Jeff Varnerin – The Right Choice for Town Council
by Dan Bartiromo
Born in Summit, grew up in Berkeley Heights, married a fellow BH native and chose to raise our family here. I know our town well.
I met Jeff Varnerin through youth soccer.
Jeff was one of 3 coaches for my son’s team. Steady, thoughtful, confident, formidable…that was my initial impression. You know, it only takes a few moments to form one. Watching from the sideline, I observed how he directly addressed the boys, suggesting adjustments and improvements…remaining calm…even in the most exciting situations.
The way Jeff coached the soccer team, you would have thought he played in his youth. I found out later, he never did. He learned the game for his son and for the team.
Over a short amount of time, a friendship grew between our families. We share some common interests. We love traveling and enjoying good meals. More significantly we place enormous value on the things that are closest to us- family, friends and the community we live in. Politically, Jeff and I share some similar beliefs, but we also have significant differences. I greatly appreciate the fact that we can disagree respectfully, with understanding and without personal offense. That initial impression I had of Jeff has been validated many times over. He’s calm & level-headed, someone who is super-smart, but also blessed with common-sense. A volunteer, a ‘thinker’ and a ‘doer’. Jeff makes a positive difference wherever he applies himself.
Thinking of the coming election for Town Council, we are fortunate to have good people willing to take on the work for the benefit of the community. Knowing Jeff personally, I can honestly say we have a tremendous opportunity to add a wonderful leader & person to the Town Council. Let’s not miss it. I urge you to please vote for Jeff Varnerin, Line B, for Town Council.
Why Vote Column B Locally?
by Julie Lloyd
Elections. A very tough word these days. I believe qualifications and accomplishments matter. In these stressful times, it takes more than fun videos and pictures to be elected. We need smart, ethical, experienced Council members. These are the people that will impact your community and what is likely your biggest asset—your home. This is why it is important to read on about why Jeanne and Jeff are the best candidates to represent your interests. I met Jeanne on the Downtown Beautification Committee eight years ago. She has always been a focused, smart, thinks-on-her-feet kind of leader. She has led us through tough challenges—affordable housing, planning for a new municipal building and complex infrastructure issues.
Serving together on the DBC, we worked to create clear standards for, “traditional design that will last through the decades” for downtown (approved by the Planning Board). So, when the affordable housing mandate was put to the test, it was imperative that the developers followed these design standards. Jeanne worked hard to review every plan and is the only Council member who knows all the details of these residential housing projects. The prior town planner was committed to ensuring that developers strictly followed these standards. Today, as all the housing developers are requesting changes, we’re seeing that the new town planner doesn’t have the history and appears to support modern, warehouse-style buildings in our downtown. We need Jeanne Kingsley to remain at the table to remind them of what was approved and make sure that they do not renege on their commitments. She will fight to continue to establish and maintain consistent design character for all new developments in our town. It’s of critical concern as these buildings will be here for at least 60 years.
Jeff and I met while working on a number of volunteer projects in town over the past few years. He is an extraordinarily strong project manager and scientist. Jeff is solutions oriented and a thoughtful collaborator who has deliberate, calm demeanor. All of these skillsets will be valuable on the Town Council. He has volunteered extensively in Berkeley Heights, so I know from experience he is a “get the job done” guy. Jeff will be a trailblazer on the Town Council. When we elect Jeanne and Jeff, we will have a balanced Council which will bring diverse experience and skillset. Keep in mind that the Mayor manages the people and the Council manages the budget and governance. Solid experience and skillsets (Jeanne is a CPA and Jeff is a scientist) will be required on the Council.
With Jeanne and Jeff on the Council we will get the best out of the Mayor and Council—and that’s best for Berkeley Heights. Vote Column B. Please complete your Vote-By-Mail ballot as soon as possible and drop it at the secure ballot box at Snyder Ave Park.
Jeanne Kingsley’s Positive Impact on Berkeley Heights
By Michelle Greco
In 2018, I served as a member of Town Council alongside Councilwomen Jeanne Kingsley and Susan Poage and other members.
Councilwoman Kingsley’s diligence and accomplishments far exceed any other Councilmember. She has proven to be able to work alongside anyone, regardless of their political affiliation. In the short time I was a Councilwoman I was able to witness Jeanne’s tenacity when she wrote and applied for the Safe Routes to School and Safe Streets to Transit grant in 2018. The Safe Routes to School initiative was started by Jeanne in 2016. She met with community members to understand their needs and priorities. Jeanne also met with the Board of Education, school principals and the PTO to create new programs and groups to support the Safe Routes to School initiative. She did the research to identify requirements and complete all the applications needed to make Berkeley Heights eligible to apply for such a prestigious grant.
Jeanne’s hard work paid off in February 2019 when Berkeley Heights was awarded grant monies of $410,000 – the largest (non-roads) grant ever awarded in Berkeley Heights history. Councilwoman Kingsley is too humble to tell anyone how hard she worked on this grant, but I was there—I saw her tenacity, her diligence and her attention to detail.
Although Jeanne’s grant application was submitted long before the Grants Committee was formed, it was a major contributor of Berkeley Heights receiving the Innovation Award in 2019.
This is just one example of the positive impact that Jeanne has had on our Town of Berkeley Heights. Let’s continue to benefit from Jeanne’s incredible drive, smarts, and heart by reelecting her to Town Council. Competence is on the ballot this year. I am voting for Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley and Jeff Varnerin for Berkeley Heights Town Council – Column B.