Madison, NJ News — Denis Schreiber and Dr. Ronald Hendrickson, Republican candidates for Madison Borough Council, were the guests of honor for the Madison Grand Old Party’s Annual Open House Party on September 17. More than seventy guests attended the local backyard event, and every District of Madison was represented.
Joining the celebration was Sheriff James (Jim) Gannon who drove up early in his 1963 vintage Chevy Police Squad car with a V8 and parked in front to set the festive tone. Joining Sheriff Jim were other Morris County leaders: Morris County Clerk, Anne F. Grossi; Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana; Morris County Freeholder Debora Smith; Morris County Freeholder Tom Mastrangelo; Morris County Republican, Rob Zwigard; State Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce; and Madison Borough Councilman Pat Rowe.
The sunny warm September day brought a crowd to discuss just whether Madison is headed in the right direction. The new Madison Republicans represent the general consensus of most Madisonians: There is a need for further explanation and clarification of what a “Welcoming Community” means to all citizens; the borough needs to bring our high taxes under control; the rates that the borough-owned utility charges its electric customers are indefensibly enormous; Madison’s historically important downtown is in need of revitalization and modernization and it has been overlooked by the Democratic majority Council for years; downtown parking improvements are long overdue; the borough should support local efforts to create a sustainable & affordable Madison; there are opportunities for the local community to reinforce the Madison school district’s STEM Initiative.
County Sheriff Jim Gannon took questions relating to Madison’s “Welcoming Community” movement. He cautioned against the dangers of working in opposition to state & federal laws and implementing policies that may restrict our public service employees in the performance of their duties, including police and fire personnel. “We all have to work together in harmony and for the betterment of all,” the Sheriff said. “Any other arguments are not in the favor of all citizens and severely harm the legal immigrants who suffer most. Clarity and fairness are what matters,” he added.
“Madison has always been ‘welcoming’ and open-armed to all,” Denis Schreiber stated. “That is why my wife and I moved here decades ago.” “Madison took in people searching for freedom from the South in the 1820’s and housed, fed and clothed them.” Ron Hendrickson added, “You can’t legislate caring and true love and respect for others. No decree or grandstanding can bring that about... It comes from the heart and Madison has always had a very big heart!”
The general consensus was that Madison is heading in the wrong direction and the heavily over-weighted Madison Council needs immediate Republican balance. The over-developed and high-density complex on the site of the former Green Village Road School may be a strategy to increase tax revenue, but is that the best direction for Madison?. “The genie is out of the bottle” one Central Avenue resident said. “The height and density standard has been set and now it is a precedent! The movie theater has closed harming many families as well as downtown.”
“Things have to turn around,” said one mom whose family has lived in Madison for four generations. “Madison needs new leadership, not more of the same."