Facts Matter: Straight Talk from Angie Devanney

Facts Matter: Straight Talk from Angie Devanney

Stephen Yellin, Alvaro Medeiros and I have pledged to run a campaign based upon facts and the issues voters are most concerned about in Berkeley Heights.  It was our hope that the Mayor and his team would do likewise, and we publicly asked them to join us in making this pledge.  Instead, it is clear they have decided that it is better to “go low, not high” and attempt to cast unsubstantiated questions about my professional life.

Here’s the truth: Mr. Woodruff, as an attorney, knows full well that it is illegal for any governing body member to personally benefit from doing business with the Township.  To be perfectly clear, my company does not, can never, and will never do business with the Township of Berkeley Heights.

Further, if successful in my election, I will disclose all of my clients to the Township Attorney, who determines when and if any conflicts arise. This has hopefully done by the Mayor with regards to his law firm’s client list as well as all other members of the governing body. Additionally, I will resign from any volunteer organizations which I serve on so that no one can ever question my integrity or intentions to serve and protect the taxpayers of Berkeley Heights.

These practices would give the public some comfort, knowing that our Governing body was acting in the best interests of taxpayers and not some outside organization.  Had this been current practice, residents might not be questioning Council votes regarding downtown redevelopment and the new Municipal Complex. This includes how a member of the Council, over which the Mayor presides, was determined by the Courts to have voted while having a clear and undeniable conflict of interest. Since the facts matter, I encourage residents to read what a New Jersey court judge just released on this project with regards to conflicts of interest.

As my running mates and I have gone door to door across Berkeley Heights, our residents have told us they want to hear more about the issues and challenges facing us.  Our taxes, our community, how their voice is heard and the roadmap for the future are at stake this November.

Instead of distractions, let’s talk about responsible fiscal management.  The price tag of our new municipal project has already increased from $28 million to $32 million before a single shovel was put in the ground.  This cost could spike even more, and the resulting tax burden to residents is entirely dependent on unguaranteed money from unrelated development projects.

Let’s talk about smarter development, with nearly 1,000 new housing units being planned to be built by 2020 and their impact on our already neglected roads and our ability to provide recreational opportunities and sports fields we can all be proud of.

Let’s talk about reaching out and making sure we realize and leverage all grant funds and shared services offered by the County and State government.

And, let’s talk about making sure ALL of our residents are made to feel included in this community, and encourage them to get involved in government by utilizing social media and partnering with community organizations to keep them informed.

Engaging in campaign tactics that are intended to distract from these issues has no place in Berkeley Heights politics.  Stephen, Alvaro and I will remain committed to talking about how we can improve our town, together as neighbors and as one community.  We believe it is time for Change We Can Agree On for Berkeley Heights to move in the right direction!

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