BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Each week leading to the November 6 election, the candidates running for Berkeley Heights Township Mayor and Township Council have the opportunity to answer question(s) that will be run in a series by TAPinto Berkeley Heights.
The following answer is from Democratic Township Council Candidate Alvaro Medeiros for Week 1.
Week 1 Questions:
- Why are you Running for Office?
- What unique skills or knowledge will you bring to the elected office you are seeking?
- What do you think the major issues facing Berkeley Heights are at this time?
I am running for town council so that I can make a positive impact on the direction this town takes. I have worked at AT&T for over 25 years and before that at a small private manufacturer where I worked my way up to running their western operations. I am at present an Associate Vice President at AT&T. Through hard work, persistence, and performance, I have delivered results in two separate careers and succeeded in different business environments. I am confident I can make a difference for good in Berkeley Heights where I have been a Boy Scouts volunteer, active in the GL Marching band and in fund raising activities. I am disappointed in what I see in our Township today and I think we can do better. I want to help drive that change.
I am very confident of my abilities and a capable and effective leader. I succeed through anticipating, planning, listening, weighing the alternatives and deciding conclusively. I believe in the value and importance of collaboration with diverse thinkers and doers. Berkeley Heights is residence to a wide array of experts whose input we should welcome and whose skills I hope to leverage for the benefit of our community. I value inclusion and participation and am not convinced that our current leadership does. Angie Devanney, Stephen Yellin and I have campaigned by reaching out to people at their homes or where it’s most convenient and listening – that’s where some of the best ideas come. Susan Poage and I did last year and it will be key feature of our leadership if elected.
The volume and scope of large residential developments that have been approved almost all at once and the associated impact – ranging from construction activity concentrated in a relatively compact area of town to the impact on Township infrastructure – is going to be a major challenge. On top of that, we have launched a costly municipal complex with an increased debt burden that will reduce Township options to absorb so much demand on municipal resources and budgets. We cannot continue to exceed budget caps and burden growing families or those on fixed incomes with ever increasing tax bills. Strict fiscal discipline, sound capital planning and sound administration are in critical need in our Town as evidenced by the damage and debris we struggled to clean up for weeks following late winter storms this year. We need creativity of which I have seen little evidence –and Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) agreements with developers are not very creative and have negative consequences. My fellow candidates, Angie Devanney and Stephen Yellin, and I have devised out-of-the box solutions to raise funds aimed at addressing these challenges and while we will not promise a quick fix our search for solutions will be widespread and relentless.