This statement is written as a private citizen of Randolph township. It reflects my own opinions and does not reflect the view of my employer or past/present affiliations with other organizations.
“Monotony.” This is what COVID — beyond the health crisis, economic and safety issues that we all experience daily — has created for many of us. It has created a ‘new’ normal that most of us do not like. It is a monotonous existence that causes pain and discomfort as well as fear about uncertain times. In some cases, it causes people to embrace the status quo and sometimes it causes them to push hard for change. It has also led to an incredible amount of scrutiny and awareness of the planning and execution operations of our local government and health authorities.
I have done my best to get to know each candidate for town council and read their platforms and ideas to understand how they will address these changing times. Despite COVID-19 or possibly because of it, I have been able to witness local government and our candidates — thanks to technology in a way that I did not before. Indeed, we hope that this spirit of reachable and transparent government and political activism will continue beyond the time when we need to keep ourselves safely at home.
It is a wonderful thing that Randolph can attract such gifted and talented individuals to support our town. It is also wonderful that our local politicians do make themselves so accessible to those who want to discuss our town’s issues – and way forward. Our town has a culture of ‘service’ and ‘volunteerism’ that is reflected in the values of the current town council. It is also extremely well reflected in the values of Jeanette Hernandez, Dave Timpanaro, and Josh Weiner. As I have spent time with them, and heard them, let me share what I believe I share with them.
Our town is also now increasingly becoming both older and younger as we see homes turnover and are generally filled only by families with young children and who expect a lot from our town in terms of services and capabilities. We also have a lot of folks who love our town and no longer make the traditional ‘trek’ to the South (Florida) or to the west (Pennsylvania) to escape taxes or to get better weather. They also have unique needs. It’s an increasingly diverse town which is rapidly approaching a population percentage of >25% of our town’s total population. We have strong Latino, East Asian, and Indian Subcontinent roots and origins now. Indeed, our low crime rates, peace and security and our great schools attract a diverse group of newcomers who are attracted by the relative value we gain in real estate compared to some of our neighboring towns to the East or the West.
Despite all this, I’m convinced that there will be difficult times ahead for residents and for local businesses and that a quick ‘V-shaped’ recovery is unlikely and a ‘return’ to normal can just be imagined without hard work. Some believe that the right way forward is to simply wait and see. I would like to see those who are willing to begin to embrace and be transparent about the fiscal challenges ahead. We see the re-emergence of the COVID-19 virus in our town and our state with elevating rates of infection. We are not yet even to the end of the pandemic, yet we still need to begin the arduous plan for recovery. We need to act now on many fronts rather than wishing we had acted later.
In order to move forward, our town council needs to reflect the diverse interests of our town and demonstrate a spirit of bi-partisanship and collaborative unity that includes all. Today, I’m happy to endorse Jeannette Hernandez, Dave Timpanaro, and Josh Weiner for town council as a team that will do just that. I have witnessed their attempts to organize and encourage Randolph citizens to get involved in local politics and to reflect a diverse and inclusive view.
Based on that – I endorse a bi-partisan town council that supports the needs of all citizens. #ChangeWeNeed.