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Latest News in Montville, NJ

News from the Oct. 25 Montville Township Committee Meeting

MONTVILLE, NJ – The township changed its redevelopment plan for the lots on Route 46 west in Pine Brook into a non-condemnation plan as explained at the meeting by sub-contracted township planner Joseph Burgis. Motor vehicle sales and pre-owned motor vehicle sales will also now be allowed (due to the sale of a portion of the land to Paul Miller), and automobile service stations will be allowed “on the easternmost portion of the study area, and only in that area, and that’s consistent with the litigation that the municipalit...

MONTVILLE, NJ – The township changed its redevelopment plan for the lots on Route 46 west in Pine Brook into a non-condemnation plan as explained at the meeting by sub-contracted township planner Joseph Burgis. Motor vehicle sales and pre-owned motor vehicle sales will also now be allowed (due to the sale of a portion of the land to Paul Miller), and automobile service stations will be allowed “on the easternmost portion of the study area, and only in that area, and that’s consistent with the litigation that the municipality and planning board have been involved in recently, and is consistent with the site plan the planning board has already approved.”

Other News

Boy Scout Chase Eagan presented his Eagle project proposal. He wants to build boardwalks for trails near the amphitheater. His project would take two days in the spring. The township committee unanimously approved the proposal.

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The committee voted to spend $30,000 of Open Space funds on the construction of enclosures around the existing trash containers located at Camp Dawson.

The township received a AAA bond rating for upcoming general obligation bonds and existing bond debt. The rating is a benefit because it allows lower rates for borrowing for capital improvement projects.

The committee moved to extend affordable housing controls on 172 units at Rachel Gardens which is in litigation and if it’s successful, it will eliminate the legal necessity of more than 800 new market-rate units from being built, according to Township Attorney Fred Semrau.

“It affects the impact for the next round of affordable housing,” he said.

A recommendation to make it illegal to turn left onto Route 202 from Montville Avenue has been sent to the Morris County Board of Commissioners. Since 202 is a county route, Montville needs their approval to make such changes.

The next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, at 7 p.m.

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MTHS Freshman Receives National Poetry Prize

Alessandra Giordano, reads her national award-winning poem. The Montville Township High School freshman wrote the poem in 8th grade. She is one of only two middle school students in the nation to have been awarded The John Estey Student Writing Competition Award presented by the American Writers Museum. MONTVILLE, NJ - Alessandra Giordano, a Montville Township High School freshman, is one of only two middle school students in the nation to have been awarded The John Estey Student Writing Competition Award presented b...

Alessandra Giordano, reads her national award-winning poem. The Montville Township High School freshman wrote the poem in 8th grade. She is one of only two middle school students in the nation to have been awarded The John Estey Student Writing Competition Award presented by the American Writers Museum.

MONTVILLE, NJ - Alessandra Giordano, a Montville Township High School freshman, is one of only two middle school students in the nation to have been awarded The John Estey Student Writing Competition Award presented by the American Writers Museum. Giordano, wrote the winning poem while still an 8th grade ELA student at Robert R. Lazar Middle School in Montville Township, New Jersey. Giordano is also one of only six students, in the entire United States, from grades 3 through 12, to receive this award.

“Ali wrote her winning poem (and others that are great too!) in our ELA class last year,” Lazar ELA teacher Suezette Given recently wrote. “We are so happy for her!”

This year, 2022, marks the 3rd annual John Estey Student Writing Competition Awards contest. Giordano’s poem, along with the work of the other five national winners, will be tied to the museum’s upcoming exhibit entitled: Dark Testament: A Century of Black Writers on Justice, which opened September 22, 2022.

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The quote that inspired Where I’m From, Ali Giordano’s nationally recognized poem, was written by James Baldwin. That quote is: “The place in which I’ll fit will not exist until I make it.”

Where I’m From

Ali Giordano

"The place in which I'll fit will not exist until I make it." - James Baldwin

The wrinkly- faced French and English bulldogs that run around my comforting home playing,

as their strawberry colored tongues hang from their mouths.

