General Election November 7
Roosevelt residents will go to the polls on November 7 to elect a new mayor and several Borough Council and Board of Education members, as well as to cast their votes for state legislators (District 12), Monmouth County freeholders, and a new governor. Statewide and countywide public questions are also on the ballot. Voting takes place at Roosevelt Borough Hall from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.
The following is a brief rundown of the candidates appearing on the ballot, according to the Monmouth County Board of Elections web site (write-in candidates are also permitted):
MAYOR – FULL TERM – Two Year Unexpired Term – Vote for One
BOROUGH COUNCIL – Full Term – Vote for Two
Daniel P. Archer (R)
Joseph E. Trammell (D)
Maureen S. Parrott (D)
BOROUGH COUNCIL – One Year Unexpired Term – Vote for Two
ROOSEVELT BOROUGH ROOSEVELT BOARD OF EDUCATION - Vote for Three, Full Term (only 2 on ballot)
John P. Ord
FOR GOVERNOR – Full Term - Vote for One
Kim Guadagno (R)
Philip Murphy (D)
Vincent Ross (I) (We the People)
Matthew Riccardi (I) (Constitution Party)
Seth Kaper-Dale (I) (Green Party)
Gina Genovese (I) (Reduce Property Taxes)
Peter J. Rohrman (I) (Libertarian Party)
Gubernatorial candidate statements are available online at http://www.monmouthcountyvotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2017-11-07-Governor-Statements.pdf.
FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY – 12th Legislative District – Full Term - Vote for Two
Ronald S. Dancer (R)
Robert D. Clifton (R)
Gene Davis (D)
Nirav Patel (D)
Anthony J. Storrow (I) (Libertarian Party)
Daniel A. Krause (I) (Libertarian Party)
FOR STATE SENATE – 12th Legislative District – Full Term - Vote for One
Samuel D. Thompson (R)
David H. Lande (D)
Kevin Antoine (I) (Coach Kev)
FOR FREEHOLDER – Full Term – Vote for Two
Lillian Burry (R)
Patrick G. Impreveduto (R)
Brian Wilton (D)
Margie Donlon (D)
Several public questions will also appear on the ballot concerning a statewide library construction bond, a constitutional amendment dedicating moneys from state environmental contamination cases, and a countywide open space proposal. Full text of the questions is available online at http://www.monmouthcountyvotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-11-07-Questions-State-County-Municipal.pdf.
To my Roosevelt friends and neighbors,
As most of you know, I decided to run for a seat on the town council. I have attended many council meetings over the last two years and listened to a lot of misinformation, mostly from the audience. Believe it or not, when I hear people that have not attended any meeting talk about what was discussed at the council meetings, I began to question myself and wonder "Was I really at the same meeting"?
I am not happy with all of the disrespect I see in town. It appears that some think they speak for all. Well, I am not one to bad-mouth anyone, but I think a lot of the problems in Roosevelt at this time are due to personality problems. They seem to think that "if you don't agree with me on any of the issues facing Roosevelt, then you are not to be heard". What is wrong with someone seeing things differently the I do?
Some candidates have said vote for those candidates that are experienced in public service. Well I have no public service experience, but I have lived here for decades. I will work for the interests of all of the residents of Roosevelt, not just those that share my thoughts and opinions.
For those residents who are on "the fence", about all of the information or misinformation that is being circulated around town, think about why you moved to Roosevelt. Roosevelt has historically been a tolerant community. Most Borough residents were polite in conversations, or at least civil, and were able to draw a line between political disagreements and personal relationships. I am upset to see this changing.
I thank you for listening to this "inexperienced person", that would like a chance to help make Roosevelt the town we all love.
Alana T. Porter
As Al Gore pointed out, there are often inconvenient truths. This holds true for the environment, finance and political candidates. There are simple truths that the current Council challengers and their supporters choose to ignore for expediency.
The facts are straightforward:
There are many factors that go into an individual decision to go with Millstone or to have a local fire department and each of us will place weight on different factors. However, our decisions should be based on facts developed by qualified and experienced professionals, not by guesses and political hyperbole.
The cost facts in this letter come from studies by our engineers and an architect after substantial inspections and analysis. The financial facts come from our CFO, auditor, bond counsel, and the County bonding agencies. The Millstone facts and costs come from the Millstone Fire District Commission and have been stated by them in multiple small meetings and our last Town Hall meeting.
