LETTER: A Vote for Brown, Haskins and Hilton is a Vote for Good Governance

by Michael Parlapiano
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Dear Editor,

I am voting for Bobby Brown, Bill Haskins and Karen Hilton because it is a vote for good governance: openness, transparency, priority and goal setting, and accountability. 

The Board of Trustees sets the priorities of our government, aligns our staff and budget against those priorities, and ensures that our professionals deliver on these priorities. The draft master plan includes a laundry list of laudable goals but which will we deliver on first and which will have to wait? Will we have the discipline to stay focused on our priorities until they are delivered? Are we ready to change the way things have always been done – the status quo – so that we can deliver on something we have never done? Some of this is about the allocation of our budget. We have the money needed to rebuild our streets for pedestrian safety, to build bike paths, to build the river greenway, to restore our street tree canopy, to expand our open space, to create a world class library – but only if we decide which parts of the status quo to stop doing or do in a new way. And some of it is about the priority of our values. Are we ready to make the policy changes to attract and nurture a truly diverse community. 

Making choices and maintaining focus is hard. Bobby Brown, Bill Haskins, and Karen Hilton have proven through their years of commitment that they don’t run away from the difficulties of policy and change making. They bring years of leadership experience in an extraordinarily wide range of business and volunteer activities. They know how to reach out to the people in our community and bring them into the process, listen to and learn from them, and find new paths forward. 

Michael Parlapiano 

South Orange, NJ

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