My name is Robin Middleman Filepp. I was appointed by the Governor to ﬁll the Borough Council seat vacated by Jill Lipoti. I am running for election to complete that term through December 2018. I applied to serve because my town was having an emergency and I wanted to help out.
My late husband, my darling Ron, and I moved to Roosevelt in October 1989. The day that we moved in, my parents, who were to meet us and help us out, got lost and ended up stopping at a Pine Drive neighbor’s house for directions. The neighbor, Saul Ernstein, escorted my parents to our house, introduced himself, and said “You have me for a half-hour!” And helped us move in. This is the Roosevelt I know and love. It is one of friends, families and neighbors working together. And - great characters. Inevitably, there has been discord and disagreement over the years, but we always came back together. I know we will once again.
We moved here for its unique history and design. We could not believe our luck that we could aﬀord to buy a house on a 1/2 acre that by design backs up to a protected greenway. And for the location. It is wonderful to be in “the woods” yet only 10 minutes to the turnpike and an hour to New York City and Philadelphia. And the beach isn't far either. I am originally from Long Island, but spent my formative years at the Jersey Shore.
I have been an active participant in the cultural life of our town over the years through serving on the board of the Roosevelt Arts Project (RAP). An example of a past RAP event that I coordinated or co-coordinated is the Roosevelt Festival of the Arts, a 2-day event in 1999 that featured an exhibition of Roosevelt artists past and present that ﬁlled the RPS gym, a series of performances by poets and musicians, and the unveiling of the newly restored aluminum repousse doors, the original school front doors, which hang on exhibition in the school lobby to this day. Over 500 people attended over the two days. Most recently through RAP, in September 2016, I invited folks to participate in a year-long project that concluded on September 9th of this year with the exhibition and the release of the Roosevelt Artists Collaborative Book. Twenty-ﬁve Rooseveltians participated in the creation of the book in an edition of 100.
I graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Visual Arts and Cultural history. My professional career was as an arts administrator for non-proﬁt community organizations, including the Arts Council of Princeton, The Princeton Adult School and Artworks in Trenton. I then moved into managing the arts education program of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State. As Senior Program Oﬃcer, Arts Education, I managed, in partnership with NJ arts organizations, many programs, including the Artist-in-Education Residency grant program to NJ public and private schools, and the Artist/Teacher Institute. I served on national review panels for the National Endowment on the Arts and presented at numerous conferences on the importance of arts in education. All the while, I continued my visual arts practice. I retired from the State Arts Council in June 2016. Ron and I had a studio built in our backyard and that is where I work on my art and my craft.
Ron contributed to the town in his own quiet way. He wrote a weather column for the Roosevelt Borough Bulletin, sharing each month the data he recorded on the weather and a story to go with it, for over 20 years. For years he maintained the Roosevelt Woodland Trail, on his own, without acknowledgement, the way he preferred. He cleared the innumerable trees that fell across the trail after Hurricane Sandy. He never walked the trail without a pair of trimmers in his pocket to clip back the vines and branches that blocked the way. That is why I created the Roosevelt Woodland Trail Memorial Fund. To honor his memory by maintaining the trail he so loved.
While I serve, and if I am elected to continue through December 2018:
- I am committed to maintain and support the Roosevelt First Aid Squad.
- The meeting schedule of the committee I currently chair, Code Enforcement/Community Aﬀairs, will be posted to the community, and all will be encouraged to attend.
- It can't be overstated that the ongoing issue and challenge that must be resolved is the town water and sewer system. That is the clear and present priority.
I believe in the power of creativity and of the imagination to bring people together. I know that the creativity innate in each of us can be tapped to ﬁnd common ground.
Robin Middleman Filepp
25 Pine Drive