LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Take pride in Cranbury and appreciate the volunteers

To the editor:
 As we reach the end of October and the leaves change, the air turns crisp and we start to wind down the year, I receive a great feeling of pride in Cranbury.
Our Main Street is vibrant with the color of the changing leaves and thanks to our Shade Tree Commission, we are able to continue enjoying a wonderful and colorful canopy of trees.
Thinking of the great work done by Shade Tree, I can’t help but think of how much Cranbury benefits from our volunteers. I am proud that our township boards and commissions this year have been fully staffed as it demonstrates just how much people love our special community.
To me one of our most special boards are those of planning and zoning. The individuals who have served on these boards from the current to past generations took careful thought as they implemented master plans that kept Cranbury’s character intact.
Our recreation commission continually seeks out new ways to engage our youth so they are not becoming video game addicts and provides our seniors with programs that are enriching. Our library board is always seeking new ways to expand our learning through programs and technology. Our parks commission works hard along with our public works employees to keep our parks the nicest in the area.
It is our volunteers on the fire company who, through hard work, manage to keep us from having to spend millions on a paid fire department. Our CERT comes out whenever needed to help at the fireworks, rarade, Cranbury Day or other events saving our tax dollars. Our first aid, who in a moment of fear and crisis, comes to reassure us that we’ll be okay as they treat the issue and take us to appropriate care.
There are many other valuable boards and commissions who together ensure Cranbury remains the town we know and love.
Outside of the township entities the Lions Club, Woman’s Club and Historical Society all work to better our community and ensure our heritage, our uniqueness and our sense of identity is preserved.
Cranbury Housing Associates manages our affordable housing and helps Cranbury ensure we’re not hurt by a builder’s remedy that would forever change our town.
It is our volunteers on all of the boards and organizations that not only save Cranbury significant tax dollars, but provide our best opportunity to keep Cranbury preserved for future generations.
Just as these volunteers ensure Cranbury is kept the town we know and love, it is the obligation of all our residents to exercise your right to vote on Nov. 3.
The Township Committee seats held by Mr. David Cook and myself are up for re-election and we also have a contested school board race.
The poem I share below by Red Skelton I read to my daughter every Memorial Day, Election Day and Fourth of July as I find it the best way to explain why the Pledge of Allegiance and our role as citizens is so important.
I: Me; an individual; a committee of one.
Pledge: Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.
Allegiance: My love and my devotion.
To the Flag: Our standard. “Old Glory”; a symbol of courage. And wherever she waves, there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts “Freedom is everybody’s job.”
Of the United: That means that we have all come together.
States: Individual communities that have united into 48 (now 50) great states. Forty-eight (50) individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided by imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that’s love of country, of America.
And to the Republic: A Republic: a sovereign state in which power is invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern. And the government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
For which it stands.
One Nation: Meaning so blessed by God.
Indivisible: Incapable of being divided.
With Liberty: Which is Freedom. The right of power for one to live his own life without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.
And Justice: The principle and qualities of dealing fairly with others.
For All: For All. That means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.
After reading the poem, I ask that you think of those volunteers who do what they can to help the town and who when people are in trouble to come to our aid despite the risk to themselves.
As you enter the voting booth on Nov. 3 and look at the choice of candidates, I ask that you do so independent of party, national or state politics. I urge you to think of our community. A community united together by our small town heritage, our community that is special and our community that deserves to be preserved for future generations. Then thinking of what the town means to you I ask that you cast your vote for the candidate you feel will do the best job.
James (Jay) Taylor
Cranbury mayor