The following is a letter to the editor provided by Mayor Tom Hannen.
To the editor:
Having watched this election heat up and play out the past few weeks, one cannot help but to observe the distinctions as we draw near to Election Day. Party politics at the national level has soured many people’s views on politics and elections. The beauty of local elections is the root of the issues that the citizens vote upon. A local election boils down to what is best for our town. In considering the election that is upon us, I urge you to ask yourselves; Is Cranford Better off now than it was a year ago? In 11 months, we have accomplished so much. With the new administrator that began work on January 1st, we began to unravel the financial mess that had been plaguing our town for years. We have our finances back in order and we have begun the process of restoring our stability. We brought a budget in under the state mandated 2% cap, which not only serves the needs of our town, but limited the burden that was placed on the taxpayers. We have continued the resistance against irresponsible development in our town, and have opened up new doors in our fight against the Birchwood development. We have brought in specialized council who is a proven expert in helping towns fight COAH cases in the courts. We have also brought in experts in effort to battle this case with the DEP. This year alone we have brought in close to $1,000,000 in grant money from the county, state and federal government to pay for projects and infrastructure improvements without putting any financial burden on the taxpayers. We have made great progress towards bringing our town of Cranford back to stability and towards improvement for the future. This could not have been done without tireless effort. Commissioner Kevin Campbell and I have been leading that fight. Kelly Howard, who while not an elected official, has brought his proven experience as a business leader and his knowledge and ideas to the table in hopes to continue the progress we have made. There have been critics of the progress we have made. President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.” Instead he says the importance is with the person “who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause.” Over this past 10 months, we have strived to achieve great things for Cranford, to put it on a great track for a better future, and I have witnessed Kevin Campbell and Kelly Howard do the same. So to answer the question from the beginning of this letter, do I think Cranford is better off than it was a year ago? I certainly do, and I hope you do as well. I ask you to support the progress we have made, and to support our promise to you to continue that progress in the future, by voting for Kevin Campbell and Kelly Howard on November 5th.