Candidates Byrne and Gertler Outline Objectives for Borough Government
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 • 7:34am
In a joint announcement, Candidates for Borough Council Maureen Byrne and Jeff Gertler state: “People love Madison for its quality of life and the high quality of services the Borough delivers. Meanwhile, rising costs are challenging us to hold onto them at a price we can afford. To thrive, we have to make the best of our human and financial capital. We have to respect and rely on our smart, capable, and experienced volunteers and employees who put time and effort into analyzing issues and offering the Council options and recommendations upon which they can make the most informed decisions. We commend the current Council for bringing back respect for our volunteers and Borough professionals and will continue to make the most effective use of these unique resources within Madison.
The current Council has also made great strides toward improved transparency and finances, and we are beginning to see some results. With the new budget, Standard and Poor’s has restored our AAA credit rating. We are moving in the right direction. But we cannot become complacent.
To meet our ambitious goals, we need to attract new businesses and corporations, and expand shared services. Similarly, greater collaboration within the Borough holds the promise of smart growth. It works. We have already seen it. Together, the Council, the Board of Education, and a special committee of the Planning Board developed recommendations that made the Green Village School property more economically attractive to potential developers. We can and must keep working together like that. We pledge to serve the whole community by doing what works, by building on the current Council’s successes, and putting Madison first.
If elected to the Council we will:
• Continue improvements to the Borough’s budget that we have seen in the last two years. We want to see that disciplined, strong budgets continue to be developed in the future.
• Support the borough’s strategic planning initiative that will create a plan that takes us to our goals at a price we can afford.
• Promote long range capital planning that addresses the borough’s strategic goals and ensures adequate funding for investment in the borough’s infrastructure.
• Insist on transparency and consistency in the Council’s decision-making. This year we have seen a refreshing change in the Council’s conduct with key deliberations now taking place in public sessions.
• Expand shared services outside of Madison and develop synergies within. Madison has a history of shared services with neighboring communities and we want to build on that model. We also believe that greater collaboration within Madison government holds the promise of smart growth, as demonstrated during preparations for the sale of the Green Village Road School property.
Join and redouble efforts to enhance commercial districts and increase ratables. By partnering with local business leaders, state and county governments, the Borough can do more to reinvigorate our commercial districts and attract new businesses.
Support open space funding, recreation, and historic preservation. Madison’s Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation fund has brought great benefits to Madison and has made the MRC possible. Money spent on open space, recreation, and historic preservation enhances our quality of life at minimal expense.Realize the vision for the 49 acres. This property has the potential to become one of our greatest attractions, and the two new turf fields on them are only their most recent use.
Improve our athletic facilities. Although the two turf fields on the 49 acres have alleviated much of the pressure on all our athletic fields, there is much more to be done.
"Madison is a great place and a great place to live. We want to keep it that way.”