I have been a Jersey girl all my life. I have lived in my Monmouth County municipality for 39 plus years.

In recent years my town has lost site of the history and planning that has made my community one of the most desirable places to live in our County. For the past three years, my township government has been controlled by elected officials’ heavy handed, all one way, in unison voting on every approval for zoning, spending and decisions that forever impact residents and property owners. The knowledge of my town’s history of how we got here from there has no relevance in the current governing body’s decision making process.

Highlands' residents and voters are truly fortunate in that they have the benefit of a knowledgeable, experienced council member that welcomes input from the citizenry providing diversity of opinions from the public and fellow council members. This is how open and transparent government is supposed to work.

Tara Ryan is the taxpayer’s public advocate that has proven time and time again she is a genuinely dedicated public servant. Her years of service to the Highlands community on the Board of Education, time on the Zoning Board, invaluable contributions to the BID, and as an elected official have given her the tools to understand how government should work best for the people.

I met Tara Ryan during the grass roots efforts to Save Sandy Hook from private for profit commercialization. Her leadership was vital to the successful Save Sandy Hook efforts.

Tara then took on battling the state DOT bureaucracy to ensure Highlands’ voice was heard input for the rebuilding of the bridge. Ryan’s career as a former NYC mediator and currently as a chief staff advocate for a nonprofit enables her to represent the people of Highlands at every level the best Highlands could ever hope for.

I wish I lived in Highlands where I know Tara Ryan represents the best interests of the taxpayers. Or maybe I could convince Ryan to move to my town and run for my Township Committee.


Carole Balmer

Former Holmdel Township Deputy Mayor, Committeewoman, Zoning Board Vice-Chair, Environmental Commission Chair, Planning Board Member & Bayshore RegionalSewerage Authority Commissioner