No contest is no excuse: Vote on June 2 and get to know your government

Even though the June 2 Primary Election is a ho hum, no-contest election for Highland Park  citizens, officials urge all registered voters to exercise their right to vote and gain an understanding for the issues that the candidates are espousing. No Republican has announced his or her candidacy, but there are three Democrats running for three seats on Borough Council. They are as follows: Gayle Brill Mittler, currently mayor, and running for mayor – a four year term; Susan Welkovitz, currently a council woman and council president, running for council – a three year term; Jim Walsh, a new candidate running for council – a three year term to fill the seat of Councilman Gary Potts who decided not to run for re-election.

Running on a common platform, the three candidates for Highland Park Borough Council make this pledge to the Highland Park community:

—We will stabilize taxes and advocate for ALL residents in Trenton to recover state aid owed to Highland Park.

—We will develop our downtown in a sustainable manner as a business friendly and vibrant retail destination in order to generate new revenue sources.

—We will work to make much-needed improvements to our infrastructure and plan for the future.

—We will work to improve quality of life for our seniors, our youth, and all Highland Parkers
Gayle Brill Mittler has served as mayor since June 2014 and served as a member of Borough Council since 2009. Among her accomplishments are developing new, shared services agreements, working to improve pedestrian and bike access, and streamlining the application process for new businesses downtown. Mayor Brill Mittler has also assembled a team of volunteer professionals to examine the Borough’s long-term capital improvement needs.

Susan Welkovits has served on Borough Council since January 2012, and has chaired the Health and Human Services Committee for three years. In January 2015, she was elected by her colleagues to serve as Council President and now chairs the Borough’s Public Works and Public Utilities Committee, working closely with Department of Public Works and Code Enforcement.

Jim Walsh has committed his professional life to environmental justice, serving as the NJ director of Food & Water Watch. Among his many accomplishments was leading the effort to pass the first national ban on fracking in Highland Park, resulting in a countywide ban and similar action in dozens of NJ towns.

Voters in just one-eighth of New Jersey’s legislative districts will have a choice in tomorrow’s primary election for NJ State Assembly representatives. This is one of the quietest elections in recent memory in most of the state – even though the control of the Assembly is at stake. In total, 170 candidates are running for 160 slots on the November ballot, 80 for each party. Independent candidates may also file to run in the general election.

Highland Park’s 18th Legislative District is a non-contested district for the primary. (Assemblywoman Nancy J. Pinkin and Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan).

The Polls are open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 2, 2015

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