In the rush and excitement of a presidential election cycle, it’s easy to lose sight of the races that hit much closer to home. This is particularly true for 2020, an unprecedented political landscape where COVID-19 restrictions prohibiting traditional, in-person campaign events pose significant hurdles to candidates—especially candidates who are reluctant to boast about their accomplishments during a time of unprecedented hardship.
That’s why I write to you today, as a neighbor and concerned citizen, to extol the virtues of our incumbent Township Committee members Matt Kayne and June Witty. Both Matt and June are long-time residents of Montville Township, having established their families and careers within our community. I have also been fortunate enough to work alongside both of them in municipal capacities, and gladly endorse them in their bid for re-election this Fall.
Matt became a good friend and mentor during my term as a member of the Montville Township Board of Education. As the Board’s Vice President, he was a thoughtful and measured voice that was always open to hearing both sides of an argument. This prudence produced clear, measurable results for our taxpayers. As the chairman of the district’s communication committee, Matt oversaw our efforts to establish the first, district-wide brand and make our communications with parents and the community more transparent and inclusive. Matt also helped to make the district more environmentally efficient by updating the district’s recycling program, proposing the Direct Install program (which allowed for many electrical fixtures in most school properties to be updated—in great part paid for by grants), and was a leader and strong proponent for a county program that put solar panels on our largest schools. These programs saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars while increasing energy efficiency. As the Board of Education President, Matt worked closely with the administration to cultivate partnerships with municipal and private entities, a tradition of fiscal prudence that he’s continued in his role as a member of the Montville Township Committee. In his first three years, Matt has fought tirelessly for the people of Montville Township. He is a leading voice in the administration’s efforts to hold utility companies like JCP&L and AlticeUSA, (Cablevision/Optimum) accountable for constant service outages and poor customer care. And he brings a fiscal acuity helpful in keeping our township budget fiscally responsible.
June is most immediately recognized around town from her career as a nurse in the Montville Township High School, which she held for 21 years prior to retiring in 2014. But for those who know June, it should come as no surprise that retirement did not mean slowing down—not in the slightest. June is an active volunteer with an extensive reach in our community. She is a member of the Montville Township Women’s Club; a volunteer with “Strengthen Our Sisters”, an organization that helps victims of domestic violence; a member of the Ladies Auxiliary American Legion Post 279; a proud pet parent and foster parent involved with 11th Hour Rescue; and a former member of the Montville Township Drug Awareness Council—Municipal Alliance (“D.A.C.”). It was in this capacity that I got to work most closely with June, coordinating community events, fundraisers, and Project Graduations. Whatever the project, June was always amongst the first to volunteer. She attended conferences, speaking engagements, and always brought plenty of insights (and handouts) to our meetings—each new idea, every program, sparking a new opportunity to provide our community and its youth with new resources, tools, and outlets for their energies. Even when an idea did not receive the full support she envisioned, June did not give up. Quitting simply isn’t in her nature. Time and again, I have witnessed June demonstrate the capacity to step back, re-evaluate a position, take constructive feedback to heart, and forge ahead anew. It is this inherent tenacity that has made her an effective member of our Township Committee. June’s passion for meeting directly with voters of all walks of life led her to implement “Coffee with a Committeewoman”, townhall-style round tables at local restaurants, and become a leading voice in efforts to increase the transparency of our municipal government. As a member of the Township’s sub-committee on Condemnation Redevelopment on Route 46, she brings the voices of her constituents and passion for improving our community to bear on discussions that will shape both the face and future of Montville Township. She has also been extremely hands-on in tackling issues relating to Montville’s environmental sustainability, coordinating river clean ups and spearheading the Trex bench recycling program for plastic bags.
Where ever you look in town, it isn’t hard to spot the fruits of their labors. As members of a successful Township Committee, June and Matt have both played their part in creating myriad benefits for our taxpayers while keeping Montville Township affordable (maintaining an annual tax levy below 2%) and upholding our AAA bond rating.
When you receive your ballots in the mail this Fall, I urge you to vote for experienced leadership with proven results. Re-elect Matt Kayne and June Witty to the Montville Township Committee. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Michael D. Johnson
President, Montville Township Republican Club
P.O. Box 535
Montville, NJ 07045