MOORESTOWN, NJ — Three Moorestown Council seats will be up for grabs in the Nov. 3 elections. None of the incumbents chose to run for re-election this year, so there will be three new faces on Moorestown Council come January.
Patch sent questions to candidates in the race, and is publishing their responses in a series of profiles. Information provided by Doug Maute can be found below.
Age (as of Election Day)
Moorestown Town Council
My wife Sarah is the lead critical care nurse practitioner in the medical ICU at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and we have three children. Sydney (7) and Lane (6) attend Roberts Elementary and Oliver (3) attends preschool at The Goddard School.
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
Cook College, Rutgers University, B.S. Environmental Planning & Design; Rutgers University School of Law – Camden, Juris Doctorate
Civil Litigation Defense Attorney for 11 years and Partner at Delany Law, PC
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office
Moorestown Planning Board, Former Member and Chair
Sustainable Moorestown, Former Member and Secretary
State Society for Health Care Risk Managers of New Jersey, President
Why are you seeking elective office?
Since I was a kid, Moorestown has given me so much; now I feel the time is right for me to give back through elected office. I have always been drawn to community service and tackling challenges; Town Council would be the best way to use my talents, education, and training to preserve and enhance Moorestown for the future.
The single most pressing issue facing our community is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
The single most pressing issue facing our community is taxes, followed by transparency, and this is what I intend to do about it:
Along with my running mates Barbara Omert and Vick Bobadilla, I have already issued a public statement in support of lowering taxes. Aside from that critical issue, I believe transparency is one that needs to be brought to the forefront. While delivering transparency was a huge part of the Moorestown Democrats’ platform in 2018, they have failed to convert promises into practice. During their control of Council, there have been at least 37 non-public, closed door sessions – at nearly 70% of meetings. Put another way, it is an average of two per month for the last year-and-a-half.
The old saying, “fool me once . . . .” comes to mind. It was not foolish in 2018 – and is not foolish now – for us to demand transparency from our local government. But it would be foolish to trust the same team that broke promises after Election Day by thinking that somehow a 5-0 majority would accomplish what a 3-2 majority could not. By voting for our team, voters can be assured that decisions will be made in the light of day and with public input.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
My professional and volunteer experiences, combined with my perspectives as a 30-something year-old parent of young kids, make me uniquely qualified to tackle the issues facing Moorestown with a vested interest in the future of our community.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)
As detailed above, the current Town Council has failed us on transparency.
Budget season is here, so time will soon tell if they fail us on taxes for a second year in a row after unnecessarily raising them in 2019.
They have failed us on the revitalization of Lenola. Concerned residents have pushed for decades to improve and enhance the Camden Avenue business district. The previous Republican-led Council received a federal grant for nearly $1 million for the streetscape, but in January 2019 the new Democrat majority ignored concerns about delay and axed the experts who secured that grant money. After 18 months, the newly appointed and politically-connected firm drafted plans which absolutely ignored the wishes of the Lenola residents and the appointed volunteer task-force, turning this corridor not into a business district but a highway. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Lenola and these predicted set-backs are unacceptable.
Last, but certainly not least, the current Town Council has failed us by not going after the polluters of our drinking water. Fourteen months into their majority, at a pre-COVID Council meeting in February 2020, the Mayor admitted in a public forum that she has done nothing to pursue the polluters of our water – not even so much as to look into the applicable statute of limitations for recouping costs on filtering our water supply. That is an unacceptable — and costly — broken campaign promise.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform
Lower taxes to make Moorestown a more affordable place to call home or open a business; practice transparency; encourage business development by streamlining the processes in place to open or expand a business within our borders; stay on top of our water systems to ensure we are delivering the cleanest water possible; and most importantly, listen to our neighbors. I am a firm believer that the more input and ideas brought to the table, the better the process and the better the result. This requires time, respectful dialogue, listening with intent to understand other points of view, and knowing one’s self well enough to keep emotions in check to disagree respectfully and find common ground.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
My wife and I are hard-working parents with full-time jobs, but like so many others, we always find time to give back to this community.
As Chair of the Moorestown Planning Board, I worked to make our meetings open and welcoming for applicants and residents.
Before practicing law, I worked at a small landscape architecture firm where I helped design Moorestown’s Boundary Creek Park. I helped found the Roberts School Green Team, where I secured a grant to launch the school’s No Food Left Behind food waste reduction program, worked with the Moorestown Police Department to create our Township’s first Safe Exchange Zone for online transactions, and have been active with the Strawbridge Lake Beautification Committee. In all of these roles, I have worked hard to be collaborative and proactive, and would do the same on Town Council.
The best advice ever shared with me was:
A friend of mine once shared this quote with me, and it’s one that I would carry with me on Town Council: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” President Harry S. Truman
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
Thank you for reading this far and I hope that you deem me worthy of your vote! I could not be more confident that our team – Omert Maute and Bobadilla – is the right choice for a fresh start for Moorestown. Politics in a pandemic is unusual due to fear and uncertainty, so please do not hesitate to visit and like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/freshstartmoorestown) or follow us on Instagram (@freshstartmoorestown) to learn more or contact us with questions or concerns!
This article originally appeared on the Moorestown Patch