Letter to the Editor: Ann Baldwin

Haddonfield resident Ann Baldwin outlines her thoughts regarding the Haddonfield election on May 9.

After a thoroughly exhausting election year and considering the ongoing intense partisanship in Washington, it would be tempting to tune out of politics entirely. Despite this, I would urge Haddonfield residents to make another small push and vote in the local commissioner election on May 9, which is, in fact, a race for our next mayor.

Three candidates — the current commissioners — are running for three positions; therefore each will retain his seat. However, the candidate who garners the most votes typically is appointed Haddonfield’s mayor.

You may vote for one, two or three candidates. If you vote for one, you are essentially voting for mayor. While the role of the mayor may seem primarily ceremonial, our next mayor will be the one to negotiate with any developer who has an eye on the long-debated Bancroft parcel. The Mayor also has greater ability to determine the general direction of the town and has the most visibility with the media. I will cast only one vote on May 9, and it will be for John Moscatelli.

Residents interested in the direction of the town over the next four years would be wise to see for themselves. A brief visit to the websites of the mayoral candidates shows a clear contrast between the three.

It is obvious the many recent improvements throughout town are in Commissioner Moscatelli’s column including: the surge in repairs to our beleaguered water and sewer system; the visible boost in pace of road replacements, the most notable of which was the Grove Street reconstruction; the long-awaited renovations to our public library; new lights on some of our athletic fields; new solar-powered trash cans/compactors around town including in front of Gracie’s Ice Cream Parlor.

Moscatelli has formed a special committee tasked with changing ordinances to address residents’ concerns about new development (runoff, building height, damage to tax-funded infrastructure). Despite all these improvements, our borough taxes have barely budged — only school taxes have dramatically increased.

The borough’s agenda should be primarily focused on improving local infrastructure, protecting public safety and ensuring developers are respectful of the community without substantially raising taxes. The town still has a long way to go on infrastructure improvements and constraints on developers and the Bancroft question is far from settled.

This is a race for our next Mayor, so please remember to vote on May 9. Please consider casting only one vote for the person with the track record and qualifications for moving the town forward, Commissioner Moscatelli.

Ann Baldwin