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 candidates Lori Hieger and Lucy Tullo, who are running together on the Democratic ticket.

1. Name one item you would reduce or cut in the township budget and explain why.

(Lucy) One thing I would like to look at is ways to bring in cutting edge environmental technology in order to generate income for the town while being able to reduce taxes and create jobs. For example, putting in solar panels to generate energy for municipal buildings. I would like to see Montville become a leader in New Jersey in looking at ways to combat the ever increasing taxes that the current state administration is piling on NJ homeowners.

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(Lori) I agree with Lucy.

2. What do you believe is the most important issue in this local election? How would you change it?

(Lori) Helping the community gain access to their government. Representatives need to be more visible and engaged with younger families who are often more compromised with time and activities. It will be important to share information easily and in a format that the community can respond to. Social media and in-person meetings are some of the tools I would like to incorporate.

(Lucy) I believe that it is of utmost importance that the concerns and values of all people living in Montville be represented on the TC. For too long the Township Committee has only heard from one segment of the population of Montville. I would like to make sure that all voices, opinions and interests are represented.

3. Why do you feel you deserve the job? What qualifies you for it?

(Lucy) I feel that I would bring a new perspective to the Township Committee not only as a democratic voice but as a long-time resident, mother of 3 children and someone who has volunteered countless hours right here in the Town, I believe I understand many perspectives. It is through my volunteering and fundraising that I have learned to work with people and to look for areas that need improving. I am always interested in implementing cutting edge technology where it can be used and I think my ability to think outside the box makes me an ideal candidate for Montville Township.

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?

(Lori) Yes. I have been involved in blocking the pilgrim pipeline not just here, but for the state, in my work with the Coalition Against The Pilgrim Pipeline, also known as CAPP. I have worked to broaden my own knowledge of environmental issues that face our world, state and local community while sharing that knowledge with members of our community. It is my belief that part of the job of being on the Township Committee is to be a resource, as well as an advocate, for the people from our town. I plan to bring the same approach I have had with the environment to other large issues like the affordable housing litigation. We as a community need to make informed decisions. I hope to be able to provide access to the information and make that information more readily available.

(Lucy) Absolutely. I am not afraid to question or stand up for what is right for this town. I will fight for the protection of our town concerning environmental issues and I will listen to what direction the people of Montville want their town to go in and stand up for them. I have no personal agenda other than keeping our town safe, clean and affordable.

5. What do you bring to the dais that's different?

(Lori) I bring a diversity for background, age and gender. A new voice to the ones currently on the board. A connection to the community through my lower school involvement and activity within the community.

(Lucy) I bring my passion. I bring my strong knowledge of environmental issues. I bring my awareness of youth issues as a parent, I bring my years of knowing the people of Montville but mostly I bring open mindedness without bias or agenda.