Meet Mike Valvardi for Mayor
Mike has lived in Haddon Heights for 26 years. Mike is married to Jacquelyn, and they have two children. Mike retired as Captain of the Haddon Heights Police Department after serving 25 honorable years as a police officer. He graduated from DeSales University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, is a 1986 graduate of Paul VI High School, and is a 1982 graduate of St. Teresa School in Runnemede.
Over the years, Mike has volunteered with numerous groups and organizations, where he has partnered with great people, served important causes, and honed his talents in leadership, communication, finance, and team-building. He is currently serving as an active member of the Knights of Columbus, Santa Maria Council #1443, where he administers the membership records of over 600 men, serves as the webmaster, and is responsible for all electronic correspondence.
Mike also volunteers at St. Rose of Lima Church and School, where he serves on the Parish Finance Council (since 2013) and previously served on Parish Council from 2007 to 2009. In addition, Mike enjoys assisting his wife with her duties as Chair of the Parish Social Action Committee and in many capacities at the school whenever help is needed. For the last three years Mike has been an assistant coach with the St. Rose track team and a parent helper with the St. Rose Cross Country team.
Mike’s past volunteer activities show his commitment to the town and its residents:
Haddon Heights Drug Alliance member for 15 years, serving as Chair, Coordinator, and Treasurer, and was Co-chair of the Firecracker 5K from 2000 to 2014. Always willing to lend a hand, he also assisted several other community groups in establishing their own 5K’s (Haddon Glen, Rotary, Run Like Its Recess, Story Storks)
Haddon Heights Youth Athletics, assistant baseball coach for 5 years, 2012 – 2016
Haddon Heights Soccer Club, assistant soccer coach, 2017
Haddon Heights July 4 th & Fireworks Committee, 2004 – 2006
Haddon Heights Centennial Committee, which was formed to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Haddon Heights in 2004, then became the Neighbors Night Out Committee and is now known as Haddon Heights Neighbors. The committee hosted one event per month in 2004, culminating with a large black-tie gala on Station Avenue. Additionally, the committee created the bench area and fountain at the railroad station, refurbishment of sidewalks, installation of decorative lighting on Station Avenue, and commissioned the artwork for Borough Hall, which adorns the entire wall behind Mayor and Council in the meeting room.
Haddon Heights Memorial Clock Committee, 2014 – 2017 (refurbished the memorial clock and site to honor our town heroes)
Haddon Heights Environmental Committee, 2017
Haddon Heights Cub Scout Pack 163 parent helper, assisting with lectures and tours
Police Union (Policemen’s Benevolent Association) Executive Board, 12 years: President, 2000-2005; Treasurer 2006-2009; Financial Secretary, 1998-1999
Mike’s leadership in the Police Department led to many tangible improvements in the safety of our town. He is especially proud of three of these projects, which continue to benefit Haddon Heights residents every day.
First, Mike was the first police officer ever assigned to Haddon Heights High School (2002-2003 & 2003-2004 school years) as the School Resource Officer. He helped foster the relationship between the School District and Police Department that continues to this day. Safety recommendations that were formulated and presented during his tenure ultimately were made part of the school district budget and later implemented. Most notable was the revamped high school entrance for visitors, creating a security vestibule, which over time was also implemented at the elementary schools. During this time Mike was asked to be part of the school bond committee. The committee was formed in 2004 and tasked with developing a plan to enhance and expand facilities at all the district schools. The $21 million bond, of which 35% was covered by the State of New Jersey, was approved by the voters in 2015.
Second, the railroad crossing improvements on Station Avenue: With approval of Borough
Council, Mike contacted Conrail officials and after lengthy meetings with Borough and County representatives and engineers, Conrail agreed to fund the much-needed railroad crossing improvements. The battered roadway was removed and resurfaced, bump-outs were created to tame traffic, the new track was installed, new fencing and walkways installed, and safety crossing arms were finally installed (which we previously did not have), along with enhanced roadway safety striping.
Third, the recently completed pedestrian safety enhancements on Kings Highway at Haddon Lake Park. This project was initiated by Mike in 2012, and just recently came to fruition in 2019. After coordinating with Haddon Heights Council, and Audubon and Camden County officials, Mike drafted the proposal for the roadway safety striping after the County determined that more aggressive safety enhancements would be too cost-prohibitive. He later asked County officials, as a member of the Camden County Highway Traffic Safety Task Force, to incorporate the solar-powered pedestrian crossing signs, which at the time were added to a future County grant, and the project has recently been completed.
Mike has many more ideas for enhancing our town. He would like to see the continuation of his Kings Highway safety initiative, which would include more painted crosswalks on Kings Highway in key pedestrian crossing areas and road-narrowing safety striping. Also part of his plan would be addressing the Kings Highway Bridge that passes over the railroad tracks, which is a daily traffic hazard. Additionally, as on Kings Highway, Mike would strive to improve pedestrian safety on Devon Avenue at the sports complex and new tennis courts by adding painted crosswalks and exploring the option of solar-powered pedestrian crossing signs. This initiative would extend up Devon Avenue to Prospect Ridge Boulevard to protect the children who cross Devon Avenue on a regular basis and must use additional caution because of the high volume of cut-through traffic.
Mike believes every part of the town should be utilized at its full potential with no missed opportunities. For example, the land behind the tennis courts, an old dump that is still settling and has no projected use, could be a viable option for a solar array field to help offset the cost of lighting the Devon Avenue sports complex. This land has sat for decades, unused, and has yet to be deemed safe for use as any type of park or sports field.
A street sweeper is a “wish list” item Mike would like Haddon Heights to either acquire or join into a shared services agreement with another town to provide. Street sweeping on a regular basis would be completed as needed. Haddon Heights had our own street sweeper at one time, but once the old unit was no longer repairable it was never replaced. The sand, silt, and debris in intersections are hazardous to bicyclists and motor traffic.
Mike has garnered the support of his peers over the years, whether it is through his involvement in the town, church, or his extensive volunteering. He looks forward to continuing to build strong working relationships with others who are committed to our town. Mike credits his parents, siblings, friends, and especially his wife Jacquelyn with modeling good citizenship and giving him the example to follow their lead. Mike believes that his time working for the Borough has shown him many ways that we can improve services, enhance safety, respond better to resident concerns, communicate more efficiently, and prompt government officials to streamline the way our town functions.
Vote Valvardi for Mayor: ‘V’ for Victory! Vote column 2 Republicans on November 5, 2019