PLEASE COME TO THE TOWN HALL MEETING AT ROOSEVELT PUBLIC SCHOOL AT 11 A.M. ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5 TO HEAR FOR YOURSELF.
The second Town Hall Meeting regarding options for EMS facilities and services. The meeting will be held on Nov. 5, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., at Roosevelt Public School.
Members of the public are encouraged to attend!
I am writing to remind you that I am a Democrat on the ballot running for a 3-year Council seat. I am asking for your vote on November 8. I am also supporting Peggy Malkin who is running for reelection for the other 3-year seat.
Peggy has been a very strong and vocal supporter of our citizens right to participate fully in how decisions are made. She has been a strong advocate for open government and including the public in all phases of the decision making process, often swimming against the current in order to stand up for our citizen’s rights to full and open public access to information.
On Common Sense
I believe that one of the most important qualities that a good leader should have is common sense. Unfortunately, as Voltaire is quoted as saying, “Common sense isn’t that common.” Other qualities such as respect for other’s opinions and a sense of place are needed. A good leader in Roosevelt should be able to manage change carefully and with respect, not only for our citizen’s right to choose how their money is spent, but also for the delicate balance of the things that make Roosevelt a very special place to live and raise a family. I believe that such a balance is valuable: to achieve it demands a well-considered, careful analysis of proposed changes to avoid unintended consequences and to assure maximum benefit to our citizenry. It also involves trusting those whom you represent and the electoral process. Unfortunately, our current Mayor and the majority of the Council members do not trust you. This is obvious in how they conduct themselves and what they say in public.
On Respect For Our Right To Vote And Disagree
I have recently disagreed with many decisions and policies endorsed and acted upon by Mayor and the majority of Council members, but I at least respect our citizen’s right to disagree and vote accordingly. As Mayor from 2000 until January 2004, I have always exhibited respect for our citizens varying opinions and I have always shown that respect during meetings. I am asking for your vote again so that I can return those qualities to public service.
Not only has our Mayor and Council disrespected our citizens right to disagree, they have taken actions designed to limit our right to vote on how our tax dollars are spent.
Vote “Yes” or “Yes” On Building
The Mayor and Council have acted to limit your freedom of expression by placing 2-nonbinding public questions on the ballot that only allows you to vote “yes.” There is no provision for rejecting an option. This Mayor and Council fears rejection, and they do their best to prevent it. Both options on the ballot involve spending millions of dollars for new buildings. The Council decided not to allow you to vote “No” on either option. They want you to choose from two building options. They decided not to provide you with an alternative to spending millions of dollars of your money There are viable alternatives which were presented during the lengthy discussions and testimony on emergency services. They have chosen not to allow you to vote on those options however.
What If You Aren’t In Favor Of Either Of The Two Options On The Ballot?
You aren’t required to vote for either of them. Remember, these are not binding choices. In other words, think of the questions as being similar to a survey. The Mayor and Council can do as they please regardless of how you vote on these ballot questions. They have taken steps designed to ensure that you can not block them from doing what they want to do.
An Undemocratic Mayor and Council
The Mayor and Council voted to ask the Planning Board to declare the area around borough hall a Redevelopment Zone (a blighted area) so that you (the homeowner) will not be able to defeat any building proposal, no matter how costly (as we did before).
If approved by the Planning Board, under State Law (NJSA 40A: 12A-28) the voters will be PROHIBITED from going to a binding referendum to reject excessive municipal spending as is ordinarily our right and as you did on December 15, 2015. Councilwoman Malkin was the sole dissenter on the Council and objected to initiating a process clearly designed to disenfranchise our voters.
Under the law, the purpose of declaring an area a redevelopment zone is to grant the municipality powers allowing them to take control of a series of blighted properties that owners have neglected and allowed to become run down.
What is highly unusual here is that the Borough of Roosevelt is the owner of the property the borough wants to control! So, obviously, that’s not the reason for this rush to create a redevelopment zone.
The Mayor and at least 1-Councilman admitted during public meetings that the purpose behind their scheme was to strip voters of their right to challenge their actions by taking it to a direct yes or no vote in a binding referendum. During the October 19 Council meeting, I asked Mayor Ellentuck if was his intention to disenfranchise voters. Mayor Ellentuck’s reply shocked me, he replied;
“I want to make it clear, that is exactly what I am doing! “
During prior meetings, other Council members admitted knowing that the voters would be disenfranchised by their actions however, this did not dissuade them from proceeding to request the Planning Board look into creating a redevelopment zone around borough hall in order to prevent voters from challenging their actions.
