Nanette DiTosto- Republican
Harding's core values of municipal independence, low taxes, conservative fiscal management, an entrusted public safety force, and delivery of essential government services, are to be upheld and protected through our Township Committee. If elected, I will guard these core values prevalent in Harding's Master Plan. I respect our rural heritage and support our open space policy without incurring new debt. Harding's long tradition of volunteerism and a competitive and efficient school system are imperative to Harding's character.
As a Republican candidate, I seek to serve our community on the Township Committee based on my experience in municipal governance, volunteerism, business management, finance, and policy. I currently serve residents on the Planning Board, Cell Tower and Citizens' Park Committees, and Environmental Commission. I formerly served on our Historic Preservation Committee and Millburn's Board of Adjustment. Equally active in community groups, I am Co-President of the Harding TWIG benefiting Morristown Hospital and member of the New Vernon Garden Club.
My education includes a BA in Economics from Gettysburg College and MA in Economics from Penn State. Professionally I worked for the US Council for International Business representing views of US business-based mulitnationals to US and foreign governments, and intergovernmental organizations.
I joined Bankers Trust Company, Electronic Commerce, and defined policy positions on e-commerce information security and privacy issues. Over thirty national Chambers of Commerce elected me to represent their views to an intergovernmental committee (OECD) that developed International Guidelines on Cryptography Policy. I also managed strategic partnerships, oversaw projects, and directed the export licensing program.
I will draw from my business, academic and municipal governance background to perform the governance and executive responsibilities of the Township Committee. I have a proven track record of volunteering and devotion to serving our community. I promise to promote an open and thoughtful dialogue, represent all residents, and ensure a transparent, balanced and responsible approach to governing. I will negotiate all contracts firmly, fairly and objectively. To underscore and expand Harding' s volunteers, I support a "volunteer fair" where residents can learn about different volunteer opportunities supporting our town.
My husband and I were married in New Vernon at Church of Christ the King. We have four children, two of whom attend HTS. Enabling them, and the next generation, to enjoy Harding as much as we do everyday is my goal.
I would be grateful for your vote on November 6th.
Brian McCarthy- Independent
My name is Brian McCarthy and I am running with Harding Independents for Township Committee. I'm a graduate of Madison High School and Lynchburg College in Virginia. I am retired from United Parcel Service, currently work as a contractor for Novartis Pharmaceuticals, and I have my own business, McCarthy Landscape and Design. I am a member of the New Vernon Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary.
Some of the biggest reasons people enjoy living in Harding are the large lots and all of the protected land. I believe in Open Space, but we need to have all future purchases go through a rigorous checklist and be consistent with the Master Plan. We must prevent more disasters like Glen Alpin.
Public Safety has become a huge issue. I believe we are in a crisis, with the increase in stolen cars and burglaries, and the decrease of police officers. Residents of Harding are scared. We currently have nine full-time and one part-time officer on active duty, even though twelve officers are in the current budget. In public meetings before retiring, Chief Gaffney stated on several occasions that 12 or 13 officers would be a reasonable staffing level to protect Harding. Public safety has been mismanaged; the town has spent too much in overtime, and our police force is stressed and demoralized. Something must be done.
As a taxpayer, a small business owner and a retired union worker, I understand different points of view and can be helpful in the negotiation of the new police contract that expires in December.
We must not forget our Senior Citizens. I had the honor to speak with them at one of their meetings. Two Seniors said they were afraid to turn their lights off at night. Is this any way for our Senior Citizens to live?
Our local school should also be supported. A good school system protects home values and attracts families to our town. Maintaining local control of our school system is a top priority.
Although I have my house on the market, I plan to stay in Harding after my house is sold.
I'm a hard working person, and I promise to work just as hard for the taxpayers of Harding Township. We need to restore accountability, communicate better with residents, review management of public safety, improve staff relations and morale, be more fiscally responsible and make Harding a more friendly, family-oriented town.
Mike Meade- Independent
I'm Mike Meade and I'm running for Township Committee as an Independent candidate.
I was a Harding Township police officer for 37 years, retiring as a lieutenant in 2007. It was a privilege for me to protect and serve the people of this community, and through those years I got to meet and become friends with a lot of Harding's residents. I am very familiar with the town and how it works.
Elyse and I have been residents of Harding for over forty years. Our four children attended the Harding Township School. I coached baseball for several years, attended many basketball, field hockey and soccer games, and loved every minute! I am a veteran of the United States Army, a member of Christ the King Church, a charter member of the New Vernon First Aid Squad, former Chair of the Bayne Park Committee, and currently a member of the Citizens' Park Advisory Committee.
