To the Editor:
I urge South Orange residents to vote for Sheena Collum for Village President in the upcoming municipal election. In her last four years as Village President and the years before that as Trustee, Sheena has evidenced an incredible work ethic, strong leadership, accountability, and enthusiastic commitment to this community. Although she has a full-time “day job,” I think she spends almost as much time, and certainly as much if not more effort, on her volunteer work for South Orange.
Sheena’s enthusiasm, drive and dedication are just what we need in leadership, to continue generating a village spirit that pulls people together and builds on everyone’s strengths. As Village President, she has worked tirelessly on a myriad of top priorities, including comprehensive planning, smart growth, infrastructure, and citizen engagement. Her efforts to promote shared services and streamlining municipal operations through other means are welcome to South Orange taxpayers, as she and the Board of Trustees consistently keep tax increases under 2%. I also love her work with the senior citizens in our town, who now feel that their concerns are being heard and addressed, from new bus routes for seniors to new activities. Her willingness to attend Girl Scout and other youth group meetings to talk about civic issues make her a great role model for our youth, especially as she is the first female to hold the role of Village President.
Sheena believes in collaborative decision-making and bringing members of the community into the process, such as establishing a round of community discussions regarding the Master Plan. She also is amazingly transparent, keeping on top of issues important to South Orange residents and responding to questions on social media and everywhere else.
In my mind, Sheena has awakened and renewed our Village spirit during her tenures as Village President and Trustee. Please join me in voting for Sheena on May 14.
Donna Smith, South Orange
[Donna Smith is a former member of the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education.]