From the dinners at my Nana’s house,

still smelling the homemade gravy my Pop would make on Sundays.

I’m from the Corrado’s grocery trips with my father,

sitting in the cart as he places the bags of baby carrots and broccoli next to me knowing I’ll refuse to eat it later.

I am from the green turf fields, full of black specks that somehow end up in my shoes,

poking me as I swing my field hockey stick.

From the endless holidays full of cheer and love that take place in the elegant dining room,

with a shiny golden mirror and delicate china teacups, passed down from generations.

I am from the shimmering stars that sparkle in the night sky,

as I lay on the tall grass, gazing at the beautiful sight.

From the taste of the cinnamon apple jack cereal

and Uncrustables in my kindergarten butterfly lunch box.

I am from the itchy princess dresses I'd wear over my long-sleeved tee shirt,

that glistened leaving a trail of glitter behind me.

From those nights where my mom would brush through my curly hair after a shower

and complain about the painful knots in my hair.

I am from the car rides down the shore with the windows down,

hair flying everywhere and music blasting so loud I could feel my heart beating to it.

From the sandy hair, salty waves and tie-dye boogie boards,

pretending to be a professional surfer.

I am from that one room in my school, where laughs fill the air all period,

and everyone feels like a family for only those forty-two minutes.

I am from my childhood memories,

my not so happy endings,

my loyal friends—

without them,

I simply would never be

Me.

"I'd like to thank Ms. Given, my 8th grade English teacher at Lazar. She gave me writing opportunities that no other teacher could," said Giordano. "She pushed me to work harder to reach my full potential."

Giordano can be heard reading her poem on YouTube. She is one of the OnWord student winners featured on the American Writers Museum YouTube Channel.

According to an American Writers Museum press release, “This free writing competition is part of the AWM’s efforts to motivate and inspire the young writers of tomorrow.”

Teachers across the United States of America were invited to submit entries of any genre from 3rd-grade through 12th-grade students using the James Baldwin quote as “a jumping-off point, a first line from which students can write their imagining of the place in which they will fit.” The AWM press release stated.

AWM will present $10,000 in scholarships and prizes to the six national finalists:

The mission of the American Writers Museum is to "engage the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture and our daily lives." The American Writers Museum is located in Chicago, Illinois, and has a strong virtual presence as well as an in-person gallery space.

Five Questions with... Township Committee Candidate Richard Conklin

MONTVILLE, NJ – TAPinto Montville reached out to each of the township committee candidates and asked them to provide a biography and answer five questions. We're publishing an article series with the answers written by the candidates word-for-word to give voters the opportunity to get to know these candidates and what they stand for in order to help make informed decisions when voting. Following this series, TAPinto Montville will publish answers from the township committee candidates to select questions on the minds of our Montville r...

MONTVILLE, NJ – TAPinto Montville reached out to each of the township committee candidates and asked them to provide a biography and answer five questions. We're publishing an article series with the answers written by the candidates word-for-word to give voters the opportunity to get to know these candidates and what they stand for in order to help make informed decisions when voting. Following this series, TAPinto Montville will publish answers from the township committee candidates to select questions on the minds of our Montville residents.

Please present a short bio about yourself.

I’m a lifelong resident of Montville Township and my family roots go several generations deep. My wife Rose and I have been married for 46 years and we have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.

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I have a degree in business and a certificate in construction management from Rutgers. I completed my career in the construction industry as a Senior Associate, Senior Projects Manager for a prominent International Construction Management firm.

I have dedicated most of my adult life Volunteering and serving our great Township. During this time I served over 12 years with the Towaco Fire department, and was elected to 3 terms as a fire district #2 Commissioner. I’ve volunteered and Served on many boards and commissions including Planning Board, Open Space, and the 2005 Charter Study Commission. I’m proud to be a member of the following organizations: St. Pius X Church & Knights of Columbus, Towaco Civic Association (Charter Member), Montville Twp. & Morris County Historical Societies, national society Sons of the American Revolution and others. I also have had the Honor of serving as Montville’s Mayor for 2 terms.

