Meet the Leaders of Montville Township

Meet the Leaders of Montville Township: Hank Lyon, Morris County Freeholder

791032ca418415aa93ff_IMG_0374.JPG
Montville resident and Morris County Freeholder Hank Lyon runs in June primary for the NJ Assembly. Credits: Gail Bottone
791032ca418415aa93ff_IMG_0374.JPG

MONTVILLE, NJ - Morris County Freeholder, Hank Lyon, born and raised in Montville Township, is seeking political office in the NJ State Assembly in the primary election on Tuesday, June 6.

Lyon grew up in the Towaco section of Montville Township when the township was less developed. It was a place where kids could play in the woods and build forts with their pets running free. He remembers playing by the brook, building a tree fort, and sledding down the hill near his house. 

“The township is more developed now. There is a house on the property where we built our tree fort. Back then there were only about ten houses in our neighborhood, and now there are about twenty.”

Sign Up for E-News

Lyon went to Cedar Hill School, Lazar Middle School and graduated from Montville Township High School (MTHS) in 2006, where he ran track and cross country. As a freshman, he played football and was a pitcher for their baseball team. Lyon said, “I was not much of an athlete, but my strength was in track and cross country.”

He said, “If you knew me back then, you would never think I would be running for the state assembly.” 

After graduating from MTHS, Lyon went to the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, graduating with a double major in physics and economics.

On campus he was a member of the Young Republican Club, involved in the Right to Life Movement, and wrote for the school’s conservative student newspaper. 

He is currently a part time student at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in public administration.

Lyon has three older brothers who are all married with children. His parents, Robert and Suzanne, who moved to Montville Township in the 1980s, are grandparent to his brothers’ four children. 

Lyon is not married yet, but he is dating Ksenia Lebedeva, a 2010 MTHS graduate. They did not meet in MTHS but through politics. Lebedeva is the president of the Somerset County Young Republicans.

Lyon said he got into politics because his family always watched the news, and they would talk about it. “I love to read political books and philosophy,” he stated.

When he got out of college he asked himself, “What do I want to do?” He decided to run for Morris County Freeholder. “I went door to door – A lot of going door to door. I had no experience, and lo and behold, I won,” he said.  He ran on the platform of reducing taxes, and he did.

He was elected in Nov. 2011, and in 2012, he was the only Morris County Freeholder to vote against the county budget. It did pass six to one, and it did raise taxes. For the next year, the freeholders made him chairman of the budget committee, and they were able to lower taxes by 2 percent. “This was the first time in 15 years that taxes did not increase,” said Lyon. There also were no increases in taxes on 2014. 

He said, “I learned a tremendous amount about county government in general. I grasped how government works and learned how agreements were made. I learned just how necessary it is to convince my colleagues of my point of view.”

He is most proud of his accomplishments on lowering taxes. He said, “It was necessary to break the cycle of increasing taxes. It was a challenge to lower them, and I did it.”

He lowered taxes by reducing the cost of health benefits and privatizing four county golf courses that were costing the county a lot of money. “It reduced expenses and also brought in revenue. It saved the county millions,” he said.

He believes in the necessity of “long term financial planning” to relieve the tax burden on residents, young and old, who are migrating out of the state because of the high taxes and the high cost of living. People just don’t want to live in New Jersey.

We have a beautiful state and county, and the government should make it affordable for people to stay here believes Lyon.

If elected to the assembly, he would reverse the 23-cent per gallon gas increase and cut spending to fund crucial infrastructure investments. 

He spoke about the state and federal government prevailing wage requirements. He believes changes need to me made here. As it is now, in government contracting, a prevailing wage is the hourly wage, usual benefits and overtime paid to the majority of workers and mechanics within a particular area. Prevailing wages are established by regulatory agencies for each trade and occupation employed in the performance of public work. 

He believes the government should reform prevailing wages. Lyon believes high quality and cheaper labor can be negotiated allowing the county and state to save money, but it would take legislation.  

Lyon believes that we need to reduce government regulations and mandates that hurt job creators and taxpayers.

With the passing of the gas tax hike, the cost goes from 14.3 cents on a gallon to 37.5, which is an increase of 23 cents. The 23 cents would be divided into 11 cents going to pay past debt, and 12 cents going for new roads, highways, and infrastructure. 

Of the 37.5 total tax, 22.5 cents goes to paying back past debt, and 15 cents goes for new work. With New Jersey voters saying yes to Ballot Question 2 in the Nov. election, every penny of the state's 37.5-cent per gallon gas tax should go exclusively to transportation costs in the Transportation Trust Fund.

There was much controversy over Ballot Question 2. Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno opposed the question arguing a yes vote would amount to $12 billion in state borrowing over eight years. 

And this is what is happening. In order to pay for the new construction and infrastructure projects, NJ has to borrow more money causing its bond rating to decrease. Lyon said that with one more decrease, NJ bonds will fall from an investment-grade bond rating to a speculative-grade bond rating. “This all hurts the fiscal stability of the state,” stated Lyon.

He supports school choice and vouchers and would fight for school funding reform that would provide property tax relief. He said that our tax money goes to fund 31 Abbot districts that include Hoboken and Jersey City, two cities that have undergone major restructuring with some residents owning million dollar homes, including Jon Corzine, a former NJ governor. And facts seem to prove that even with an increase in money going to Abbot districts, the achievement gap between economically advantaged and disadvantaged students persists or has widened.

“Those who think there is enough money for all this funding are “pie in the sky thinkers,” stated Lyon.

As for pensions, Lyon stated that municipalities, counties and boards of educations have always paid their share toward pensions, but the state has not. The state stopped paying when Governor Christie Whitman suggested a “Pension Holiday.”

