MILLTOWN, NJ - With 19 days to Election Day, the borough held its annual Candidates Forum on Wednesday, showcasing its council candidates, incumbent Republican Doriann Kerber, Republican Kyle Livingstone, Democrat Phil Zambrana and Democrat Anna Neubauer. The event was moderated by Jennifer Amotto with Milltown Fourth of July Committee chairperson David Potter serving as time keeper. Questions were posed by Home News Tribune journalist Susan Loyer and Sentinel reporter Kathy Chang.
The forum began with a brief introduction of each candidate followed by a statement. This year's borough council candidate forum marked a return to the traditional question and answer format that included both sets of Democratic and Republican candidates. For the 2018 borough council forum, the Republican candidates declined to participate. Wednesday's forum included a gallery of about 30 people. The entire forum was broadcast live on the borough's Channel 15.
Kerber is the only incumbent candidate on the ballot. She is seeking a third term. Zambrana previously ran for a council seat in 2016. He pointed out in his introductory statement that the issues moving him to run three years ago remain. Those issues included accountability, transparency and communication in the borough. Neubauer and Livingstone are relative newcomers to the political realm. Livingstone, an attorney, explained in his opening statement that he shares many of the same concerns as a large majority of residents. His concerns hit on hot button issues such as high taxes, rising utility bills and a crumbling infrastructure.
The borough's continuing water issues were addressed several times by the candidates as well as in a question from Chang.
"Infrastructure is a big issue in this town," Zambrana said.
Reporter questions also spotlighted candidate qualifications, committee interests, ratables and vital issues impacting the borough.
The audience submitted written questions prior to the start of the forum. These questions centered on shared services, the rising water and sewer costs to residents, volunteerism, communication and getting the borough's finances in order.
Both mayoral candidates were in attendance to support their running mates. Democratic Councilwoman Trina Jensen-Mehr and Republican Councilman Richard Revolinsky are running for mayor on November 5. The pair takes center stage next week for the Mayoral Candidate Forum on Wednesday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Borough Hall.
The entire October 16 Borough Council Forum can be viewed on YouTube.