1. Why are you running for election?

I have never considered myself a politician, but I have always been concerned and involved with Township Issues. We have all seen many changes to our Township over the years, and we are still facing the pressures of development. The township recently received our “Order of Compliance” from the courts with regard to our low and moderate income housing requirements. This will help eliminate future development pressure. (NOTE: Montville Twp. successfully negotiated, and has taken the necessary steps, for the continuance of the existing 172 affordable units at Rachel Gardens which will also help reduce development pressure.)

I would like the opportunity to continue to preserve the townships rural character, find opportunities to expand our open space (3000 acres currently preserved), continue with the installation of the new ornate street signs, lighting, and guide rails I proposed several years ago. Continue our milling and repaving program which has been averaging over 5 miles of repaved roads each year. We recently appropriated approximately $250,000.00 to purchase the latest security technology to deter and apprehend those who would enter our Township for theft or other wrong doings. I promise to continue to be frugal even as we accomplish our missions. I have always worked hard to reduce taxes. Even with all these ongoing improvements to the township we have maintained a tax increase of “less” than $39.00 per year for an average priced Montville home ($531,000.00) while still continuing to “reduce” our Townships debt, and maintaining our AAA Bond Ratings. I want to insure we stay the course, encourage questions, feedback, participation, and camaraderie from all of our Townships residents.

2. What do you believe is the most important issue in this local election? How would you change it or fix it?

There is no “One” particular issue to me, but I do have several concerns. Finances and development pressures are always at issue, but can, and are being managed to the benefit of the residents. I have always considered holding public office to be an Honor, a privilege, and a major responsibility. Therefore the candidate’s background, experience, and motivation for seeking office is imperative. I believe my motivations, previous accomplishments and past performance speaks for itself.

My opponents wrote an article in the September 11th addition of TAP into Montville regarding the Zuppas, Pine Brook motel, and adjoining proprieties on Bloomfield Ave. Their lack of knowledge, experience, and diplomacy was clearly demonstrated with the inaccuracy of that article. There are 3 separate and distance parcels of land at that Bloomfield Avenue site, which would have require negotiations and actions with 3 separate owners (not easy). Montville Township started the ball rolling for redevelopment of this area way back in 2015 when we rezoned the area to stimulate private development investment. Development of this magnitude takes time to attract appropriate suiters with adequate means to develop. Costs to Montville taxpayers could have been staggering if condemnation, purchase, and demolition by the township was considered. The properties are now being redeveloped, and again will be assets and great retables for our Township at “NO” cost to the tax payers.

“If you want to be the Pilot you really need to know something about the airplane”.

3. What other issues are important?

Historic Preservation has always been a priority of mine. My family has deep roots in this township and I am determined my children, grandchildren, and extended family continue to enjoy our preserved historic properties and same rural atmosphere we have all enjoyed to date.

I championed the Townships “Demolition By neglect” ordinance a few years ago which protects and preserves our “Listed” historic sites. Preserving these historic properties will help maintain that rural character, heritage, pride in community, and stable property values.

Public Safety and security are always a priority. Montville Township, as with other communities, has recently seen an increase in auto thefts and related crimes from outside sources. In response we have made a special appropriation of $250,000.00 to purchase the latest security technology for deterring and apprehending thieves. We are also currently applying for grant monies for additional security technology.

Open Space has always been a priority of mine. To date Montville has approximately 3000 acres of preserved land for the enjoyment of our residents. We continue to set aside funds each year and are constantly looking for opportunities to expand the acreage. Discussions have started on developing a Trail system and mapping, to assist our residents in enjoying these proprieties.

Our AAA Bond Rating; there is a select few municipalities that maintain this rating. It’s only obtained by demonstrating prudent financial operations and stability. This rating allows the Township preferred interest rates and other benefits which relates to thousands of dollars in taxpayer savings each year. Montville Township has constantly maintained this rating during my tenure on the committee.

