To the editors:
This Tuesday South Orange goes to the polls, and I will be enthusiastically casting my vote for the South Orange 2021 slate—Karen Hilton, Bill Haskins, and Bobby Brown — for the Board of Trustees.
I’ve had the enormous privilege of serving with Trustee Karen Hilton for the last two years, and I can tell you that Karen is smart, attentive, and completely and totally committed to South Orange and its 16,000+ residents. Karen has carefully led our Finance Committee since 2019, and as our Finance Chair has done a terrific job of watching over our budget like a hawk while also ensuring that the budget process is completely open and transparent. Her dedication to our library is extraordinary, and her work with our seniors is both admirable and impactful. Karen and I don’t always agree on everything, but I think that’s healthy in a democracy, and I respect her for always staying true to her values and principles.
Bill Haskins is a local activist who I’ve worked with for years and who is equally dedicated to South Orange. We partnered together on numerous initiatives, including the plastic bag ban when I was Executive Director of the South Orange Village Center Alliance, and Bill was Chair of the Environmental Commission. He is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the environment, and in this arena, Bill will fill a tremendous void with Walter Clarke’s absence. With his experience and background in construction, Bill will also make an extraordinary contribution on the governing body in overseeing our public works programs. Bill will make a great Trustee.
Bobby Brown will also be an extraordinary Trustee. I had the pleasure of first meeting Bobby when I ran for Trustee in 2019 and Bobby was on an opposing slate. I recall that all the candidates appeared at a League of Women Voters debate at the South Orange Public Library. My brother was up from Florida so he attended, and afterwards I asked him how he thought I performed, and he told me that I did great, but watch out for that Bobby Brown! Since that election two years ago, I’ve watched as Bobby has dug in even deeper to benefit our community, whether it’s through his work as Chair of our Community Police Collaborative to improve the relationship between our residents and our law enforcement officials, or his great work with our kids as a sports coach. Bobby is as dedicated as they come, and I hope to be able to serve with him on the Board of Trustees.
I hope you’ll join me in voting Line B on Tuesday’s municipal election for Karen Hilton, Bill Haskins, and Bobby Brown. They will all make South Orange proud.