To the Editor:
As a relatively new resident to South Orange, former lifelong resident of Maplewood, I will be casting my vote for Sheena Collum on Tuesday, May 14.
Many readers are likely aware that my passion is education and I was privileged to serve the South Orange and Maplewood community as a former member of the Board of Education. It was in this role that I first got introduced to Sheena and I found her to be very responsive and we frequently spoke about opportunities to collaborate on issues impacting our youth.
I’ve been eagerly following the discussion about the long-term facilities plan for our children with great excitement and Sheena has been nothing short of a champion in trying to galvanize taxpayer support about the need for this critical investment while being very honest and transparent about the financial impact of the school bond. She has also taken a strong position on upgrading our fields for all our students, student athletes, and community members who utilize our open space for recreation.
Shortly after I moved to South Orange, I had questions and, like many people, I contacted Sheena. She made my transition to town smooth and it was no surprise I saw her at the first neighborhood cocktail party I attended in Montrose. She also made me aware of a new group that was forming to address community policing and interactions between law enforcement and people of color. As a black male living in SOMA and with my experience working with youth, she solicited my honest feedback and encouraged me to join and help find others in town who care deeply about this issue. She frequently tries to get different perspectives in a room to talk, even about the most difficult topics.
For these reasons and more, please join me in re-electing Sheena Collum for Village President on Tuesday, May 14.
[Editor’s Note: Chris Sabin served on the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education from 2016-2019.]