4. What do you like most about Montville?

Just about EVERYTHING, But mostly I enjoy waving, talking, and listening to so many of the neighbors and residents I see at the post office and other locations throughout the day. I enjoy answering question, taking suggestions, and even getting scolded on occasion (but always ending in a hand shake). Because Montville Township has become such a very desirable place to live, it has attracted many new residents and their housing requirements. This has created some necessary change. However, I am happy to say that our zoning, planning, and management has successfully blended the old with the new to create the community we enjoy today.

5. What else would you like to say?

It’s Home! Montville Township has been my home for my entire life. I enjoy, respect, and have always worked hard for my extended family of Montville residents.

My wife and I attended Montville Day again this year. As we sat enjoying both the music and miles wide view, I took notice of the new Amp Theater, Pavilion, the grounds, amenities, and all our residence socializing and enjoying the day. Because I want to insure we preserve all this for our future generation our Montville residents, I ask for your support, and VOTE on November 8th.

Respectfully

Richard D. Conklin

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RECENT ARTICLES NEARBY

Five Questions with... Township Committee Candidate Shari Seffer

MONTVILLE, NJ – TAPinto Montville reached out to each of the township committee candidates and asked them to provide a biography and answer five questions. We're publishing an article series with the answers written by the candidates word-for-word to give voters the opportunity to get to know these candidates and what they stand for in order to help make informed decisions when voting. Following this series, TAPinto Montville will publish answers from the township committee candidates to select questions on the minds of our Montville r...

MONTVILLE, NJ – TAPinto Montville reached out to each of the township committee candidates and asked them to provide a biography and answer five questions. We're publishing an article series with the answers written by the candidates word-for-word to give voters the opportunity to get to know these candidates and what they stand for in order to help make informed decisions when voting. Following this series, TAPinto Montville will publish answers from the township committee candidates to select questions on the minds of our Montville residents.

Please present a short bio about yourself.

I am a 27 year resident of Montville and an attorney who practiced law in real estate and specialized in mortgages for 36 years. I helped create the mortgage foreclosure mediation program which assisted many homeowners retain ownership to their homes during the mortgage crisis in 2008. I, along with my family, owned and operated a well-respected children’s sleep away summer camp for 53 years. I co- created the EatLocalMontvilleNJ Facebook page to help small businesses. I reside in Montville with my husband Rick and our two dogs. I look forward to meeting you, along with our remarkable Seeing Eye pup Elsa, while campaigning.

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1. Why are you running for election?

Montville Township is a wonderful place to live. We have an outstanding school system, a pleasant suburban life-style, and a perfect location to get anywhere in the state. I have great neighbors and enjoy my community.

The current Township Committee lacks creative vision for the future of our town. A great deal of work needs to be done and I am ready, willing, and able to roll up my sleeves to be a strong advocate for you. Most residents I have met strongly agree that we need change and a fresh perspective to make this town thrive.

2. What do you believe is the most important issue in this local election? How would you change it or fix it?

Change is hard, yet inevitable. The new developments going up in town (to comply with Affordable Housing state requirements) were not strategically planned. We now need to focus on the exponential growth all over Montville Township. The impending challenges of traffic congestion, infrastructure issues, and overcrowding in our schools could have been avoided had we prepared ahead by courting development 20 years ago, rather than being reactionary and plopping large complexes willy-nilly. We should have been creating Affordable Housing a long time ago. Instead, we got sued and fined $45,000 for ignoring the issue. Now we are stuck with these problems. My running mate, John Harmon, and I will be laser focused on creating a strategic plan to get us through the next 20 years.

We are pleased that our platform’s timeliness was instrumental in ensuring that Suppas and The Pine Brook Motel were finally demolished after remaining vacant and abandoned for almost 10 years. These unsightly structures were a stain on our community and a loss of commercial tax revenue. As a real estate attorney, I know that the Committee had many tools in its arsenal to deal with these monstrosities. They refused to do so in a timely manner. Indeed, some areas are still a mess. I would not let this happen on my watch.

