After a historic Township Committee election in 2017 that brought us the first openly gay member of the TC, and then a split vote for mayor in which Vic DeLuca retained his post in a last-minute surprise, 2018 could prove to be the dullest campaign in years.

That’s because incumbents Nancy Adams and Greg Lembrich are running unopposed in the upcoming Democratic primary, and no one is running in the Republican primary.

It’s no comment on Lembrich or Adams; both have shown a willingness to shake things up and seek progress and change. 

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But Township Clerk Liz Fritzen confirmed that when the deadline passed for primary challengers to file on Tuesday, April 3, Lembrich and Adams were the lone candidates on the Democratic side, and not one GOP contender had filed to run.

That includes two-time GOP candidate Mike Summersgill, who put up a stronger challenge than most of his recent predecessors, but failed to garner enough votes for a seat in 2016 and 2017.

Asked why he decided to sit this one out, Summersgill issued the following statement:

I enjoyed running in the past two years and appreciated having the platform to share my ideas. Ultimately my decision this year came down to scheduling. As a parent of 3 kids, I have found it hard to make key meetings - like the public forum for the police chief candidates, Springfield Ave summit, and recent adjustments board meeting on additional variances for high-density residential development. I probably shouldn't have run with a brand new baby last year and this year I’m trying to be realistic with what I can accomplish. I still plan on being vocally engaged on key issues.

Perhaps the school board race, whose deadline to file is still months away, will spark some excitement.

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Residents who are signing up for the Maplewood Pool this year are finding more than just a fee increase.

They’re being asked to sign a waiver that appears to remove the pool from responsibility of any incidents, and states that residents agree to forgo any lawsuits as members.

See that portion below:

The undersigned hereby releases, waives, discharges and covenants not to sue the City, its directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, representatives, and affiliates for any claim so arising on behalf of the undersigned, and his/her representatives, heirs, and successors in interest (hereinafter “undersigned”) for any and all loss or damage, and any claim or demands therefore on account of injury to the person or property of the Participant registered herein while partaking in the Activity.

Asked why this was instituted, Township Administrator Joe Manning said via email, “The township wants to protect itself against litigations by individuals who use our facilities or participate in our recreation activities.”

It turns out the Maplewood Pool Advisory Committee was not consulted about the new waiver, but sources said it is similar to waivers being used in other communities.

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Finally, there are the vandals who thought the recently painted Maplewood Train Station tunnel was the perfect place for ugly graffiti. You recall the tunnels were cleaned up and given a fresh coat by NJ Transit with plans for some new murals to replace the old favorites that were a wonderful reminder of what Maplewood Village has to offer, but had simply been worn down.

Township officials had said they planned to get a new mural project going, but apparently the wait was too long for some scofflaws. Hopefully the transit system will do another painting, but with a permanent decoration plan ready to go.