Roughly two dozen people came out to hear Emily Hynes, candidate for Village President, discuss her vision for the future of South Orange on Saturday.
“I’m Emily Hynes, and I’m your neighbor,” said the candidate as she officially kicked off her campaign at Ricalton’s. “My kids are in school with yours.”
Hynes, an attorney, is running under the platform “Smart Growth for South Orange.” Addressing the development boom that has taken place in town over the last few years, Hynes said South Orange needs “smart, responsible growth” that preserves home values and is “right” for neighborhoods.
“Renovate not obliterate,” she said. She spoke about development on Irvington Avenue, Valley Street and other parts of town that are filling up with “high density growth” with “too many PILOTs [tax abatements]” being given away.
“We are South Orange Village, not South Orange city,” said Hynes, to applause.
Jeremy Abbate, a supporter who introduced Hynes, said she was “very committed to a longterm vision for our town” that is “safe, productive, dynamic.” Abbate emphasized that Hynes is a homeowner as well as a mother of two children in the South Orange – Maplewood public school system.
Hynes entered the race for South Orange Village President on March 10. She is running against current Trustee Sheena Collum. The election will be held on May 12.