Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. My name is Terri Tauber and I live in CD7. I lived in Summit for 33 years before moving west along Springfield Ave to Berkeley Heights. I want to talk briefly about the communities along that Springfield Ave/County Road 512 corridor. They share not only the County Road, but also the Passaic River and the Morris-Essex train line, in particular the Gladstone Branch.
The Springfield Ave corridor includes many towns in CD7. It begins at an intersection with CR 513 in Califon in Hunterdon County, goes through Tewksbury Township, then crosses the Lamington River into Bedminster Township in Somerset County, through Peapack-Gladstone (passing the Gladstone Station, the Western terminus of the Gladstone Train Line). Rt 512 crosses the Raritan into Far Hills and continues on into Bernards Township. After intersecting with CR651, it crosses the Passaic River into Long Hill Township, meanders over the Gladstone Branch and the Passaic River again into Berkeley Heights in Union County where it becomes Springfield Ave and runs through New Providence and Summit before hitting its Eastern terminus at Route 24. Springfield Avenue is actually the Main Street for those three downtowns.
As you can see, there is a lot of overlap between County Road 512, the Passaic River and the Morris-Essex Line. These neighborhoods have a lot of commonality and benefit from sharing a Representative in Congress who understands their issues.
The Passaic River has a strong environmental impact on the CD7 area as well. There are many hiking trails and recreational areas along the river and, of course, the area serves as a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.
CD7 has benefitted from having Tom Malinowski represent us. He certainly recognizes the importance of the train line and has worked to secure funding for the Gateway Tunnel. And he has been a hands-on Congressman, listening to the concerns of our communities and working to fairly represent us in DC.
Additionally, CD7 is clearly a fairly drawn district now, as evidenced by the close race last year. It seems counter-productive to the objective of this commission to make it a less fair district going forward. And an added benefit of a fair district is that the representative has to take the time to get to know his/her constituents and communities and that is better for all of us. Thank you.