The Atlantic Highlands Herald invited each of the candidates for office to school boards and governing bodies in Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, Middletown and Sea Bright to respond to a series of questions about themselves to better inform our readers about their campaigns. The deadline for submission is Friday, October 22. We will post their responses individually and make them available in our Politics Section.
November 2, 2021 – General Election
Profile Date: 10/21/21
Candidate Name: Melissa Cavaluzzi
Age (as of Election Day): 40
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Position Sought (term): Councilman
Party Affiliation or Banner: Non-partisan
Family: Married with one adult son.
Education: Achieved RN diploma from Charles E. Gregory School of Nursing at Raritan Bay Medical Center Perth Amboy, NJ (2005); Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Thomas Edison State University; Trenton, NJ (2011); and a Master’s of Science in Nursing as well as a Certificate in Nursing Administration from Thomas Edison State University; Trenton, NJ (2014).
Occupation: Director of Nursing
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office: None
Campaign Website or Facebook page: https://www.melandmel.org/
Why are you seeking office? My friend and neighbor Melanie had initially read that the positions were vacant and that no one had submitted an application, so we felt compelled to volunteer to serve as representatives to the people of Highlands. I believe I am a good listener and strong advocate as well as someone who believes in listening to all sides and arriving at a solution.
The two most important issue facing our (board, district, council, committee etc.) are infrastructure, and taxes, and this is what I intend to do about it.
I intend to move forward with Highlands on regionalizing the schools with our neighboring small, shore towns in order to reduce education costs/expenses. I intend to keep abreast of all projects related to flood mitigation and infrastructure improvement so that I can answer questions and communicate concerns between the people of Highlands and the project leaders. I intend to work with other town resources to develop a routine maintenance/inspection schedule for pumps and batteries as well as the patency of pipes/valve systems etc. according to current industry standards.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform. “We believe this: everyone’s a little bit right. We need to honor the history of our town, AND move it forward. We need to invest in our future, AND be mindful of costs. We need to join with neighboring communities, AND foster a communal spirit right here in Highlands.” We believe that flood mitigation and investing in our infrastructure are the keys to revitalizing Bay Avenue and that this is another way we can work towards reducing property taxes in the Borough.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job? I have been a single mother of a young man with special needs while going to school for all of my degrees and managing his personal care and educational needs. I have worked for various large non-profit health care organizations as well as community based non profit work. I have experience with large budgets, reviewing rules and regulations, updating policies and procedures, communicating across a fragmented health care system, providing the public with education and resources, and advocating for the people I serve. I have always been active in my community. I have experience with project management and am able to refer to professional/industry resources for evidence based practice standards in order to provide quality service.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions? I believe our local government should consist of average people who have the interests of the town at its residents at heart. I believe in listening to all different perspectives and making a choice that will have the most positive impact for the most people without leaving anyone behind.