MEET GAYLE, PHIL & MATT
Leadership Delivering Results for Our Community
Gayle, a business owner in Highland Park since 1995, and a former member of the Highland Park Borough Council and Council President, has taken a managed and goal-oriented approach to governing since she became Mayor in 2014. She has concentrated on five goals: a) tax stabilization, b) downtown development, c) infrastructure, d) quality of life, and e) transparency.
Under Gayle's leadership, Highland Park has achieved success and received recognition from both the County and State levels for many of accomplishments, including:
Awarded NJ Municipality’s Innovation in Governance Award for “Park Partners Community Grant Program” (2014) and “HP Gives a Hoot” (2016)
Complete Streets Excellence Award at the 2015 NJ Complete Street Summit
Nat’l League of Cities honoree – New Projects to Improve Police/Community Relations 2016
Silver Sustainability status from Sustainable New Jersey 2018
Named 2018’s Healthy Town by the New Jersey Quality Healthcare Institute
Two new downtown redevelopments projects ready for approval
New PSE&G research solar farm on under-utilized, Borough land (for construction in 2019)
Mayor Brill Mittler also serves as a member of the Executive Board of the League of Municipalities, and the Climate Mayors organization.
Phil, an accomplished attorney, serves a Council President. As Chair of the Council's Public Works and Public Utilities Committee, he also serves as liaison to the Department of Public Works, Sustainable Highland Park, the Environmental Commission and the Shade Tree Advisory Committee. He has also served as Economic Development liaison to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, Planning Board and Main Street Highland Park.
Phil pushed for early publication of important Borough ordinances, resolutions and documents through the Borough’s website and social media so that residents have the time to review, question and inform Borough officials about proposed ordinances, the budget and other actions of Council before any action is taken. He sponsored and co-wrote the Borough’s plastic bag ordinance.
Phil has practiced law with Eric Bernstein & Associates in Somerset County for 20 years, with a one-year leave to serve as Director of Compliance and Redevelopment for the Newark Parking Authority by appointment of then-Mayor Cory Booker..He serves as his firm’s designated General Counsel to many municipalities, as Labor Counsel to several Counties, and as counsel to both urban and suburban Planning Boards and Zoning Boards.
Matt, a former aide to California Senator Barbara Boxer, and an Associate Professor and Program Chair for the Masters of Public Administration program in the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs at Seton Hall University, has served on the Highland Park Borough Council since July 2018. In November 2018, Matt was elected to fill out the remaining term of former Council Member Matt Hersh.
Matt serves as the Chair of the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee. In that role, he serves as the council liaison for the Human Relations Commission, the Equity Commission, the Immigration and Refugee Affairs Commission, the Housing Authority, the Food Pantry, Highland Park Gives a Hoot, the Universal Access Commission and the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign. In addition, Matt served on the Public Safety Subcommittee for the hiring of the Acting Police Chief, Acting Police Captain and Acting Police Chief Mentor.
In his time on the Borough Council, Matt has worked with the Equity Commission to design an interactive community forum where residents developed questions to pose to new candidates for the police leadership position. He also worked with the Immigration and Refugee Affairs Commission to help pass a Fair and Welcoming resolution and developed an Immigrant and Refugee SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) with/for the Highland Park Police Department to ensure that Highland Park is a community that treats all people of openness and respect.