For Immediate Release:
March 20, 2018
Contact: Natalie Pineiro
INK Creative Strategies InkCreativeStrategies@gmail.com
Mayor of Hillside Hosts Town Hall Meetings
Meetings focused on progress and communication
Photo Caption (photo attached): Hillside residents were invited to town hall to meet the Mayor, Council members and Municipal Directors to discuss community concerns specific to each of the four wards in town.
Hillside, NJ- Mayor Dahlia Vertreese and the Council of the Township of Hillside recently opened Town Hall to the public for four, ward-specific, town hall meetings. The purpose of the meetings were for residents to meet the Mayor, Directors, and Administrators in town.
The notable difference with this series of town hall meetings was that Directors and Administrators of various municipal departments were present, in person, to directly answer questions particular to their areas of responsibility.
“My vision was to help align people with information and demonstrate that we are working together,” said Vertreese. “In these forums no one can say they did not know or have approval to address a problem, and no one can say that a course of action was taken for one ward and not the other.”
Because the nature of each meeting was ward-specific, community members were able to discuss concerns specific to their location.
“This was a wonderful start for the new administration,” said Beverly Harris, First Ward resident. “This is not something that I have ever experienced here.”
Not only were residents able to put a face and a name to those that provide them with essential services, but many of their concerns were validated and they were reassured that there is a commitment to improving the community in all possible ways.
Some residents expressed relief because they know their township is in good hands.
“I feel there was progress made,” said Nyota Palmer-Gonzalez, Second Ward resident. “I’m happy that everyone got a chance to speak and no one was angry. I think that a lot of things will be done.”
Councilman Christopher Mobley (2ndWard), Councilman Donald DeAugustine (3rdWard) and Councilman Gerald Pateesh Freeman (4thWard) took an active role to facilitate their respective ward meetings, and were present to move the conversation forward.
In addition, the meetings were also attended by Councilman George Cook (Councilman-at-Large), Councilwoman Nancy Mondella (Councilwoman-at-Large), and Councilman Craig Epps (Councilman-at-Large).
“Gossip and misinformation have dominated the way our town has been run and this is our opportunity to stop that behavior, give people facts, and actually see OUR tax dollars at work,” said Vertreese.