MOUNTAIN LAKES — Incumbent councilwoman and former mayor, Lauren Barnett; incumbent councilwoman, Cynthia Korman; civil engineer and U.S. Air Force veteran, Kelly Holliday; and attorney and community leader, Khizar Sheikh, have announced their candidacy for the four Mountain Lakes Borough Council seats up for election this November. They are running to keep Mountain Lakes the best place to call home.
Candidates Barnett, Korman, Holliday, and Sheikh recognize that small communities like Mountain Lakes face pressures that make it difficult to preserve the town’s quality services and special character. It takes strong leadership to “get things done” while managing tax dollars responsibly, promoting smart development, protecting Mountain Lakes’ quality of life, being responsive and transparent when making decisions, and listening to and respecting all voices.
Their track record shows why they are the right people for the job. They have served Mountain Lakes government; started their own businesses; worked with government agencies and some of the largest companies in the world; built experience across legal, urban planning, consulting, financial analysis, construction management, financial services, technology, and healthcare; served in the U.S. military, and volunteered with non-profits to better the community.
Lauren Barnett has served on Borough Council since 2016, serving two years as Mayor and one year as Deputy Mayor.
“I love Mountain Lakes,” says Barnett, “I’m running for re-election to continue getting things done for our community – ensuring strong management and fiscal oversight, improving communications, completing important upgrades to our roadways, sidewalks, and facilities, protecting our ML environment, and supporting new development that will strengthen our economic well-being.”
Barnett has served on many borough committees, including the Planning Board and the Finance, Public Works, Personnel, and Shared Services committees. She is a graduate of Princeton University (BA, Public Policy) and the Kellogg School of Management (MBA, Finance, Strategy & Marketing). Her experience as a business strategy consultant provides a valuable skill set for her work on Council.
Cynthia Korman says, “Mountain Lakes has been an exceptional place to live in and raise a family. I’m running for re-election so that I can help others thrive like I have, along with my family.”
As a member of the Council since 2016, Korman has focused on environmental issues, economic development, and meeting the Borough’s affordable housing obligations in a way that respects the park-like character of Mountain Lakes. Korman puts a priority on the careful use of taxpayer dollars and the identification of grant funding for appropriate borough expenses. She has served on Borough committees that include Affordable Housing, Economic Development, Shared Services, and Public Safety, and on its Environmental Commission and Shade Tree Commission. Korman owns a small healthcare-focused consulting practice. She has a BA in Political Science and an MS in Public Policy Analysis, both from the University of Rochester, and earned an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Kelly Holliday is joining the ticket as an independent candidate. Holliday uses her leadership, urban planning, and construction expertise on the Planning Board and the Affordable Housing Committee. She has also worked with the Economic Development Committee to revise zoning rules to accommodate future smart development along Route 46.
Holliday holds a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois. She is a veteran of the US Air Force, where she served as a civil engineer, environmental engineer, and readiness officer. She currently works on the construction of commercial projects throughout the US.
“I have spent the last 20 years visioning, planning, and building neighborhoods,” says Holliday. “I know a great one when I see one, and Mountain Lakes is special. I am enthusiastic about the prospect of working with a community so dedicated to keeping their vision of home a reality.”
Khizar Sheikh has called Mountain Lakes home since 2007 with his wife Nadia and two sons and brings his legal, business, and community service skills and experiences to Council. He has served as Zoning Board vice-chair, Environmental Commission Chair, Economic Development Committee member, and Little League executive board member and coach. He has built a successful law practice that provides cybersecurity, privacy, and technology services to sophisticated companies and has led community non-profits that protect families and children.
Says Sheikh, “Mountain Lakes is a wonderful home for my family. I am running to preserve what makes Mountain Lakes great and help it thrive. My goal is to unify different views to find common ground as one community, and make the complex understandable so each resident – regardless of background or belief – has a voice in our community’s priorities and the management of the borough.” He is a graduate of Hamilton College (BA, 1996, Biochemistry), Rutgers University (JD, 2003), Leadership New Jersey (Class of 2010), and Leadership Morris (Class of 2013).
Team Barnett, Korman, Holliday, and Sheikh has the experience, commitment to service, and specific skill set that Mountain Lakes needs today to confront complex issues and resolve them in an understandable, sustainable way. They are excited to work together and to meet the Borough’s challenges with a balanced, centrist approach that focuses on keeping Mountain Lakes the best place to call home.