishment and be the independent voice that Berkeley Heights residents need on the Council.

I am a fiscal conservative, so I believe that tax money should be spent wisely and that all residents deserve oversight on major expenditures by way of a referendum.

People from the major parties are trying to say that I am against all spending or all progress. This is just not true. What I believe is that the people need to retain their say when it comes to large projects like The Swap.

One party rule is never a good idea. I believe the taxpayers will benefit from having a Council member that can be an independent voice.

This is why I ask for your vote. It is time for a change. It is time to break up the political monopoly that feels that it can get away with anything and that people will just continue to vote for them along party lines. Please vote for Edmund “Tom” Maciejewski 7F.