Election mailbag 2019: Letters to the Editor

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Editor’s Note: We’ve received a few endorsement letters during this election season. Our cutoff is Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Letter writers must be local. No personal attacks. Morristown Green does not endorse candidates. The opinions below are the authors’, and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication. Follow Morristown Green’s election coverage here.


 

Vote for Susan Pedalino

As a resident of Morris Township, I’m so grateful that Susan Pedalino is running for the Morris School District Board of Education. As a full-time educator and mother to three young sons, one might think Susan’s heart and mind are already full of the needs of children. However, to Susan, running for the board is just a natural and logical extension of her love of children and desire to see all children succeed.

Susan’s approachability is a huge asset. She will happily welcome and intently listen to your ideas and concerns. Additionally, it will be easy to share those thoughts with Susan because on any given day, Susan can be found at various community, school, or sporting events.

The fact that Susan will be the only active educator on the board is something that must be highlighted and considered by voters. Susan will bring to the board her expertise and varied experiences as an educator for the past 18 years.

Susan is not an outsider looking in, imagining what it takes to help children succeed. She is an insider, actively focused on her students’ academic success, social/emotional needs, and safety. She has an instinctive desire to improve all these areas because she is immersed in them on a daily basis. As a result, Susan will constantly be thinking, researching, and collaborating with her board member peers to improve all areas of our students’ lives.
Please vote for Susan Pedalino on Nov. 5th.

Sincerely,

Vicki Flynn
Morris Township
Nov. 3, 2019


Why change in representation is needed in Morristown’s Third Ward 

The form of government adopted in Morristown is one of an independent council with an independent administration. For the last eight years, Morristown residents have been governed by a council “rubber stamping” the administrations agenda at the expense of Morristown residents.

The current council, with the exception of the First Ward rep, has remained silent, while allowing development projects throughout the town to receive “PILOT” tax abatements at residents expense.

This type of complacency is most apparent inside the borders of the Third Ward. A quick drive down Early Street or Speedwell Ave will tell the story of many years of poor planning, lack of transparency and even worse implementation that has gone unquestioned.

The luxury apartment complex Modera on Early Street, which is still incomplete (“Linnear” a passive recreation park which was part of phase 2 back in 2016) was provided a Morristown resident funded “PILOT” abatement. As well as, an amended agreement from the original plan that let the developer off the hook for an additional $14 million in infrastructure upgrades to the street and sewer lines.

Notice that only one side of Early Street has new lamp post and sidewalks while the other is dark with only old outdated orange to light the sidewalks. Still to this date, there has been no communication on when phase 2 will be complete and the additional redevelopment will begin and be completed.

On Speedwell Ave, we were promised a redirected traffic pattern to alleviate the traffic throughout corridor. Instead, we received a CVS pharmacy, which only added more traffic to Speedwell Ave.

In addition, CVS, a company that did $20 billion in revenue last year, received a Morristown resident-funded “PILOT” tax abatement.

There is no doubt the current Third Ward representative cares about his neighbors and the town as a whole. There are many positive accomplishments that have been competed over his last two terms of which we should all be very thankful of his hard work and dedication, but the reality is that the Third Ward is growing and will continue to grow over the next decade.

It is paramount that we have a representative that will remain independent of the administration and act in the best interest of the residents in the ward.

The Independent candidate Lorena Inestroza has already taken steps to address the drug dealing currently taking place in the Early Street senior buildings 100 feet from the Morristown High school. She has brought the poor conditions of the senior housing buildings into the spotlight and has begun to raise awareness to the immense cost that are looming to remediate Speedwell Lake of the invasive water chestnut.

I wholeheartedly believe that Lorena Inestroza will treat this council position with the utmost respect, diligence and pragmatism that is required.

Ms. Inestroza has ran a campaign based solely on facts and awareness to the issues plaguing the Third Ward and not once taking any personal shots at the incumbent. All while taking the time to personally knock on every door in the ward.

If you believe change is a natural and healthy part of government, than Tuesday Nov. 5th is your opportunity to have your voice heard.

Our town and most definitely our Third Ward, no longer needs party politics interfering in our communities future. I recommend and endorse Independent candidate Lorena Inestroza to lead our ward for the next four years.

William Needham
Morristown
Nov. 2, 2019


Melissa Spiotta is Putting Our Kids First

Dear Editor,

When we were choosing a new hometown, it was important that we move to a town with excellent schools and an inclusive community.  We are happy to find this in Morristown and more!

We have been impressed with all that the Morristown schools have to offer our children plus the recognition our school district and Superintendent have received for many well-deserved accomplishments, including Mackey Pendergrast just being named 2020 Superintendent of the Year for NJ!

