The Village Green asked each of the 3 candidates for Maplewood Township Committee to answer a brief questionnaire. Below are responses from candidate Nancy Adams. Adams also previously submitted a candidate statement; read it here. Election day is November 6, 2018.
Name: Nancy Adams
How many years have you lived in Maplewood? 29 years
Tell us about your family. I have raised three children and two stepchildren in Maplewood, all of whom have gone through our public schools to graduation from CHS. My husband Sal Renda and his two kids, Kristin and Oscar, moved into my home in 2008. My children Maggie, Thomas and Michael are all grown and living in Portland, Oregon; Tokyo, Japan; and Boulder, Colorado, respectively. We have two dogs, Georgia and Millie.
What do you do professionally? I work as Executive Director of Summit Downtown, Inc. for almost two years and have previously managed downtowns in South Orange, West Orange, and Red Bank along with doing my own consulting work in downtown revitalization, redevelopment and management. I hold a license in NJ Real Estate and am certified in downtown management by the National Main Street Center; I also serve on the Board of Directors of Downtown New Jersey.
What’s your Maplewood civic history (elected office or offices served, activity/participation on local committees, events and organizations)? I have served on the Maplewood Township Committee for almost 3 years. During that time I have served as the Chair of the Engineering, Public Works and Planning. I have also been a member of the Economic Development Committee, Code Enforcement Committee, Environmental Advisory Committee, Open Space Trust Fund, the Maplewood Village Alliance Board, Memorial Park Conservancy. I have served on the Maplewood Planning Board for 11 years and previously sat on the Economic Development Commission. I also co-founded College Hill Neighborhood Association and the Springfield Avenue Partnership. I’ve also served as class parent and worked on theater at Tuscan School and on PTAs throughout my time parenting in Maplewood.
What do you think are the top issues facing Maplewood? The merging of the Maplewood and South Orange Fire Departments, continued improvements to the Maplewood Police Department, redevelopment projects that focus on senior housing and/or assisted living facilities, environmental practices in town including building an infrastructure for electric vehicles, the huge capital improvements project desperately needed on our schools, getting a regulation basketball court in town, tax relief for seniors in particular to the extent we can lobby our legislators to do so, and fiscally responsible pedestrian safety improvements.
Why are you running? I am running for re-election to continue the work I’ve done and bring my voice to discussions and decisions that affect our town. It’s equally important as the only woman serving on the governing body that my voice is at the table to bring that perspective as issues are discussed.
What do you bring to the table that makes you unique? I have always been opinionated, as anyone who knows me can attest, but I am not just opinionated, I am also a worker. I see an issue or problem and I work to make it better, improve it or fight for what I see is right. I bring historical perspective to the table as well, having not only lived here and raised 5 children here, but as someone who jumped in and volunteered from the minute I moved into town. I have always loved Maplewood and worked hard to make it the best it can be. That passion is important and has never wavered in the 29 years I’ve lived here.