This Time Around The Bond Can’t Fail
Unbelievably, the Council recently reintroduced the same bond ordinance rejected by our voters in December 2015 in a binding public referendum. Their false rationale was that they need to rush to get a new building built before they are ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in mounting fines. Their rationale was designed to manipulate and mislead the public. We were able to obtain copies of all the violations (we had to file a FOIA request which was approved) and discovered that most were very minor violations have already been addressed. Only 2-violations were structural and could be repaired at a nominal cost to taxpayers and to prevent the fines from being assessed. The Mayor has said that they want to have everything in place and approved (the $571,000 bond) prior to the November 8 election to avoid the huge fines.
As of the writing of this article, the Mayor and Council have apparently been advised by the borough attorney not to proceed with the approval of the bond ordinance. It is NOT that they have seen the light and amended their ways. They thought that they could push through their bond before the election (when they are likely to loose seats and the power to pass their bond issue) and before the Planning Board declared borough hall a redevelopment zone, but they got ahead of themselves. They thought that by mentioning “in a redevelopment zone” (to be declared later) in the bond ordinance, they could prevent the public from being able to vote on the bond in a binding referendum. The borough attorney advised them that if they passed the bond before the planning board actually declared borough hall a redevelopment zone, the voters would be allowed vote on how their tax dollars are being used in a referendum. So, the Council decided to wait until the fix is in before acting. Is this how you want your government to operate?
The Decision-Making Process
Failure to invite Roosevelt citizen participation in government has historically resulted in poor public policy. Governing bodies can become insulated from the public and assume that only they know what is best. As a candidate, I believe that officials should reach out to bring citizens whom they represent into the decision-making process in a meaningful way.
As an elected official, I have always believed in the need for inclusive discussions. Without respectful consideration of diverse opinions, there can be no well-balanced evaluation of any issue. This became painfully evident during the Mayor’s hand-picked Emergency Services Committee which was stacked with supporters of building a new firehouse. It is clear that neither the scale or the limited resources of our community was fully considered in the Committee’s majority report.
The issue of whether or not we should expand, fund and maintain our own fire department and first aid squads or contract out with the nearby, highly-trained professional emergency services in Millstone is not the only serious, multi-faceted issue we will be facing over the next few years.
The cost effective management of our utilities in order to avoid increase after increase, has also been an ongoing challenge. Recently, the Council decided to investigate the sale of our utilities to a private entity. Consideration of this matter will require careful, well-considered qualities and a truly open public process.
As a candidate for Council, I am truly committed to acting in the best interests of Roosevelt citizens, and so is Peggy. That is why I am asking that you vote for us on November 8.
Although the Mayor and Council may be able to block you from voting in a referendum on whether millions of your dollars will be used to build a new emergency services building, the Council is not legally able to declare themselves a redevelopment zone to prohibit you from voting on who will represent you in the November 8 election. That is why I strongly urge you to use your right to vote in the general election. Your vote can send an unambiguous message to the Mayor and Council that you value your right to vote.
Unlike the current Mayor and Council, Peggy and I trust your judgment.
Michael Hamilton and Peggy Malkin
Democratic Candidates for Council
The League of Women Voters will moderate a "Meet the Candidates" Night at Roosevelt Public School on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
All candidates who have announced that they are running for a position on the Roosevelt Borough Council have been invited and stated that they plan to attend.
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Roosevelt Public School
The public is invited and encouraged to attend!
We are supporting the election of Mike Hamilton, Peggy Malkin and Joe Trammell for Borough Council because we are concerned about the undemocratic way the Mayor and Council, with the exception of Peggy Malkin, are making decisions that may not be fiscally responsible or affordable for residents. These candidates want to make changes so Borough government is more democratic, open, responsive to the community, accountable, and fiscally responsible.
We believe that a holistic needs assessment outlining all anticipated potential capital improvements in the Borough over a five-year period is required for fiscal responsibility and that, with full input from the community, we should separate the needs of the community from the wants, prioritize those needs, and determine what taxpayers can afford to do and when we can afford to do it.
We support the work of the EMS volunteers. What they do at all hours of day and night for the community is commendable! But we are concerned that the Borough has spent and continues to spend significant time, energy and money aimed toward building a new firehouse we don’t need. Our personnel costs and attorney fees have skyrocketed.
