MONTVILLE, NJ - The Montville Township Republican Club hosted Frank Cooney and incumbent Don Kostka to a debate on Wednesday, May 27 at the Senior House. These two Republican candidates are running against each other in the primary election on June 2. The winner of the primary election will be the Republican candidate on the ballot in November’s general election for the one open seat on the Montville Township Committee for a three year term starting in 2016. There are no Democratic challengers running in the primary election.
Larry Casha moderated the debate, which started out with a brief introduction by each of the candidates, then went into a question and answer session.
Incumbent Don Kostka talked about the reasons behind the decision to run for another term, as well as his general accomplishments over the course of his tenure serving Montville Township. “At every opportunity, I’ve looked for ways to make things run better, provide more value to residents, keep taxes down, and where and when possible return money to our tax and rate payers,” Kostka said. “Over my six years, I have become the guardian of your wallet.”
In his opening remarks, Frank Cooney detailed his background as a local business owner, retired Montville Township Police officer, public service volunteer and former Montville Township Board of Education member stating how these qualifications make him “uniquely qualified” to address issues facing the Township and residents, especially focusing on public safety and public health. “The Montville Township we all love is at a crossroads. Will we fall back on old regimes and fall behind, or will we position ourselves solidly for the future?” Cooney said. “Your votes on June 2nd will set our course.”
Throughout the question and answer session, the candidates each had the opportunity to discuss their views on various topics such as term limits, important functions and salary of Montville Township Committee members, areas to ‘cut waste’ in our town government and suggested infrastructure improvements for the township.
Casha referenced the drug problem we might be experiencing in Morris County and asked the candidates what specific measures they may suggest putting in place to help curb that in Montville.
Based on Kostka’s experience on the Township Committee and Cooney’s experience on the Board of Education, Casha asked the candidates to discuss what measures they anticipate taking to try and consolidate duplicate services in Montville.
The Candidates were asked whether there are any subjects they feel they should recuse themselves of if elected to the Township Committee. Cooney stated he “feels he can represent the Township of Montville” and would only recuse himself at the direction of the township attorney. Casha commented on Cooney’s 20 years on the Montville police force and asked Cooney his opinion on whether he should be part of negotiations with the police department. Cooney said he didn’t think it was a “good idea for at least the first term” as a committee member. In answering this question, Kostka said, “I have no conflicts.”
Before their closing comments, each candidate had the opportunity to ask the other one question. Cooney asked Kostka whether he would serve all three years of his term if elected to the Township Committee and Kostka asked Cooney whether he thought the Montville police officers were paid too little, too much or just the right amount.
In closing, Cooney said, “Our township has a great foundation. I will maintain that foundation and build upon it so that we can all flourish together. Montville has given so much to me; THIS is my way to give back. I have the time and energy to commit to this position…By working together, I am convinced we can make Montville an even better place to call home.”
Kostka closed by saying, “It isn’t about personalities. It isn’t about signs. It is about qualifications, hard work and results. It is about what is best for Montville Township.”
Montville Township Republican Club President, Tom Mazzaccaro, closed the debate by saying, "I am proud to have known both of you for a long time and no matter what happens I know you will still continue to do great things."
State & County Races
Montville Township is part of New Jersey’s 26th Legislative District. In the 26th District, Republican Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce and Republican Assemblyman Jay Webber are running unchallenged to retain their seats for two years. During the general election in November, they will be challenged by Democrats Avery Hart and Wayne Marek.
In the Morris County Freeholder race, seven Republican candidates are vying for three, three-year terms. They are John Cesaro, John Krickus, Thomas Mulligan, Christine Myers, David Scapicchio, Deborah Smith and Angelo Tedesco, Jr. Cesaro is running with Myers and Tedesco and Krickus is running with Scapicchio and Smith. Mulligan is running independently.
There are no Democrats running in the Morris County Freeholder primary election.
The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2.
In Montville, the following represent the polling locations by District:
- District 1 – Montville Senior Center, 356 Main Road (Rt. 202)
- District 2 – Pine Brook Firehouse, 47 Bloomfield Avenue
- District 3 – Towaco Firehouse, Whitehall Road
- District 4 – Montville Senior Center, 356 Main Road (Rt. 202)
- District 5 – Municipal Building, 195 Changebridge Road
- District 6 – Towaco Firehouse, Whitehall Road
- District 7 – Montville First Aid Squad, 137 Changebridge Road
- District 8 – Montville Public Library, 90 Horseneck Road
- District 9 – Municipal Building, 195 Changebridge Road
- District 10 – Municipal Building, 195 Changebridge Road
- District 11 – Montville Public Library, 90 Horseneck Road
- District 12 – Montville Senior Center, 356 Main Road (Rt. 202)
- District 13 – Pine Brook Firehouse, 47 Bloomfield Avenue
- District 14 – Montville Senior Center, 356 Main Road (Rt. 202)
- District 15 – Montville First Aid Squad, 137 Changebridge Road
- District 16 – Montville Senior Center, 356 Main Road (Rt. 202)
- District 17 – Towaco Firehouse, Whitehall Road
- District 18 – Montville Public Library, 90 Horseneck Road