MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Committee will have two openings at the end of December. There are five candidates for the positions, and TAPinto Montville will be speaking with all five. We recently spoke with candidate June Witty.
1. Name one item you would reduce or cut in the township budget and explain why.
The current and past members of the Township Committee have worked cohesively to maintain a tight budget over the past 10 years with less than the 2% recommended caps. Montville Township is grown into a very affluent town and the Township Committee has delivered to the residents’ top of the line facilities and programs. The community have become accustomed to these services so by reducing or taking away these services or programs may not be the most sensible thing to do. I do however believe that it is vital to properly uphold what is already in place, though we have to be watchful to ensure that we can keep our township affordable to our seniors and lower income residents. We have to reexamine any future projects to distinguish what are the wants and needs. We must consider that if we are to build any new facilities or to engage in new programs or services that we will have additional annual expenses that will have to be maintained and supported. Once elected, I will be in a better position to evaluate such programs, and if need be will make the tough decisions I deem necessary.
2. What do you believe is the most important issue in this local election? How would you change it?
One of the most important concerns in the election is with the potential development within the community. I have concerns as to future development of Montville Township and want to make sure that we preserve our heritage and keep our sense of community strong. We have the right to utilize our lands and develop it though the change in land usage should conform to our own way of life. The visions as of recent seem to be not the vision of the community but influenced by the developers. Many politicians without roots in the community they serve end up retiring someplace else. I want to retire in the township I have grown up in and love.
3. Why do you feel you deserve the job? What qualifies you for it?
I grew up on my family’s orchard in Towaco, and have lived in the community for the greater part of the last 50 years. My husband Craig and I have raised our two children, Karl and Michele, here and are proud that Montville Township has been home to our family. From a very young age I learned the value of hard work and giving back. At the age of 14, I served as a hospital volunteer at the old Chilton Hospital. This service had such an impact on me that it enticed me to become a nurse and to also get involved in other community organizations. Since then I have dedicated my time to our community by serving on the First Aid Squad, Drug Awareness Council, Women’s Club just to name a few. I also dedicate my time to other civic organizations outside of Montville such as Eleventh Hour Rescue, Morris County Task Force on Opiates, J.B.W.S. and American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Post 279. While I have never held a public office, and certainly would not consider myself a politician, I want to turn my passion into practice and serve our community. I have built numerous personal and professional relationships through my involvement in the community and feel that I can provide a fresh and unencumbered approach to many aspects of the Township Committee's roles.
4. Do you feel that you're ready to handle the external issues facing the town such as the pipeline and the affordable housing litigation?
Any decisions which are going to affect our community should be made on the facts and not just on emotions and personal subjective opinions. In regards to the pipeline, I feel that it is just a way for the corporations to save money and increase profits. The main concern is the routing of the pipeline. Should a leak happen it would have devastating consequences to our townships sole water supply. Not to mention the other possible dangers related to a liquid petroleum spill such as explosions. Montville Township is currently being very pre-emptive on this matter. By taking a lead and joining in with 14 other municipalities to combat the projected route and by strengthening our existing ordinances on pipelines. I would continue this support with my fellow committee members.
With regards to affordable housing, I have faith in that we need to make provisions so that all citizens are able to enjoy a reputable quality of life. My research communicates to me that Montville Township welcomes everyone and continues to be very attentive and proactive in being able to provide housing for our seniors and lower income families. There is an existing surplus of approximately 100 housing units available. I feel that we should strongly protect our current position and not compromise our quality of life to the power brokers.
5. What do you bring to the dais that's different?
If I am privileged enough to be elected, it is because of who I am as a person. My ambition is based solely on my passion and desire to keep Montville a beautiful, safe, clean and thriving community, which can be affordable to all. I have visited many households and was able to talk to our resident’s and listened to their concerns about the town. This gave me a chance to gain a distinctive perspective on what the community wants to see happen or change in our community. I am the candidate who can bring a fresh and clear slate to the table. My position on the Township Committee will be that of superior and honest service to the public in any way possible.