The following is a transcript of remarks made by Nancy Adams upon her swearing-in for a second term on the Maplewood Township Committee on January 1, 2019.
I will begin my remarks with my thank-you’s. Most importantly to the voters of Maplewood. Thank you for voting me in to a second term as a member of the Township Committee to continue the work begun and to tackle that not yet addressed. Your enthusiasm and turnout in this midterm election resulted in the most number of votes garnered for a TC member in more than a decade. That energy propelled democrats to victory all the way up the ticket! I am grateful to and humbled by everyone who turned out and voted. We know that voting is the most important right we have as citizens in our Republic and the most important responsibility we must assure our Democracy remains strong. We know what can happen when voters don’t turn out, when voters are disenfranchised, when voters are removed from the rolls and ballots are not counted. We require an active and engaged electorate to ensure these irregularities will not continue.
I thank the Maplewood Democratic Party for your confidence in me by endorsing me as your Democratic candidate, which was a validation for my accomplishments of the past three years. I thank all of the District Leaders for your help during the campaign. Thank you to MDC Vice Chair Garnet Hall for your friendship and unwavering support; and thank you to MDC Chair Ian Grodman for your advice and council, and as always your support and friendship.
I give my thanks and my love to my best friend and confidant, my husband Sal Renda for supporting me again in my desire to seek reelection. Sal knows how passionate I am about making a difference not only in the community that we live but in our country. While my passion often means weekend events, late nights, public scrutiny, and sharing date nights with constituents, he supports me always, and gives me strength. Thank you, Sal.
I congratulate my running mate, Greg Lembrich. Here we go…another 3 years! I look forward to continuing our work together on behalf of Maplewood Township. It’s been an honor to work together with my fellow members of the Township Committee, Vic, Frank and Dean. As a group we have faced several challenges these past three years and we have always worked together in the best interest of the town. Although our approaches to solutions sometimes differed the respect we show each other as we discuss and deliberate, the careful attention to detail in respect to serving all our diverse citizens has been inspiring. Thank you all for your dedicated service to our community.
Prior to moving to Maplewood in 1989 I had not thought of myself as a civic volunteer or local activist. I had opinions about policy and politics on local and national issues. I wrote lots of letters to the editor, I voted but had not been actively involved on a local level. As most women of my age I was busy having babies, caring for my children and family, and making ends meet. When I moved here my youngest was 2 months old and was a parent volunteer at my daughter’s 3rd grade class at Tuscan and my 4-year old’s class at Prospect Preschool. It was in the public schools that I first learned how to get involved and to take action where needed. We lived, and still live, on Harvard and I felt that Springfield Avenue did not reflect the best aspects of our town. My next activist adventure was when I went door-to-door to organize the neighborhood to put pressure on the township leaders to address Springfield Avenue and its condition, ultimately forming College Hill Neighborhood Association and then the Springfield Avenue Partnership. Those two experiences solidified my passion as a civic activist. My activism in Maplewood continued as I raised five children in Maplewood and the public schools and worked full time as a downtown manager in municipalities across northern New Jersey. I share this for all the women and mothers out there who think they can’t get involved or make a difference in their community. You can, and the sacrifices are worth it in the impacts you make on the community and the important example you set for your children.
As a member of the Township Committee I have advocated for common sense solutions to issues as they arise and have fought hard for solutions to quality of life and environmental issues to protect our residents. My goals are to ensure the continued value of and enjoyment in living in Maplewood. I have added a rare perspective to the discussions at this dais, few women have sat where I do today. I have utilized my personal and professional experiences in downtown revitalization and municipal work, along with the perspective of life as a working woman, a mother, and for some years as a single mother, and as person who has had to work hard and manage her resources well enough to afford the privilege of living in a town as wonderful as Maplewood, to the discussions and considerations in determining what we as in the township committee should be acting on and how we can best serve this community,
I had a look at my remarks from my first inauguration three years ago. I noted that I was a little nervous then. Rightly so, I have learned that leadership has a cost. That one can’t please everyone all the time. That leaders will lose some friendships in their effort to serve fairly, and leaders will gain new friendships by having the opportunity to meet many new people through their service.
I believe that I represent an important, independent voice at the table. I will continue to be proudly outspoken, dedicated to thoughtful deliberations and decisions, to the consideration of all of the facts available and to utilize my professional and life experience to ensure that we make and implement our determinations with care.
With my 30 years community activism in Maplewood and advocating for causes that affect our community I provide this body with an experienced and historical perspective to our discussions. I have shown that I am not afraid to advocate for topics and issues that are valuable to our community even when they are not the most politically expedient choice. I admit that I am a passionate public servant not a strategic politician and I am proud of that designation.
I am not big at self-promotion, although it’s a necessary evil when in campaigning. This speech is probably the most you will hear me talk about myself during my term. There is no time for politics in the day-to-day governance of a community. I pledge to continue to work with my colleagues to protect your quality of life in Maplewood. To ensure that we have an open, welcoming and affirming community. To provide you with the highest quality of public services. To ensure you have safe neighborhoods and safer streets. To provide you with a vibrant and dynamic town center and clean and well-maintained parks and playgrounds. I pledge to ensure open and transparent governance, and a voice on state and national issues that affect Maplewood and the values we stand for. You can count on me to serve you honorably and honestly. To listen carefully, consider thoughtfully and to fight loudly for you when its necessary. Thank you for the opportunity to continue to serve you. Happy New Year!