In order for Morristown to continue to ascend as a school district, we need leaders on our school board who put our kids first and are committed to understand the nuances of what is going on within our schools and our communities.

We need a DEDICATED LEADER with experience like Melissa Spiotta who has been serving our community for over a decade as HSA President, mentor, tutor, MEF board members, VP of Community for the Junior League and most recently on the Morristown School Board.  Melissa was appointed to the board and during just one year of tenure so much has been already accomplished with her collaborative approach:

Thanks to Melissa high school students aren’t left at the various sports fields to fend for themselves after practice. They are dropped back at the high school or home if need be.

The MHS profile which is sent to colleges along with high school transcripts has been significantly improved.

The rate of suspension and referrals at the middle school has dropped by over 95 percent.
NJSLA scores have increased for all categories of student. For bilingual students, the increase is 13 percdnt this past year (55 percent in 4 years).

The teacher contract was approved in two months unlike many schools where the process take years and is very contentious.

We have added public safety officers at each school and increased counseling support.

Looking forward, we need to strengthen our math program in all grades, get creative to meet the needs of our growing newcomer population, continue to improve the communication with our parents as well as harness all that is being done to get the word out about how amazing our school district is.  We can’t accomplish these things and many more without Melissa’s leadership.

We need a CHAMPION FOR OUR KIDS like Melissa Spiotta who has been a tireless advocate for the physical and emotional wellbeing of our kids. When she wrote this article last year, it triggered a wave of activity in Morristown that resulted in some of the strictest vaping legislation in not only the state but in the country. The vaping crisis is now daily headline news.

I could literally go on and on about what has accomplished in just this past year with Melissa’s collaborative approach and leadership on the School Board. It gives me comfort knowing Melissa is on the board.

Sincerely,

Renée Bogert
Morristown, NJ
Nov. 1, 2019


 

Rogers is Smart and Level-headed

To the Editor,

Anyone who knows Michael Rogers knows he is smart and level headed. Those who meet him quickly will appreciate his approachability and genuine, soft spoken nature. I have had the pleasure of getting to know him through our daughter’s mutual interests and can attest to his commitment to continuing the positive trajectory of Morristown public schools.

His career background is such that he will be able to contribute a global approach to targeted challenges, while considering the impacts on all stakeholders. This, combined with his thorough and fastidious nature is sure to compliment the progress already in place on the Morris School District School Board.

His character, drive and experience are all aligned with what I believe Morristown schools need to continue to excel.

Morris School District is a dynamic public school district offering students from all backgrounds the opportunity to succeed. Michael Rogers will bring a fresh perspective to effectively address the diverse needs of our school community.

His work experience as town administrator for both Summit and Morristown shows he can effectively collaborate and problem solve. He consistently demonstrates that he understands how to initiate change when necessary while furthering innovation. He is the best choice for Morristown’s representation in the Morris School District School Board.
I invite you to join me on Nov. 5th and vote Michael Rogers for Morristown School Board.

Sincerely,

Bari Davis
Morristown
Oct. 29, 2019


 

Morris School District board members endorse Rogers

Michael Rogers is an outstanding candidate for school board.

Michael loves our district and with his fourth grade daughter in the Morris School District, he understands the value of connecting with families.   He’s passionate about supporting our teachers. And his expertise and experience as a town administrator in Morristown and Summit will be a great addition to our board as we make progressive, impactful decisions.

If you want our children to excel and would like to continue moving the school district forward, join us in voting for Michael Rogers on Nov. 5.

Meredith Davidson and Vij Pawar
Current Members of the Morris School District Board of Education
Oct. 28, 2019


 

Bangiola for school board

To the Editor:

On Nov. 5, Morristown voters have the opportunity to elect ONE member of the Morris School District Board of Education. What makes a great BOE? A board whose members never forget the needs of students and the community, support a successful district administration, enable the excellence of teaching and support staff, oversee the superintendent positively, and work together in harmony—that is the best board a district can empower.

Nancy Bangiola, running for reelection to that single town seat, is committed to this work. She is a passionate advocate for students. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of programs and policies that support students’ development and success.

She has championed a strong relationship between administration and teachers that prevents disputes from interrupting student learning. She understands the value of continuity in policies and she guards the district’s fiduciary responsibilities. She has developed the expertise to inspire colleagues and invoke progressive, responsive action by the board and the district.

Mrs. Bangiola is an experienced, effective board member who has put 15 years of effort into her support of ALL the children who attend school in the Morris School District.

Nov. 5, our election day in 2019, is coming at us quickly. Some of us already have Vote By Mail ballots in our homes waiting to be completed and mailed. This is an opportunity to participate in our most important responsibility as citizens! You need to vote! Include Nancy Bangiola in your voting plans!

Nancy Helterman
Morristown
Oct. 15, 2019

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