To the Editor:
South Orange Maplewood Education Association is proud to announce that our members are endorsing Greg Lembrich in his candidacy for Maplewood Township Committee. This is the first time we have endorsed a Township Committee candidate. We were moved to do so not only by the strength of Greg’s candidacy and personal qualities, but because this is an important election and time for our town. SOMEA members are supporting his campaign and Greg reached out to request a meeting. As an organization, we welcome any candidate to contact us and speak with our membership at a monthly Representative Council Committee meeting.
Greg has been open with parents and educators alike about his ideas for Maplewood with regard to the education of our kids. When we heard about his ideas on education, and that his daughter CC was about to enter the district, we asked him to meet our members and talk about his vision and ideas. Greg spoke to our members at a Representative Council Committee meeting, and expressed his interest in education with intelligence and heart.
Greg wants to bring back a formal communication line between the leaders of the town and the Board of Education – a fresh idea that we are enthusiastic to support. Greg spoke about his respect for educators and staff and his willingness to work collectively with all stakeholders of the district. Our members were interested to learn about PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) that are being given to developers and hear that Greg opposes the use of PILOTs to freeze the school district out of revenue from new development.
With approximately ⅓ of our staff members being residents, we know that this change in the township will affect not only our members as staff of the district, but their families on a personal level as well. We are excited to support Greg and look forward to the changes in communication and transparency that are needed in our local government.
Danielle Perrotta, Communications Chairperson and Marty Weber, Political Action Chairperson
South Orange Maplewood Education Association