In our view, all we need to do to avoid fines for the firehouse is to correct the two structural code violations found by the State, i.e., repair the roof of the firehouse (which has been leaking for years) and repair the wall the firetruck hit in June (which should be covered by insurance). All the other code violations involved clutter and failure to maintain sanitation.
The ballot question asking whether voters want to spend 1.6 or 2.5 million dollars is not a referendum at all because a referendum asks voters whether or not to ratify an ordinance or resolution passed by the governing body; this is a non-binding ballot question whose outcome the council is free to simply ignore. We will not be choosing either option.
We need to make the current firehouse code compliant but we do not need to spend 1.6 million dollars building a new building to avoid being fined for these code violations which our council has failed and refused to do, and to continue to receive fire call coverage from Millstone and Roosevelt. We will not have to pay Millstone because we already have good fire response via mutual aid from Millstone at no cost.
Dear Fellow Rooseveltians,
I am writing to ask your support for election to the unexpired two-year term on the Borough Council. I have been a resident of Roosevelt for more than 44 years and, for 42 of those years, I have served the community as a member of the Council, as tax assessor, and again as a member of the Council. I have also been serving for many years as editor of the Borough Bulletin and president of the Roosevelt Senior Citizens Housing Corporation.
Like all of the other candidates for election to the Council, I am very much committed to the welfare of this community. Though we may differ on particular issues and approaches, I truly believe that our goal is the same, and I pledge to work towards that goal in whatever capacity I may be called upon to serve in the future.
It has been a particular pleasure and honor for me to serve as municipal historian, in which capacity I have had the opportunity to tell the story of Roosevelt, not only those whose who live here, and to those who have heard about us and come here to learn more, but also to people around the country who are interested in the New Deal and its accomplishments, of which this community is certainly one.
There are many ongoing issues facing the community. One that I have been particularly concerned with has been housing code enforcement. It is very important, both for maintaining property values and for maintaining our pride in the community, that code violations, particularly those that are readily apparent to the public, be promptly corrected. It has been my privilege to work with our code enforcement team of Joe McGrath and John Marini, who are doing an outstanding job of correcting conditions that were not adequately addressed in the past. In order to have more effective code enforcement, I introduced our ordinance adopting the current edition of the International Property Maintenance Code, as well as our ordinance requiring foreclosing mortagees to maintain properties. I was also able to identify funds that could be used to remove the derelict trailers that had been abandoned in the rear of the gas station property. Recently, I got Council approval for JCP&L to install a new street light at the intersection of Nurko Road and North Rochdale Avenue, thus making it safer at night.
In a recent letter, one of the other candidates expressed concern about the possibility of selling the municipal water and sewer utilities. I would like to assure the public that there are no current plans to sell the utilities, the no such plan would even be contemplated unless the law were changed to require privately-owned utility companies operating sewer utilities to charge the same rate, approved by the State Board of Public Utilities, to all customers (as is the case now with water, gas and electric utilities), and that there would be no sale even then unless it were approved in a municipal referendum. If the law were changed to make sewer utilities have a uniform rate like other utilities, a sale might be worth considering if it would result in substantially lower rates for Roosevelt residents.
The main issue currently before the Council and the public is the matter of what sort of facility or facilities we are to provide for emergency services. I recall the argument being made a year ago that we did not need a bond issue because the cost of repairing the existing facilities, which one opponent of the bond issue estimated at about $300,000, could be paid out of existing tax revenues and that the work could be done over three years. That, however, would require either a surplus that does not exist or $100,000 in extra tax revenue for each of three years, a one-sixth increase over current municipal tax revenue, which is problematic because the municipal cap law only allows an increase of two percent a year. A bond issue is therefore necessary whether adequate facilities are provided by new construction or by rehabilitation of the existing buildings.
Once we know that we have the funds needed for whatever work is to be done--be it for a new facility for both fire and first aid or one for first aid only, depending on the outcome of the advisory referendum that is on the ballot this election-- we can then decide if new construction or rehabilitation is more feasible. The information that the advisory council, on which I was privileged to serve, received from the engineers indicated that new construction was more cost-effective. However, I would certainly support putting both new construction and rehabilitation plans providing equivalent facilities out to bid and then seeing what prices we actually get for either. If those who claim that rehabilitation would be less expensive are correct, then the bids should indicate that, and we should proceed accordingly. The Borough has had success in getting bids substantially below the original estimates for recent utilities projects and this may well be the case for this project also.
Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy.
Michael L. Ticktin