Who's Running for Council? Does it Really Matter?

Six candidates are running for the two council seats in Highlands in the November election, but it doesn’t seem like two-thirds of them want anyone who reads the local blogs to know anything about them, their backgrounds, their knowledge of the town or their plans if they get elected to run it.

Only the All Hands on Deck duo of Melissa Cavaluzzi and Melanie Henley-Heyn bothered to answer a series of questions e-mailed to each of the six candidates at the official e-mail address they filed with the Borough of Highlands and Monmouth County. The request for information was sent to all six candidates copied in a single e-mail, and followed up with a reminder and request to submit the information by Monday, Oct. 4, giving each two weeks in which to let the public know their opinions, positions and backgrounds.

Apparently, only Cavaluzzi and Henley-Heyn can meet deadlines, provide information, respond to requests, and believe that notwithstanding the excellent overage both newspaper blogs that cover Highlands give to borough events, www.venividscripto.com has a broad, diverse, and interested audience of several thousand followers in the Bayshore area.

The other four candidates from the two other slates seeking office apparently did not feel newspapers or unbiased journalists were important enough to supply any information the media could share with voters. Better to run their campaigns on Facebook, gossip, five minute meetings on doorsteps or barter? It’s hard to tell.

Also impressive about the M&M team is their very professional website that is packed with facts, ideas, innovations, photos, and their opinions. A rather novel approach to vying for political office in Highlands. See it for yourself at melandmel.org Then, putting politics aside, also check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH5e8x_vLVE to hear the spectacular professional operative tones of an opera singer.

As a journalist who has covered Highlands politics for more than six decades it is shameful and hurtful to the borough to see the depths of depravity to which want to-be municipal leaders have taken. Backroom antics, failure to keep the pubic informed, lack of professional courtesy, even downright rudeness and total disregard for the voter have become commonplace in a community where at one time officials could verbally fight out in the open, but immediately join forces to make the final decision work, even if that, to, was done reluctantly.

They weren’t afraid to let people know how they felt, they weren’t afraid to let the public know in every way possible how they stood on issues or what they planned for the borough as its leaders.

Apparently those times have been replaced by teams that want to get even, get back into the limelight, keep everything undercover, and perhaps even hide some of the improper or illegal deals they themselves may be making in their personal businesses or lives.

I don’t know either Ms. Cavaluzzi or Ms Henley-Heyn other than seeing them attend a historical society meeting and touring the Twin Lights. But I do know they are not afraid to meet deadlines, eager to shout out their message in every way possible through every source available to them, and ready to defend their positions on anything. Sadly, of the six, they are the only two who seem to have any guts, courtesy or interest in keeping the public informed.

Look for the candidates’ responses to questions and information on their background in the news section.


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