Sandham to be Next Montville Township Mayor

Montville Township Committee special meeting held on Dec. 15 Credits: Melissa Benno

MONTVILLE, NJ - At the Montville Township Committee special meeting on Dec. 15, Committee Member James Sandham was voted township mayor by the Committee. He will be sworn in, along with re-elected Deputy Mayor Richard Conklin, at the Township Reorganization meeting on Jan. 3, 2016.

Under the Montville Township charter, committee members are elected by the public in the voting booths. The mayor and deputy mayor, however, are nominated and voted in by Township Committee members only. The mayor and deputy mayor serve a one-year term, but can and usually do run for more than one term.

Read more about the Republican Caucus prior to this meeting here.

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Sandham thanked the Committee and Conklin stated he was "honored."

The rest of the Special Meeting was devoted to discussing and appointing or re-appointing residents to the Township's 18 boards, commissions and committees.

Board of Adjustment

Current members Shelly Lawrence and Richard Moore were re-appointed, and Township Committee Member-Elect Frank Cooney will be the Board's Township Committee liaison. Current Mayor Scott Gallopo will serve as liaison alternate.

Board of Health

Ronald Belmont, Sr., was re-appointed. Since Raymond Clark did not wish to be re-appointed, there is now a vacancy on the Board.

“We need individuals with a specific skill set, such as physicians and nurses," said Committee Member Deb Nielson.

Nielsen will remain liaison and Conklin will be the alternate.

Design Review Committee

All seven current members were re-appointed. Cooney will now be liaison and Nielson will remain liaison alternate.

Dog Park Committee

The newly formed Dog Park Committee had 16 residents apply for its nine one-year positions.

"Leticia Huffstutler, Dolores Eckert-Cook and Jean Bader have been members for a long time and I know they have an interest in it," stated Nielson.

Conklin stated he favored those three too because he knows them and knows “they have a background in it [dogs]” but he wasn't sure of others’ backgrounds.

Gallopo stated he was comfortable with those three choices, and Sandham and Cooney agreed.

Cooney then recommended Delores Healey and Renee McCue, and the other members agreed.

Nielson then stated, “Some husband and wife pairs have applied, but we generally don’t appoint both spouses.”

Nielson then recommended Sandra Spinelli due to her computer skills and all members agreed.

Conklin stated he knows Pamela Weinstein, and Nielson agreed with that recommendation and also recommended Joan Honig and all agreed.

Nielson then recommended Robert Bear and all agreed.

Cooney will be liaison with this new group, and Nielson will be the liaison alternate.

Sandham recommended to the liaisons that after the Dog Park Committee members are sworn in at the January Reorganization meeting that they have a quick meeting to decide which days and times they will meet.

Drug Awareness Council

Three current members wished to be reappointed

“We are looking for additional energy to be added to the council,” said Nielson. “Jeff Matias and Julie Scialla are newer members, and Julie is a first lieutenant on the First Aid Squad and brings a lot of expertise and knowledge to the position. Jeff brings a lot of energy to the position.”

Gallopo “echoed the comments,” stating he felt Julie and Jeff brought “a lot to the table.”

Conklin agreed due to Nielson’s position as liaison to the Council.

Scialla and Matias were reappointed, the Police Liaison will be recommended by the Chief of Police, and the Social Services Liasion will be recommended by Victor Canning. Kathy Sandham did not wish to be reappointed, and the position was eliminated.

Karl Fisher was not reappointed. Two new applicants, Michael Cooney, Jr., Keri Spitz, were discussed, and Cooney recused himself from the discussion because Cooney, Jr. is his nephew.

“We are trying to turn over our boards and commissions to some degree,” said Nielson, “and I told Karl we valued his many years of service and his contributions, and it’s a difficult decision to go in a new direction, and it’s not to be taken personally, but I feel Keri Spitz is the best candidate.”

Gallopo agreed with Nielson’s recommendation due to his familiarity with Spitz via the #OneMontville initiative (read more about #OneMontville here and here) and stated she is “very vocal, has a lot of ideas, and a strong work ethic.”

Conklin stated it was a “tough decision,” but stated that since Nielson as liaison recommended Spitz, and he liked her résumé, he would recommend Spitz.

Nielson will continue to be liaison, and Cooney will be the new alternate liaison.

Economic Development Committee

Alternate Douglas Cooper was made a regular member, two members did not wish to be reappointed, and member Arnold Schancupp did not indicate if he wished to be reappointed. There will now be one or possibly two unfilled positions on that committee. Sandham will be liaison and Gallopo will be alternate.

