Meet Jeanne

Jeanne Kingsley

Jeanne has been serving Berkeley Heights as a Councilwoman for many years. She has been a leader, serving as Council President and Council Vice President during her tenure on Town Council. She established the Berkeley Heights Downtown Beautification Committee (DBC). Under her leadership, Berkeley Heights has experienced a significant renewal, from downtown-enhancing infrastructure projects to decorative flags, banners and holiday decorations. This was accomplished with minimal taxpayer impact, through her diligent work raising private funds and developing effective public/private partnerships. Jeanne has worked on securing grants for Berkeley Heights for almost a decade. Since 2016, she worked tirelessly on establishing the Berkeley Heights Safe Routes to School initiative. Her efforts resulted in Berkeley Heights receiving a grant of $410,000 in early 2019, for sidewalk improvements.

Jeanne is a CPA and her professional experience is primarily in the area of finance and strategic planning. She currently serves as a Director to the Archdiocese of Newark Pension Board. Most recently, she provided project oversite to a start-up direct to consumer fragrance company. Prior to that, she provided strategic consulting services to the CFO of Teachers Insurance & Annuity and built a planning and analysis function for the Employee Benefit Solutions Group of AIG. Prior to her consulting roles, Jeanne was Vice President of Finance for Prudential Insurance for many years and before that, worked in the audit practice at Deloitte providing audit and consulting related services primarily to clients in the financial services industry.

Jeanne and her husband Ed have called Berkeley Heights home for over 24 years. They have four children and have all been active volunteers in our wonderful community.

Jeanne’s Accomplishments As Town Councilwoman

Revenue streams secured:
• Hamilton Ave. Project will bring a net $6.9 million in revenue to the Township to offset the municipal complex bond debt and will increase tax ratable to the Township. ($10.5 million purchase price for Hamilton Ave property less $2.9 million purchase price for net of Hamilton Ave and old Library)
• Locust Ave. Project – a 55 and older community development providing a new housing alternative for our senior population and making ZERO impact on our school system. Utilized an abandoned commercial property that sat empty for 10+ years. Negotiated a traffic light at Snyder and Hamilton and sidewalk and streetscape enhancements along Hamilton Ave paid for by the developer
• Kings and Movie theatre projects will include infrastructure enhancements along Springfield and Sherman Ave, including improved pedestrian walkways and sitting areas. These projects will improve the overall beauty of our central downtown
• Embassy Suites Hotel – the room tax creates a new positive revenue stream for the town. In addition, a new expanded liquor license
Grant monies awarded:
• $410,000 Safe Streets to Transit grant for sidewalk improvements along Plainfield Ave.
• Worked with Recreation Commission and BOE to recover over $110,000 in unused grant money
Shared Services arrangements supported:
• Board of Education for vehicle and field maintenance
• Madison Borough for IT services
• Millburn for Animal Control Services
• Rahway and now Union County for Public Health Services
• Union County for Salt Dome usage
• Union County Dispatch for Police, Fire and 911
Budget management:
• Led the effort to present 2020 budget with zero budget increase – despite reduced Township revenues due to pandemic
• Implemented zero based budgeting
• Implemented six-year rolling capital plan to better manage capital needs and overall debt of Township
• Developed funding plan for ongoing road repair program

Older adult services:
• Partnered with the Office of Emergency Management to sponsor a carbon monoxide and fire alarm inspection program
• Worked to secure funding for a new Senior bus
• Worked with Seniors to make sure that their specific needs would be adequately addressed in the new municipal complex
Downtown Beautification Committee founding and management:
• Founder of the Downtown Beautification Committee
• Created Downtown Design standards with the update of Article 19 of the Township’s building ordinance
• Updated sign ordinance
• Established a brand strategy: Berkeley Heights logo, tagline, “Experience Berkeley Heights” and color palette in 2015
• Created events to drive customers to our downtown businesses: annual Restaurant Week, Beauty and Wellness weeks beginning in YEAR
• Created and raised funds for programs to help clean up and beautify Berkeley Heights: BH Walks, Bright Lights holiday decorating downtown, multiple sets of seasonal and historic banners, hanging flower baskets, adopt-a-sign program in which volunteers plant and maintain welcome and park signs, new litter and recycling containers, electric box wraps, and Peppertown Clock Plaza.
• Started various fundraisers to enhance the sense of community: Berkeley Heights ornaments, 1809 wooden signs, and Berkeley Heights magnets.
Township Communication Committee:
• Implemented live streaming for Council meetings and those Planning Board meetings that address major projects beginning in 2018
• Helped institute electronic alerts to provide regular updates to residents
• Improved the frequency of Facebook posts starting in 2018
• Developed an electronic Newsletter starting in 2018
• Created storyboards and flyers to communicate with residents about the new developments and municipal complex plans which were used at multiple Town Council meetings and at other town events such as Concerts in the Park
• Got funding approved and assisted with the research and development of the new Township-wide website beginning in 2017
• Established Swift 911 emergency communication portal; created a monthly Mayor’s roundtable
Advocate for Commuter Issues:
Launched the Commuter Parking Task Force in late 2019 to address issues and find solutions – task force launched a survey in Early 2020 with over 450 residents responding. Advocated to have train station parking lot paved and parking spaces appropriately designed by end of 2020.