To the Editor:
We are both very honored and humbled to have served and continue serving you as your councilmen on the Bridgewater Township Council.
On June 4, you will head to the polls to partake in our democratic-republic bedrock, the freedom to vote for your representatives. We write this letter to you because the election for local mayor and council candidates is very important and will have an impact on the future direction of Bridgewater unlike any we’ve ever known. Simply stated, elections have consequences.
Both of us have been on the council for Mayor Hayes’ entire seven-plus years term; during that same time, council president Moench also served as a councilman. Therefore, we know these two gentlemen very well, especially their political philosophy.
It is in this political philosophy where the two candidates are markedly different. Here are some examples:
- Dan Hayes has proposed tax increases several times; Matthew Moench voted against those tax increases consistently.
- Dan Hayes has consistently pushed for and advocated aggressively for the Center of Excellence (COE) and other overdevelopment projects; Matthew Moench just recently voted to revoke the COE and has a history of advocating for smart, reasonable development in line with our town’s zoning character.
- Dan Hayes has requested council approval to hire zero police officers in seven years, and now selfishly, in the shadow of the primary, uses the police as a political pawn (saying we suddenly need to hire an additional 12 police officers); Matthew Moench appropriately questioned the Mayor’s judgment and demanded an independent study to find out exactly how many police officers we need — and Matthew Moench is the endorsed candidate by the Bridgewater P.B.A. Local 174.
- Dan Hayes has skyrocketed our town’s debt during this term, more than doubling our debt payment; Matthew Moench has routinely warned that township debt must be controlled.
- Dan Hayes over seven-plus years never created a road repair plan; Matthew Moench will deliver a road plan and a plan on how we’re going to pay for these needed repairs.
- Dan Hayes exercised his only veto while in office to stop the council from creating a volunteer-based historic committee to protect, safeguard and educate our town’s rich history; Matthew Moench was a supporter of this proposed committee and has tremendous admiration and respect for our town’s culture, history and community.
- Dan Hayes objected to the purchase of 32 open space acres in Bridgewater; Matthew Moench has consistently advocated for and supported the acquisition of this Wemple property and many others from the Open Space Trust Fund.
There are many more distinctions. Matthew Moench is a man of strong family values, religious faith and deep bonds to the community. Born-and-raised in Bridgewater, this is the only place he has ever called home. With his wife, also a Bridgewater-native, they are raising their three children in town. Matt is a self-employed lawyer, running a small general law practice. He served on the zoning board of adjustments prior to the council. There is no doubt that Matt loves and cares about this community, and protecting our quality of life is paramount to his involvement in government.
Unfortunately, we don’t see these same values from the current mayor and his team. Over the past several months, you and your neighbors have been bombarded with the sleaziest attack campaign we have ever seen in a Bridgewater local election. Many of these flyers, funded by a PAC group calling themselves “Protect Bridgewater,” based out of Edison, NJ, are nothing more than lies. In an unprecedented fundraising effort, the PAC supporting Hayes and his team has raised nearly $100,000 — all from out-of-town individuals, developers and special interests each contributing $7,200 — in a shameful effort to confuse you and distort the facts.
Four more years of a Hayes’ administration will forever change the character of what Bridgewater is with continued overdevelopment. You don’t get donations like this without developers wanting something back.
Bridgewater is at a crossroads. Do we proceed with Mayor Hayes and his philosophy of overdevelopment, bigger government, higher taxes, more debt and less value in our community, OR do we elect Matthew Moench as mayor to provide smart, reasonable development, real fiscal conservative policies, quality essential services, debt reduction and a deep appreciation and understanding of Bridgewater’s character? The answer is clear. We need Matthew Moench as Bridgewater’s next mayor, and Michael Kirsh and Timothy Ring for council.
We therefore strongly endorse Matthew Moench for mayor, and Michael Kirsh and Timothy Ring for council, in this June 4th primary. Bridgewater’s future and quality of life are at stake in this election. Please join us in supporting this team.
Very truly yours,
Howard Norgalis, council member
Filipe Pedroso, council member