Environmental Commission

Michele Caron, Lawrence Kornreich and Andrew Pappachen wished to be reappointed and were approved.

Alternate Dan Pagano wished to be reappointed but was not because the chairman, Kornreich, did not offer his recommendation, Pagano missed five meetings according to Nielson, and when Kornreich reached out to Pagano he received no response until very recently, according to Nielson.

Pam Misiewicz was chosen as an alternate member.

Conklin will be liaison and Nielson will be alternate.

Historic Preservation Review Commission

Daniel Grant and Meta Janowitz were reappointed. Richard Cook and Joan Conway were appointed for two-year terms.

Conklin will be liaison and Cooney will be alternate liaison.

Housing Committee

Ralph Avallone, Sr., and Carol Ann Soroko were reappointed, and there is now one opening on the committee.

Nielson will be liaison and Gallopo will be alternate liaison.

Library Board

Peter King, Sr. did not wish to be reappointed. Jane Hines was appointed. Sandham stated he knew her from the Woodmont School PTA and that she is a Scout leader and a frequent library user and attendee of library programming and seminars.

As mayor, Sandham will automatically be on the board in a voting position, and Gallopo will be alternate.

Long-Term Financial Planning Committee

Sandham stated that this committee had “hardly met, but we need to use this talent.”

Douglas Cooper was reappointed, and Barry Braverman was recommended by the Chamber of Commerce to be Chamber liaison. Tejal Bhatt and Catalina Laronne were appointed to the committee.

Gallopo will be the liaison and Nielson will be the alternate.

Open Space Committee

Conrad Hahn, Robert Purnell, Daniel Pagano, and John Misiewicz were reappointed. Misiewicz is the current chairman. Corlas Ann Lorino was appointed.

Cooney will be the liaison and Nielson will be the alternate.

Planning Board

Arthur Maggion, John Visco, and Lawrence Kornreich were reappointed. Richard Cook was appointed as alternate number two.

Sandham, as mayor, will be on this board by statute. Conklin will be alternate.

Recreation Commission

Deane M. Driscoll and Michael Perretta were reappointed, Perretta as an alternate.

Sandham stated, “I think he does a heck of a job,” regarding Driscoll.

Gallopo will be liaison and Sandham will be alternate.

Residents with Disabilities Advisory Committee

Rosanne Dawer and Dorie Berman were reappointed. New applicant Pat Gesualdo was named a regular member, since the board had a vacancy already and Julia Bramwell did not wish to be reappointed. Sharon Buys is on the committee but did not submit a reappointment form.

Cooney will be liaison and Gallopo will be alternate.

Technology Committee

Jeff Rose, Jack Kroll, Robert Lefkowitz, and David Honig were all reappointed. Eugen Fucetola did not submit a reappointment form so Dennis M. Meyers was appointed in his place.

Gallopo will be liaison and Conklin will be alternate.

Tree Permit Appeals Board

Mark Mantyla (Township Engineer), Ivan Bader and Steve Olson were reappointed, although this board has not met in many years according to Township Committee Members present.

Rockaway River Watershed Cabinet

Clifford Seipel was reappointed to this cabinet, which is a coalition of 13 municipalities designed to protect the water quality of the River. Conklin will assume the vacancy on the cabinet for Montville representatives.

Board of Education Sub-Committee

Nielson and Sandham will be liaisons with this committee.


Gallopo and Sandham will be on this sub-committee.

Professional Services

The Township Committee had Township Administrator Victor Canning send out Requests for Proposals for some of the professional services supplied to the Township. RFPs were sought for Labor Counsel and Municipal Prosecutor.

Attorney Fred Semrau was reappointed as Township Counsel by unanimous vote.

Township Auditors Lerch, Vinci, and Higgins were reappointed.

Bond Counsel McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC was reappointed.

Water & Sewer Department Consulting Engineer – Anderson & Denzler Associates, Inc. (William D. Ryden, P.E.) was reappointed.

Current Labor Counsel Knapp, Trimboli, and Prusinowski LLC; seven firms applied to the Request for Proposals. Cleary Giacobbe Alfieri Jacobs, LLC will replace it.

Municipal Prosecutor Christopher DiLorenzo was re-accepted over another applicant.

John Cesaro was reappointed as Municipal Public Defender.


The meeting on July 26, 2016 was cancelled. The Township Committee will meet on July 19 and August 16. The October 11, 2016 meeting will start at 6 p.m. due to the Jewish Holiday. The first November meeting will be on the 9th instead of the 8th, which is Election Day.  December 13, 2016 will be a regular meeting, and December 15, 2016 will be a Special Meeting.


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