Lyon said, “First you have to address the pension scams. There should be no double dipping.” As example, legislators should not be able to collect a pension from the state while simultaneously collecting their legislator salary. He stated that if you were guaranteed a pension, you should keep it, but if you are recently hired, you should not be promised as generous a pension. He also said that the state has to stop missing pension payments. The “Holiday” should be over.

Last week Lyon was accused of suspected finance breaches by a challenger, but Judge Stuart Minkowitz dismissed the lawsuit against Lyon before Lyon’s attorney even had time to file a defense. The judge said the jurisdiction to hear allegations of campaign finance violations lies with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). ELEC may make a determination if anything illegal took place.

As for leisure activities, Lyon loves to read, and recently because he spends a lot of time driving, he has been listening to audio books. He also likes to hike. He has a cat and two dogs; one a golden retriever, the other an Australian Cattle Dog named Belle. He got Belle from his uncle who lives on a ranch in Texas. Lyon said, “The dog has massive energy.” 

Lyon also is an active member of Emergence Church in Totowa, a non-denominational church that was affiliated with the Jacksonville Chapel.

Lyon said that he doesn’t travel much, but when he was 27, he went to Peru with Rotary International in a young adult exchange program. He lived with local Peruvians for a month, and he got to experience a wide breath of culture. He said that he would love to travel more.

When asked what one thing most people do not know about you, he answered that he is related to a pilgrim, John Billington, who came to America on the Mayflower. This relationship comes from his father’s side. On his mother’s side, he is related to Davy Crockett. Lyon’s grandmother’s maiden name is Crockett.

Lyon said that he is happy with his accomplishments as Freeholder. He said, “I have accomplished much of what I promised in my campaign, and I am happy with my work.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montville

Upcoming Events

Tue, June 19, 10:00 AM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Storytime

Education

Carousel_image_6e3a289818ebcee32c37_logo

Wed, June 20, 7:30 PM

Montville Reformed Church, Montville

Transition to Puberty: Pathways Seminar

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_e492d1a3d67e6259323d_mini_magick20180611-78505-11feoem

Thu, June 21, 1:00 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

"The American Musical" (Lecture)

Education

Carousel_image_a52b10eeaf4faec89297_a_pyramid_mountain__2018_tapinto_montville___1.

Thu, June 21, 7:00 PM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

Summer Solstice Hike: moderate

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7c2707407169c2f1629c_library_by_courtney_sonn

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Library - Summer Reading Kickoff (Kids)

Education

Summer Concert Series Announced by Montville Twp Recreation

June 16, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Recreation Department announced its summer concerts in the park lineup. The free concerts will be held on Tuesdays beginning on July 10, at the amphitheater beyond the Montville Township Public Library. Parking is available at the library (90 Horseneck Road) or in the high school parking lot (100 Horseneck Road). Assistance is available, for those who ...

Three Montville Teens Attain Eagle Scout Ranking

June 9, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Three Boy Scouts from Montville Township’s Troop 74 attained their Eagle Scout ranking at their Court of Honor, held on May 5 at the Senior House.

Keith Lo, Harish Rajagopal and Charles J. Roy all completed tasks around the township, which combined with the projects of other Eagle Scouts, have saved tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars, Township Administrator ...

May the Fourth Results in Donations to Lung Cancer Foundation from Cedar Hill Character Education Group

June 16, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Cedar Hill Fifth Grade Character Education Council sponsored May The 4th Be With You on Friday May 4 from in the Cedar Hill multi-purpose room. The event was to benefit the Lung Cancer Foundation of America. To raise money, each participant paid $5 for a Star Wars-themed scorecard. Upon completion of all events, scorecards were put in a raffle for a Star Wars video ...

Roxbury's Kellie Ann Keyes Named the County's Recycling "Rox-Star"

June 18, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – Kellie Ann Keyes, who runs Roxbury's recycling program was honored recently by Morris County for her efforts, with the county dubbing her its “Rox-Star Recycler.”

Keyes was one of 10 people and businesses to receive a 2018 Environmental Excellence Award from the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA). The MUA gave her the award in ...

Bridgewater Mall Shut Down After Fight; Report of Shots Fired

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

TAPinto will update this as more information becomes available.

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - No ...

MARS Essex Horse Trials Offers Top Equestrian Competition and Family Weekend in the Country 

June 18, 2018

FAR HILLS, N.J. — Whether you're an eventing enthusiast, just love horses, or are looking to spend an enjoyable early summer day in New Jersey's beautiful countryside, the Mars Essex Horse Trials offers all of the above in one of the most breathtaking settings in the state.

The Mars Essex Horse Trials returns with premier equestrian competition and a weekend of outdoor ...

Columns

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/16 - 6/17, 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX NEIGHBORHOOD PROPERTIES this weekend.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 2018:

  From 12 - 2 p.m.

  201 English Place, Bernards Township

  Click HERE to see full listing.

 

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018:

  From 1 - 3 p.m.

  170 Morris Avenue, Mountain Lakes

  Click HERE to see full ...

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/9 - 6/10 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX Neighborhood Properties this weekend.

SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2018:

  From 1 - 3 p.m.

  25 Hillcrest Road, Mountain Lakes

  Click HERE to see full listing.

 

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2018:

  From 1 - 4 p.m.

  1 Philhower Court, Denville

   Click HERE to see full ...

Century 21 Open Houses this Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are the Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, June 9 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
7 Diann Drive, Montville

Sunday, June 10 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
3 Louis ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 16

Summer is in the air, and the latest episode of AtlantiCast is ready to help you enjoy some fun outdoors while staying safe! This week’s episode opens with tips for sunscreen usage from Atlantic Health System’s Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller. You’ll also learn about how Atlantic Health System is advancing the future of health care through ...

Pet Corner