TO THE EDITOR: This year’s contest for Bedminster Township Committee features two highly accomplished incumbents running for re-election, Committeeman Doug Stevinson and Committeewoman Gina Fernandez.
The hallmarks of serving the community are time and dedication, which these two candidates have demonstrated in abundance.
Now in his sixth year on the Township Committee, Doug previously served on the Bedminster Land Use Board, Recreation Committee, Bedminster-Far Hills Little League as former president, and Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House.
Gina, who is completing her first term on the Township Committee, has been a constant presence, volunteering for the Bedminster Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), vice president, the PTO Spring Fling, co-chair, Bernards High School Project Graduation, chair, and 12 years as a Girl Scout troop leader.
But the work doesn’t stop come Election Day – quite the opposite. I sit on many boards in Bedminster, including serving as the chair of the Land Use Board, president of my local condo association and treasurer of the Hills Village North Master Association. I can tell you from personal experience that the best board members are the busiest ones, and Doug and Gina are no exceptions.
When Doug saw blighted buildings in Pluckemin Village, he sprang into action, using his legal expertise to craft what is commonly referred to as a “zombie ordinance.” It essentially forces landowners to address derelict properties or face fines and potential condemnation.
That’s the reason those abandoned buildings on Route 206 were demolished, and the vacant house next to the Exxon station removed. Like many Hills residents, I can’t thank Doug enough for leading the efforts to eradicate those eyesores.
Doug has continued to advocate for all residents on a variety of complex issues, be it open space grants for our new community garden, affordable housing obligations or the capital investments necessary to maintain our extensive inventory of roadways and trails.
Never content to be on the sidelines, he is the quarterback that energizes the organization and consistently delivers results for team Bedminster.
Similarly, Gina, a teacher by trade, is all business.
She has overseen numerous staffing decisions following the retirement of several Bedminster institutions, including our clerk/administrator, DPW director and now our chief of police. In every instance, Gina’s steady hand and forthright approach have ensured continuity of services and no disruption to Bedminster residents.
Those who know Gina recognize the passion she brings to any project she takes on.
She’s the force behind Fall Fest, new Rec Department programs like trunk-or-treat and the township’s efforts to address mental health issues in concert with Communities in Crisis.
Her experience across a wide variety of disciplines and her infectious enthusiasm makes Gina the go-to person who simply gets things done.
On Nov. 8, I plan on voting for the team that are champions for Bedminster.
Please join me in re-electing Committeeman Doug Stevinson and Committeewoman Gina Fernandez to the Bedminster Township Committee.
Editor’s note: This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in The Bernardsville News.