My interest in local government began seven years ago when I started attending Township Committee (TC) meetings. The more meetings I attended, the more questions I had, but whenever I posed a question (and I do ask a lot of questions!), I got very few reasonable answers. When Judy Malloy started attending committee meetings, I was impressed by the questions she asked. We struck up a friendship and found that we both want the same things for Harding: a productive dialogue, efficient delivery of services, and a restored sense of community.
Harding residents deserve a choice in their elections. The Republican Party has had monopoly power over candidate selection for years, bringing us to where we are today. We've moved away from conservative values of self-reliance and delivery of core services. The TC should be serving residents' best interests, but that is not what is happening.
When a third seat became available, we looked for someone with initiative and a willingness to work hard; we were fortunate Brian McCarthy stepped up. With our different abilities and knowledge of the community, we make a strong team. We work well together and we have a lot of new ideas to offer. Check out our website www.OpenAndEffective.com—you won't be disappointed!
It's time to move our town forward. It's time for you to have a choice. I believe we are the right choice. Help us make history—vote Harding Independents on Election Day!
Judy Malloy- Independent
I'm Judy Malloy and together with my running mates, Mike Meade and Brian McCarthy, "Harding Independents" we hope to represent you on the Township Committee.
Local government is about open dialogue and effective delivery of essential services. We've provided a detailed plan to achieve both in our Party Platform. Rigid ideology and single-party politics are obstacles to good ideas and good government; Harding Independents offer you a better choice this election.
You have a right to information that is verifiable and presented in proper context. These elements foster a productive dialogue, effective decision-making and confidence in government. One of the main reasons I am running is my dissatisfaction with poor communication from our leaders.
Maybe it's because of my experience as an auditor, but I like to evaluate an issue inside and out, and from top to bottom. This approach helps me spot inefficiencies, inconsistencies, and potential conflicts of interest. I will bring my analytical abilities to the Township Committee, and I will serve Harding's residents and taxpayers with professionalism and integrity.
It's been a privilege to volunteer as Treasurer, then Chairperson, for Harding Alliance Against Substance Abuse (www.HardingAlliance.org) these past nine years. I enjoy problem solving and the collaborative process, which I've put to good use in service to residents. With Harding Alliance I've demonstrated my ability to work with professionals in town, neighboring towns, and at the county level. And my track record for governance and fiscal responsibility is strong. We've expanded programming, strengthened relationships, and improved communication, while consistently spending under budget.
We value informed decision making, so we've provided detailed information about our positions and background qualifications, to help you perform due diligence for your vote. Our campaign previews our governing style— our events are open to everyone! Our dialogue is two-way, not top-down. We've incorporated feedback into our Party Platform and made recommendations to restore accountability to Public Financing of Open Space. These reports can be found on our website, www.OpenAndEffective.com.
Thank you Civic Association. You provide a forum where democracy can flourish. Thank you residents! Your volunteerism makes Harding so special. Thank you taxpayers: good value and accountability are legitimate concerns. Thank you to our opponents; we all benefit from a competition of ideas. Thank you voters for your commitment to the political process.
Harding Independents will represent your best interests.
Please vote Harding Independents by Election Day, November 6.
Ned Ward- Republican
In public meetings I am a listener. I want to know what everyone thinks. I'm a Harding native and have lived here all my life. I feel have a solid understanding of what the majority of the residents want.
As a Realtor since 1960 the most important reason for families wanting to move to Harding was low taxes. I have heard this opinion expressed over and over by home buyers who want to move to a town with a more favorable tax structure. I will do everything in my power to keep this a reality. Five years ago when I was on the Township Committee our debt load was $16 million; today it has decreased to $10 million. This is the proper direction to go. We have a duty to our residents to balance our tax revenue with our expenses without taking on more debt.
Harding's grade school has enjoyed a wonderful reputation for as long as I can remember and is also a great reason for families wanting to move to Harding. My brothers and I all attended Harding, as did our children.
I first ran for Township Committeeman in 2006. Harding had recently purchased the Glen Alpin house. This was in my opinion a huge mistake and I am still of that opinion. Six years later and it is still a significant financial drain, not from lack of trying to rid ourselves of this burden. The web of bureaucratic entanglements is unbelievable but we may now be nearing a viable solution to this problem.
