For as long as I can remember, candidates for Verona Town Council have been speaking about plans to “revive our downtown” or address issues around affordable housing. We have two candidates this May, Jason Hyndman and Cynthia Holland, who have the personal commitment and the professional experience to actually offer real solutions. By voting for them, our town, in essence, is getting two expert, qualified consultants on the issues for free.
I urge everyone to visit the various candidates’ websites and watch the candidate forum on YouTube. See who looks relaxed, open and prepared for questions, while some, in my opinion, lack imagination and real understanding of the issues. While one candidate offers aesthetic enhancements to the town square as the solution, Hyndman and Holland speak of things like land redevelopment, smart growth principles, and transitional zones. Hyndman has many years of experience as an attorney navigating the general procedural requirements faced by local governments, while Holland chaired the Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Workgroup for New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan.
During the Verona’s Young Voters candidate forum, the candidates were asked what Verona will do to avoid losing another half a million-dollar lawsuit for not providing gender equity pay for town employees. One candidate’s response was that “most people who work for Verona like their job,” while Hyndman and Holland offered thoughtful and concrete steps to be taken, because things like inclusivity and transparency are part of who they are and what they practice.
Some people want to continue to live in an imaginary 1950s Verona, but I want to live in a town where things like inclusivity, diversity, affordable housing, sustainability, social awareness are part of the agenda and part of living in Verona. That is why I am voting for Jason Hyndman and Cynthia Holland on May 11.