2023 CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCEMENT
Committeewoman Amalia Duarte is excited to announce that she is seeking re-election to the Township Committee to continue working on issues that are important to residents.
“I am excited for an opportunity to work on behalf of residents; listen to their concerns; and ensure Mendham Township keeps its small-town charm for generations to come,” said Duarte. “It would be an honor to serve my community for another term.”
Duarte filed her petition to run for re-election on March 17, 2023, with more than three times the number of signatures required. “It’s humbling to see this support for my re-election,” said Duarte. “Residents said they appreciate the work I have put into Township Committee.”
Since first winning election in 2017, Duarte has never missed a Township Committee meeting, and, every year, she has declined the salary that is offered to Committee members.
"It has been a pleasure to serve the residents of Mendham Township since January 2018, and I was humbled to win re-election in 2020 with a record-setting vote for a local candidate!"
Duarte first ran for office because she wanted to see a greater focus on recreation, especially rebuilding the Ralston Playground. After winning, the Ralston Playground was rebuilt through township funding, supplemented by a private fundraising campaign Co-Chaired by Duarte.
“The ribbon-cutting at Ralston Playground has been one of the highlights of serving on the Township Committee,” said Duarte. “It’s a great feeling to get something done for the community.”
Duarte cited other initiatives that have benefitted residents, including:
Improving communications and transparency by holding regular office hours with residents; launching a Communications Committee that helped to update the town's Website; and starting the town’s first monthly email newsletter, which she writes and publishes.
Spearheading the establishment of a sub-committee to give residents of Drakewick and Brookrace a voice in decision-making that impacts their neighborhoods. Duarte researched and wrote the Ordinance (local law) to establish a new Sewer Advisory Committee. It includes representatives of Drakewick and Brookrace, along with township officials, who meet on a regular basis to address problems and concerns.
Starting a program for students to serve on the town’s Environmental, Historic and Recreation sub-committees.
Advocating for an expanded road maintenance program, and, this year, the township is investing twice as much as in 2022 to repave and fix long-neglected streets.
Supporting the fiscally conservative financial plan to pay down debt. Voting in favor of every budget.
Coordinating outreach calls to seniors during the outbreak of COVID in 2020. In early 2021, she facilitated scheduling vaccination appointments for some of our community’s most vulnerable residents.
Establishing the Mendhams Stigma-Free Task Force, which she continues to Chair, in partnership with Mendham Borough. The Task Force has organized parent workshops on mental health/substance use disorders and sponsors an annual "Stomp Out the Stigma" Walk in May for Mental Health Awareness Month.
Organizing local elected officials across the state to endorse a Resolution asking federal officials to restore the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction.
Importantly, Duarte has spoken out against the dangers of overdevelopment. She was the only Township Committee member to vote against rezoning the Irene Spring Tree Farm property to allow for greater development.
“I am not afraid to take a stand on issues that I believe are important to our community. We must maintain our open space and preserve the local environment,” said Duarte. “Residents move to Mendham in large part because of the open space and trails. We have to be careful stewards of our community.”
Looking to the future, Duarte is working on a proposal to reuse the former police station. She launched a town-wide survey and held two Listening Sessions with residents to gain their input. The survey found 70 percent of residents want to see the old station reused for a community purpose, including for meetings, workshops, senior programs, classes and more. She is exploring grant opportunities to fund the project.
During her time on the Township Committee, she has served as liaison to just about all of the sub-committees and volunteer groups, including the Environmental Commission; Fire Department; First Aid Squad; Historic Preservation Committee; Mendham TV; Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee; Police Department; Surrounding Town Outreach; and Shared Courts.