Growing up here, Harding was very rural; yet with every town, growth is inevitable. We need to be prudent with our Open Space acquisitions and make wise decisions. Conserving the bulk of the Frelinghuysen estate was a very positive solution for all as it was done with minimal development but most importantly, the taxes derived from the new homes will financially benefit Harding unlike other acquisitions. Harding should not become the purchaser of last resort.
We live in a very safe community; thanks to our dedicated police force we have the lowest crime rate in Morris County. Of great concern to the Township Committee are the false rumors currently being spread that the police department will be merged/consolidated by October. That is simply not true. We have recently hired a consultant to guide us through the maze of rules and regulations regarding every facet of our police department, as we cannot continue in the current path which is unsustainable. There are many communities throughout the U.S. on the brink of bankruptcy due to the extravagant benefit and pension packages of public employees. We must arrive at a balance, which is fair to all including the many residents of our tax-paying township.
These are trying times for all municipalities in that revenues are down and expenses are up. We are doing more with less thanks to all of our hard working employees, especially the D.P.W. We are deeply indebted to all of our Volunteers — The Fire Department, First Aid Squad, library and all those residents that give freely of their time and talents serving on the various committees. We would have substantially higher taxes were it not for all of you. God bless you all!
Dear Harding Township Residents,
Residents have asked for a status update on our police department review and about considerations related to shared services.
The Township has recently issued a request for proposal (“RFP”) for a review of our police department. In the past few years, the Township has performed thorough cost and quality reviews of other town departments including the Department of Public Works, the Health Department, and others. The police department, the town’s largest with a $2.7 million annual cost, has not been reviewed for many years.
The Township hired Ted Ehrenburg, President of Blue Shield Consulting, to conduct the review. Mr. Ehrenburg is a former and much respected Police Chief in Morris County with excellent references including from Morris County Sheriff Ed Rochford. He has proven expertise and extensive experience in public safety in Morris County.
Mr. Ehrenburg’s priorities are to review the police department’s current staffing and organizational model, identify any deficiencies in resourcing or expertise, and make recommendations regarding best practices. He will help develop efficiency options but not at the expense of public safety. A responsive, professional, and community oriented police department is a top priority for the Township.
Mr. Ehrenburg should complete his entire review by December or January and will provide interim reports as appropriate. The police department, including the Officer in Charge, Sergeant Giansanti, will be an active participant in the review.
Some residents asked about possible police shared services. The Township has not, nor is it currently considering any plan for police department consolidation with another town. The Township has not met with any other town to discuss consolidation. The Township has not even considered whether it is worth any time to analyze such an option.
A shared service does not mean or imply consolidation. It is important to note that the Town has, for a number of years, successfully shared services with other towns including our courts, health department, and police. All of these arrangements have been engaged in cautiously, carefully, and after thorough study. They have been acknowledged by our professionals and residents as successful in terms of cost and quality. Shared services arrangements are reversible: the Township can terminate them should they prove unsatisfactory.
The Township currently has no plan for new shared services small or large. The priority is to support Mr. Ehrenburg’s review and then consider his findings. After the review, the Township has a fiduciary and good governance responsibility to all residents to consider whether or not there are other feasible improvements related to the police department that could lead to an enhancement in public safety at more effective cost. The Township will rely on our consultant, our police department, and other experts as required for advice and guidance.
The Township will consider any identified improvements carefully, conservatively, and transparently. No efficiencies will be pursued that would put public safety at risk.
As part of the Consultant’s study, we also expect to continue to work collaboratively with the other Township organizations involved with public safety including the Fire Departments, the First Aid Squad, the Health Department and the Department of Public Works. We plan to meet with these organizations to provide them with a full debriefing concerning our current status and on the expected deliverables of the consultant’s review. We will listen to their comments and suggestions.
Next month the Township will start negotiating a new contract with the PBA (Patrolman’s Benevolent Association – the police union). The current four year approximately $8,000,000 contract nominally ends December 31st but will govern until a new contract is completed. The Township expects to negotiate an improved contract that enhances public safety. Benefits should be brought in line with area standards. All parties have the obligation to fairly manage benefits costs so that resources may be used for public safety while keeping Harding financially independent. Mr. Ehrenburg will provide advice to the Township on the new contract. The Township commits to work collaboratively with the PBA on the new contract and will make every effort to reach win-win solutions that enhance public safety.
Harding Township Committee
September 17, 2012