To The Editor:
The NJ primary election was June 6th. I thank Verona voters for the confidence they placed in me when they voted for me as a Democratic nominee for the N.J. Assembly for the 26th legislative district.
There’s 565 municipalities in NJ but when I hear “The Town of Verona”, I know from first-hand experience that it’s a special community. I’m an Essex guy, born in Mountainside Hospital, raised for 22 years in Cedar Grove. I lived 15 years in Verona, 19 years in Caldwell, and now reside in West Caldwell. I served as Caldwell Councilman from 2005-2009 and am now on the West Caldwell Planning Board and the Senior Transportation Committee.
When I moved to Verona in 1979, I witnessed an ever-present sense of community here. It’s a tangible culture of optimism and caring for one another that’s truly exceptional. Volunteer experiences as a Jaycee at Labor Day Picnics, or currently as a Verona Lion for twelve years, and previously being elected by you three times as your Town Councilman (1987-1994) let me see what puts Verona high atop the list of sought-after New Jersey towns.
Just look at the interactive senior/youth connections, the academic, artistic, athletic and musical talent we see emanating each year from our school system. Ten days ago while attending the Memorial Day Ceremonial inside town hall, the crowds overflowed even on a rainy day. And Verona just finished a spirited inter-active Municipal Council campaign that’s a true example of healthy democracy in action for all generations.
But that is clearly not the norm in the 26th Dist when it comes to NJ representation. That’s a key reason I want to represent you in Trenton. There are three other West Essex towns in the 26th, West Caldwell, North Caldwell and Fairfield, along with Morris County towns that go west to Rockaway Twsp and north up route 23 to West Milford’s 80sq. miles in Passaic County. Though each town in the 26th district is unique, they share the same problem.
Our perennially re-elected Republican Legislators lack TRANSPARENCY, and they are virtually INVISIBLE.
Can you recall interaction from DeCroce, Webber or Pennaccio in our towns? Do you know them? Who are they?
My twenty-five years as member of the League of Women Voters of the Montclair Area showed our motto to be true in 2016 and even more so in 2017. “DEMOCRACY IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT!” (Activism!)
I am campaigning as a Democrat, but we all realize – there are many dis-affected Republicans in a district with 34% Republican and 24% Democrat. But it’s the 41% voters registered as Unaffiliated that are also neglected.
They are my TARGET for 2017. Maybe they don‘t like either party. But potholes and traffic and recycling and budgets and communication are the nuts and bolts I worked on in a non-partisan basis, and we got things done.
The wooded northern towns of the 26th are gate-keepers of the NJ Highlands Act. They fear greedy over-development will destroy irreplaceable water resources. It’s our towns that receive 60% to 70% of our water from the Highlands that serves 5 million folks and 16 counties. I won’t let these Republicans jeopardize our future.
I care about people and I am proud of my (Altruism), evidenced by serving as an IRS-Certified Volunteer Tax Preparer for AARP in East Orange and Montclair through the United Way. I get energy from hands-on help for the elderly and needy. I am also a Salaam Shrine Shepherd volunteer who has logged over 50 trips transporting disabled kids to the Philadelphia Shrine Hospital. Lions, Masons, LWV, and numerous other civic causes show me it’s worth it to help. I’ve interacted with every Verona mayor since 1983, and each one shared amazement at the positive legacy of care citizens collectively provide. My 40 years at PSE&G as a Municipal Account Manager and a Strategic Planning Analyst showed me how to interact with people, and to appreciate a true gem when I see it.
If you folks know me from the old Verona days, I stand up to bullies and for what’s moral and ethical. I succeed when tested (Achievement). I take elected office obligations seriously. I’m not building a resume at my age.
I want all 200,000 citizens of our district to know that we can team together at the ballot box this November to reject the status quo we’ve been too conditioned to accept. This is the year to send a message of discontent.
We can get the recognition we deserve. Give me a chance to fight for us. I want to make seven grandchildren proud, and to lead by example and then, foremost, put POLITICS & PARTY LAST, and put PEOPLE first.
Join me in this challenge. You can contact me via mail at 14 Pin Oak Rd. West Caldwell NJ 07006-6511, via email at [email protected] or visit my Facebook page ELLIS EDGE. okay it’s Ellis William Edge, But you will hear more from me about our issues and answers WHEN I get your input and concerns. Hey, it’s 2017, do we live in exciting times or what? Okay, with seven grandchildren I know more about face-plant than face-book but I’ll learn!
Let’s give our 26th District an EDGE in TRENTON!
E. William Edge
West Caldwell, NJ