South Orange Trustee Michael Goldberg Monday announced he will not seek a third term. The letter he sent follows:
While I love serving the public, I despise politics. And, the only thing worse than a politician is a career politician. Because I never wanted to be considered either, after careful consideration, I have decided not to seek a third term as Village Trustee in the South Orange Municipal election this May 14th. Instead, I have determined it is time to focus my time and energy on both my family and on my professional career, as well as pursuing other interests.
It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve the community for almost 6 years. Despite the multitude of meetings, challenging personalities, late nights and difficult issues, it has been a true pleasure volunteering to help our Village. Far too many people run for office for the wrong reasons - whether to advance a personal agenda, obtain a better job or for their own self-promotion. For me, it was always simply about representing our residents and I tried to do that as best as I know how. While I am well aware there have been plenty of people who disagreed with me on various issues, I can only hope the legacy of my tenure can be that as a watchdog for fiscal responsibility, ethics, transparency, process and open communication, which were many of the tenets that I initially ran on back in 2007.
Without question, I made my share of mistakes and learned many lessons along the way. I sincerely thank everyone for the wisdom and guidance you provided to me over the years. Through neighborhood meetings, committee meetings, asking questions at Trustee meetings, Maplewood Online, interactions with staff and literally thousands of emails to/from residents, I learned so much about the Village and about myself. I always tried to make myself as accessible as possible, shared everything I could, voted for things that I felt were in the best interest of the Village, opposed things that were not and asked the questions that I thought the public wanted and needed to know.
I remain committed to completing my term with the same zeal over the next couple months and perhaps, someday, might consider getting back involved. But for now, the time has come to pass the torch to someone who can hopefully carry forward the principles I tried to uphold while bringing a set of fresh perspectives and new ideas to our Village. For anyone interested in throwing their hat into the ring, please feel free to reach out to me at MichaelCGoldberg@gmail.com to help you understand the issues and the challenges we face and to get my perspective of the time commitment required. (The deadline for filing petitions is March 11.)
I'll have much more to say and many people to acknowledge over the coming months, but for now, Thank You South Orange!