LETTER: Hilton, Haskins & Brown Will Bring Strong Experience to the South Orange BOT

by Donna Smith
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

Dear Editor,

I urge all South Orange residents to vote for Karen Hilton and her running mates in the May 11th municipal election for Board of Trustees.  Karen and I are longstanding South Orange residents and over the years we have worked together in a variety of volunteer positions.  She was a co-founder of the South Orange Public Library Foundation, which has been incredibly helpful in supporting initiatives to upgrade and provide more expansive resources for our community.  For many, the library is at the heart of this town and Karen has remained committed to supporting the institution as Liaison for the Board of Trustees.

As Chair of the Finance Committee, Karen has pursued the Board’s goal of maintaining fiscal discipline, while supporting the work that must be done, such as the improvements on the community center and efforts to protect our natural resources.  Her experience in managing community budgets has been a huge contribution toward the town’s fiscal stability.  I am pleased that Karen and her running mates are fully committed to pursuing shared services between South Orange and Maplewood, including the merger of the two fire departments.  Given Karen’s Master in Public Administration and extensive experience, re-electing her to continue her hard work is a no-brainer.

While I do not know them personally, candidates Bill Haskins and Bobby Brown also have been extensively involved with our town government and have the experience to be strong additions to the Board of Trustees.  Bill is the current Chair of the South Orange Environmental Commission and Green Team.  There is a lot of work to be done, to build on what has already been accomplished, including green infrastructure to address stormwater issues and developing a plan for Village recycling efforts.  His knowledge and experience with the Commission and Green Team, as well as the South Mountain Conservancy, SOMA Action Climate, and other such organizations, will help to drive these efforts forward.

Bobby Brown was an impressive candidate in the last election and, although he was not elected, he still dove right in to working with the South Orange government on the Community Police Collaborative, becoming the Chair.  His collaborative work with the South Orange Police Department is fostering more open and productive communication and development of best practices.  This work has been essential for increasing the level of trust on the parts of the community and of the police force. He promises to bring this experience to the Board of Trustees to assist in its continued efforts to promote inclusiveness and communication. 

Please join me in voting for HILTON HASKINS BROWN, LINE B, for Village Trustee, on May 11th.  

Donna Smith
South Orange, NJ
Former member of the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education

Related Articles