2021 South Orange Board of Trustees Candidate Statement: Karen Hilton

by Karen Hilton
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I’m running for another four years as Village Trustee and I hope you’ll vote for me and for my running mates, Bill Haskins and Bobby Brown on May 11th.  

South Orange has been my home for 25 years, along with my husband Jim of 29 years, we’ve raised our 4 children here. I have a Masters in Public Administration, and aside from toiling over the village financials, one of my greatest passions is for public spaces – buildings like our Baird Center and our South Orange Public Library – that serve our community.  We are all looking forward to the Baird center renovations and seeing first hand the potential for its use by our diverse range of residents.  I look forward to seeing it bustling with activity, enriching the lives of all who visit.   A great space makes way for robust recreation and culture programming for all residents to enjoy.

I also look to the South Orange Public Library, long due for a renovation, with even bigger enthusiasm.  All of the other projects are important as well, but the library has been, and continues to be, my top priority.  Our library is a safe place for our kids after school, a gathering space for our seniors, and a resource for everyone in between.  

In the next four years, we’ll be repurposing the Cameron tennis courts which have fallen into disrepair and completing the River Greenway Project which will connect us with our sister town of Maplewood.  I’m inspired to tackle these projects and others with the existing, distinguished members of the Trustee Board and with Bill and Bobby, new to the seats.  As with all endeavors, we will bring these tasks to the finish line with fiscal prudence and transparency. 

Over the last four years, I’ve collaborated with my fellow Trustees and the South Orange Village Center Alliance on the work of reinvigorating our commercial corridor and increasing the prosperity of our South Orange businesses.  A dynamic and attractive downtown means more foot traffic and more economic prosperity for South Orange.  While I have your attention:  when you shop, I encourage you to shop local – it helps us all.

In addition,  I recognize the importance of pedestrian safety, as our villagers should feel safe going to and from our downtown to their homes, and also of equity and inclusion as everyone in our community should feel safe, included, and elevated.

We have investigated sharing essential municipal services with Maplewood, to improve the quality and the efficiency of service and win some municipal savings.  In the next four years, we must move from the planning stages and make shared services a reality wherever doing so will benefit both our towns.  

On May 11th, Vote Line B – Hilton Haskins Brown, so that my running mates and I may continue improving our public spaces, overseeing fiscal responsibility, and making South Orange a place everyone can be proud to call home.  The Hilton Haskins Brown ticket is committed to bringing this goal to fruition.  Visit HHBSO2021.com for more info!

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