Over the last few years, I’ve noticed some disturbing trends in our lovely city. The city administration has grown immensely, yet common sense tells me our small city doesn’t need this bureaucracy. I see trees cut down, more traffic, more fences and cement structures in our parks, more buildings going up and more spending. It doesn’t fit with why we said we wanted our city to be a city!

That is why I am voting for Jen Heath for mayor. I attended the recent mayoral forum and heard Jen’s perspective on “our city of neighborhoods.” I liked what I heard.

Jen is not a politician. She wants to serve the residents of Brookhaven, not build a political career. I like that! She has years of real business, leadership, financial and management experience. She has worked to set priorities, effectively allocate resources and achieve goals with limited funds and within set timelines. This is the experience necessary to lead and manage the city of Brookhaven.

Jen has worked as a community advocate. She founded “We Are Brookhaven,” a group whose purpose is to give a voice back to the residents regarding city activities and projects, impacting residents’ lives. This group’s research and communication efforts enabled resident engagement and more involvement in Brookhaven city projects and spending.

Jen has simple, common-sense plans for a better Brookhaven and the role of mayor.

Jen recognizes the role of the mayor is about listening to and representing us, the residents of Brookhaven, not about mandating what others perceive is best for us. Jen believes the city should be transparent and communicate often with residents. She does not believe in government that hides behind complex systems and bureaucratic records requests. Have you tried to navigate the city website or get information from Brookhaven City Hall? Yikes! Jen wants to fix that.

Jen has often said, “Brookhaven is a city of neighborhoods with threads of commercial development between them. Each of these areas brings something unique to Brookhaven, and all are built around homes and families.” This is foundational to her belief in thoughtful, strategic development versus rushed, unfettered development that disrupts resident’s daily lives. I can get behind that approach!

Jen has proposed a more comprehensive policy to protect our old hardwoods and tree canopies. She has proposed using technology to improve traffic congestion, minimize disruption and prepare for future growth. She has a plan to get more community input, reprioritize multi-use path and sidewalk projects, add them where it makes sense, and not disrupt neighborhoods. Sign me up!

Jen wants to stop wasteful spending like $260,000 for one bathroom in one park! Jen would use those resources to do more for all our parks. Jen wants to stop the debt of bonds, loans and tax abatements. She believes in using existing revenue to manage Brookhaven and knows these are your tax dollars to be used responsibly on priorities supported by taxpayers.

Jen supports what is working in Brookhaven: our well-run police department and our dedicated, knowledgeable volunteer community groups, who together, help keep our city safe and beautiful.

If we want the city of Brookhaven government to listen to us, represent us, work with us, and be responsible stewards of our hard-earned tax dollars, we need to vote for change. That is why I am voting for Jen Heath for mayor on Nov. 5. I believe she will indeed be the best choice for Brookhaven, “Our City of Neighborhoods.”

Heather Faire

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