MILLBURN, NJ - In an unusual contested primary on June 5, two candidates will vie for the Democratic entry in the November election for the Millburn Township Committee to unseat the incumbent Republican member of the Committee whose term expires on December 31, 2018. Squaring off are Democrats Corey Biller, a town resident and Tara Prupis, a town resident and business owner. The term of the sole Republican, Jodi Rosenberg, currently Deputy Mayor, expires on December 31, 2018 and she has thrown her hat back in the ring to run in the November election.
The Township Committee is made up of five members elected to staggered, three-year terms. At the Committee’s organizational meeting each January, one member is elected to serve as chairman for a 12-month term and another is chosen to serve as vice chairman. Under state statute the chairman of a Township Committee also holds the title of mayor. Four of the current members, all Democrats, are in the midst of their three-year terms.
After considering candidates for township committee, the Millburn -Short Hills Democratic Committee voted to endorse Tara Prupis and according to Annette Romano, the Democratic Committee’s chairwoman, it backs her 100%. Ms. Romano stated that Ms. Prupis is “bright, she has a stake in the community as both a resident and business owner and will stabilize the Township Committee and is the future of the Township.” Ms. Romano noted that Mr. Biller did not present to the committee and was, therefore, not considered in its voting process. Ms. Romano further stated that “he had every opportunity to come forward to our group and for whatever reason he chose not to. We totally back the line A ticket". As Mr. Biller explains in his responses to be provided in tomorrow’s edition, he decided to run for Millburn Township Committee after the Millburn-Short Hills Democratic Committee had already endorsed a candidate.
Ms. Rosenberg is endorsed by the Millburn-Short Hills Republican County Committee, by acclamation, to run. Mary McNett, the chairwoman of the Millburn-Short Hills Republican Committee, stated that her committee is backing Ms. Rosenberg because she is the incumbent, and because she has maintained a consistent platform throughout her terms emphasizing fiscal responsibility, quality of life, and retaining the community as a “single-family residential community.” Ms. McNett also respects Ms. Rosenberg for the civil manner that she conducts herself at committee meetings, which are open to the public, and for working with the Downtown Millburn Development Alliance (DMDA) to promote the downtown business district.
Ms. McNett reminisced about a contested primary on the Republican ticket for Township Committee in approximately 1986. She explained that contested primaries emerge from “power discontent in the party.” In that instance, two residents were endorsed by the Millburn-Short Hills Republican Committee for Township Committee and two other residents ran in the Republican primary. The voters split their vote, picking one candidate endorsed by the Republican Committee and the other not so endorsed. Ms. Romano, the Chair of the Millburn Democratic Committee, can remember no contested primaries among Democrats for the Township Committee.
Questions about their backgrounds and positions were posed to Mr. Biller, Ms. Prupis and Ms. Rosenberg. Their answers will be published starting tomorrow in alphabetical order.
Editor's Note: In the interest of full transparency, Jonathan Sym, owner of TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills, is a Republican Committeeman in Millburn Township. Mr. Sym has no involvement with any election coverage on TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills