MEET ELSIE, MATTHEW AND JASON
Mayor Elsie Foster
Elsie Foster’s commitment to Highland Park has never wavered. She first ran for office in 2000 snd since that time, she has had the honor of serving as chair of the each and every one of the borough’s departments including Community Services, Public Safety, Budget and Finance and Zoning Committees, Public Works and Planningand Zoning. These roles have given her a complete sense of our government operations and enabled her to utilize her leadership skills in nearly every aspect local government. Now, as mayor, Elsie has taken the lead in overseeing the administration of the Borough.
Elsie believes strongly in strengthening municipal services with effective communication internally and with the public in person and through technology and other communications services.
Elsie is committed to inclusive and transparent government. She participated in the team that instituted the recommendations of the Highland Park Blue Ribbon Task Force on Good Government, which became a model for progressive communities statewide. Shewas also a key force behind Highland Park’s designation as NJ’s First Green Community and its continued leadership in the field.
In her time on the council and now as mayor, Elsie reviewed and identified fiscal needs and policies and analyzed spending patterns for efficiency, including labor sourcing and shared service opportunities.
In her professional life, Elsie is the lead county advocate for the consumer as the Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs for Middlesex County. In this capacity, she oversees investigations ofconsumer fraud, including home improvement scams, gas pump violations, and inspections of grocery stores. She recently initiated a program aimed at reducing senior citizen focused scams.
Elsie chose Highland Park as her home 29 years ago because of its warmth and it’s unique and diverse community. She is proud of her son Brandon, who attended Highland Park schools and gained a BA degree in sociology from Pace University. He is a resident of Highland Park and works in refugee resettlement.
Council President Matthew Hersh
Matthew Hersh is a 15-year resident of Highland Park's South Side, along with his wife, Christine, and their three children, Rubin (14), Ilana (12), and Philip (7).Professionally, Matthew is Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Housing and Community development Network of NJ, working daily with the governor, the legislature, and community development leaders from around the state to enact legislative efforts to increase housing affordability and production, to close the state's racial wealth gap, and to remove barriers that have historically prevented access to a home.
Matthew was previously a long-time journalist and reporter and professional writer, serving as senior editor at Shelterforce Magazine, a publication of the National Housing Institute, which focuses on federal, state, and local affordable housing policy as well as community development and community organizing.
In 2023, Matthew was selected by his colleagues to serve as Council President. This role requires a close, working relationship with the mayor to lead and organize an effective council, which is the voting branch of our Mayor and Council. Matthew's role is to advocate for and meet the goals of members of the council, as well as work with Mayor Elsie in setting meeting agenda.
Councilman Jason Postelnik
Jason works as a legal specialist for the Office of Policy and Standards Development, in the New Jersey State Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development. Previously he served as lead counsel for the Local Government Section, of the New Jersey State Office of Legislative Services, Central Management Unit. Prior to that, he was a deputy attorney general in the Elections and Corrections/State Police Sections, of the New Jersey State Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Law.
Jason has served on the Highland Park Housing Authority since July 2020. He has resided in Highland Park for 15 years and lives with his wife, Rebecca Estelle, and their two daughters, Naomi and Nina.
In 2023, Jason is council liaison to the Arts and Recreation Committee, which oversees key quality of life areas including the Department of Recreation, Department on Aging, Zone 6 Teen Center, the Arts Commission, the Historical Commission, and more.