Building a Better Bernardsville
Experience, Enthusiasm, & Engagement.
With the tenure and experience Dr. Jeff Hammond has as councilmember from the past 3 years along with his evidence-based decision making as a surgeon, the enthusiasm from Christina Balas' take on local government and how her career in commercial real estate strategy implementation can be tapped, and the engagement that Dr. Matt Marino has proven as a unanimously selected new councilmember and his career in education and administration, this team will continue to BUILD A BETTER BERNARDSVILLE for all its residents.
Get to Know the Candidates
Dr. Jeff Hammond
Dr Jeff Hammond has been a Bernardsville resident since 1992. He and his wife, neuropsychologist Dr Jill Brooks, have three grown children who attended Bernardsville public schools. Jeff’s son, Jared, is the Bernardsville High School fencing coach.
Jeff's background includes 28 years as a general and trauma surgeon, including as chief of the Section of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and co-director of the University of Miami Burn Center. Dr Hammond currently works at the Morristown Medical Center. Jeff also has a MPH (Public Health) and MBA.
Jeff's service in Bernardsville includes two-terms as Trustee for the Somerset Hills Education Foundation, former member of Bernardsville’s Board of Health and Recreation Committee, fencing team liaison to BHS Booster Club, and long-time Bernardsville Little League/Somerset Hills Youth Baseball coach. He Chairs the state's disaster and emergency preparedness healthcare task force, is a charter board member of the Violence Institute of New Jersey, founder of the RWJ Injury Prevention Coalition, a Board Member of Ceasefire NJ, the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey, a medical volunteer with Special Olympics NJ, and a trustee of the Women’s Health and Counseling Center in Somerville.
As Council member, Jeff serves on the Public Safety Committee (chair), Personnel Committee, Library Board of Governors, and the Green Team.
Christina Balas, along with her spouse and children, moved to Bernardsville a little over two years ago to be closer to work and to find the perfect place to raise their young children. Christina is a National Operations Director with responsibilities in strategy and implementation for the Coldwell Banker Commercial brand within the Realogy Holding Corp headquartered in Madison, NJ. They moved to their dream neighborhood on Old Fort Road. The neighborly waves and friendly dog walkers have made them feel at home almost immediately. Their eldest child is at Bedwell, while their little one is in Pre-K.
Christina’s love for the Garden State she was born and raised in was only strengthened when she went to Rutgers University for both her undergraduate and graduate schooling. While always joining in on the Rutgers chant she earned her master’s degree in Organizational Communication. She was deeply involved in Student Services while at Rutgers and that experience shaped a lot of her beliefs.
She also grew up in a house where politics was not taboo to discuss and that grew her love for country. In high school she would volunteer to do phone banking for her local congressperson, in college she went door to door to get out the vote in underrepresented areas of the state, and she served as an election challenger in a district notorious for voter suppression. She is passionate about taking part in our democracy and wants to bring as many friends along with her.
Dr. Matt Marino
Before joining the Council, Matt helped plan two community information sessions on COVID-19, and has volunteered on the Borough Open Space Committee and the Cultural Arts Advisory Committee. We look forward to working with Matt as he serves Bernardsville in his new position.
Dr. Matthew Marino was appointed by a unanimous vote of the Borough Council on Monday, July 12, to fill the unexpired term of former Councilman Tom O'Dea whose seat was recently vacated. We want to thank Councilman Tom O'Dea for his time with the Borough and wish him the best of luck on his future endeavors.