A guest post by Beth Teitel, which was sent out via email yesterday:
With the municipal election for Village President only two days away, I want to take a moment out of my Mother's Day festivities to send everyone an email about the election, from a mother's perspective.
I’m not writing about Alex simply because he’s my son – but because I am in a unique position to talk about how passionate Alex has been about our town. While a student at Columbia High School, Alex first got involved in local politics to stand up against a thoughtless idea of a developer the board hired that would have destroyed the vibrant, diverse community of tennis players at the Baird. Alex refused to accept it when he was told that the proposal (to replace tennis courts with additional parking spaces) was “too far along to stop – it’s a done deal”. He began attending board meetings, gathered evidence against the proposal and worked with many other residents to make sure their voices were heard. Thankfully for the town, the efforts of all the residents were successful, and we still have a wonderful community of tennis players at the Baird, drawn from a true cross-section of residents.
Like many families, we moved out here knowing we would have to sacrifice to be able to afford to live in this area. But for what we got in return - public schools that helped produce two excellent students, incredible recreation facilities, a safe neighborhood and downtown, easy access to New York City via train, and the best part – being part of such a creative and diverse community - it was worth it.
Over the years, we've seen a lot of change in South Orange, much of it moving our town in a positive direction. But what we feel right now is a disconnect between the priorities of residents and business owners, and the priorities of the Board. Partly as a result of his initial exposure to village politics, Alex believes very strongly that all residents, not just a select few, should be able to express their ideas and opinions and participate in our government.
I’m very proud of Alex’s service to the village as a volunteer EMT with the South Orange Rescue Squad and I believe his practical experience working with our police and fire departments make him the best person to help ensure the safety and quality of life we’ve come to expect in South Orange.
Last but not least, I know that Alex has the passion and creativity to actively market and promote South Orange to prospective residents and businesses, and to help bring in the additional revenue needed to keep our budget under control.
I don't want to take any more of your time on Mother's Day but I feel it's important to let people know that I’m not voting for Alex because he is my son. I have had a chance to see his commitment to our town blossom over the years, and I’m voting for him because I know he has the ability to energize this town and take it in a positive direction, and most people who have had the chance to have conversation with him about these issues feel the same way.
Remember to vote….. TORPEY on TUESDAY !! Polls are open from 6am to 8pm.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Beth Teitel, of Turrell Ave