3. What other issues are important?

The Towaco Center is a traffic nightmare and not the stellar shopping destination promised. We need to work toward attracting more small businesses to our community and to improve the support we give to current businesses. It should not take 3 years for a restaurant to open.

Further, our township committee has not taken steps to modernize our common areas. Little is done to recreational areas and parks (other than our athletic fields and community park). A study was completed in 2011 which recommended the installation of parks, trails, bicycle routes, and other quality of life recreational facilities. Little or nothing was done to comply with that study. Sadly, some of parks look time worn and disheveled. We must do better for our citizens’ quality of life. See https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/9417786/open-space-plan-update-trails-plan-montville-township.

4. What do you like most about Montville?

Our neighbors take care of one another. I am proud that we are charitable and supportive of many causes. We have an excellent school system and a stellar recreation department which affords great opportunities for our children.

5. What else would you like to say?

I am a civic minded person who is certain that we need change. We are, frankly, stagnating. Montville Township needs a fresh vision to lead us into the future. John Harmon and I are committed to working smart; with strategic planning and forethought to ensure that overdevelopment remains in check, and that small businesses who want to open here don’t have to wait years for necessary permits and approvals.

It’s Time for Change. Make sure you Vote on November 8th. Your Vote is Your Voice!

I also thank all the friendly, thoughtful neighbors I have met while canvassing. People have been incredibly kind and supportive of our ideas. I will be proud to serve on the Montville Township Committee.

Visit and read your exclusive Montville news at TAPinto Montville? 24/7 for FREE: TAPinto?Montville?.net

??Download the FREE TAPinto App! Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

Celebrating something special? Showcase your anniversary, birthday, graduation, and MORE on TAPinto Milestones!

Five Questions with... Board of Education Candidate Nicholas Colombo

MONTVILLE, NJ – TAPinto Montville reached out to each of the board of education candidates and asked them to provide a biography and answer five questions. In the next few days, we’re publishing an article series with the answers written by the candidates word-for-word to give voters the opportunity to get to know these candidates and what they stand for in order to help make informed decisions when voting. Following this series, TAPinto Montville will publish answers from the board of education candidates to select questions on ...

MONTVILLE, NJ – TAPinto Montville reached out to each of the board of education candidates and asked them to provide a biography and answer five questions. In the next few days, we’re publishing an article series with the answers written by the candidates word-for-word to give voters the opportunity to get to know these candidates and what they stand for in order to help make informed decisions when voting. Following this series, TAPinto Montville will publish answers from the board of education candidates to select questions on the minds of our Montville residents.

Please present a short bio about yourself.

1. Why are you running for election?

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I’m running to be the Board member that parents trust to hear their voices. That nothing said will fall on deaf ears, and that I will empower them to have control over their children’s education. I also want to expand/re-expand the vocational options of course available for students who desire an education outside of academics. E.g., Wood/metal shop, tailoring, starting a business, cooking, agriculture, etc.

2. What do you believe is the most important issue in this local election? How would you change it or fix it?

The most important issue in this election is the broken communication, and lack of respect between parents and administration, I talked to parents who feel like they are fruitlessly going to Board meetings with complaints only to have them go in one ear and out the other of the current board. As well as parents not being defended by the administration even when they have been blatantly disrespected by Staff. This is the cause of the other symptoms the school district has.

3. What other issues are important?

Parents for the past few months have been very vocal about their concerns with the New Sex Ed curriculum mandated by the State Legislature. I support the parents in the request to make the curriculum OPT-IN, instead of OPT-OUT. I will even add the suggestion to separate the state curriculum from the established one that Montville is already teaching. We should make the State curriculum supplementary as well as voluntary.

4. What do you like most about Montville?

I have lived in Montville for 22 years of my life. My favorite part of living here is the fantastic arrangement of families that give the town its spirit. They make Montville feel like the biggest small town around.

5. What else would you like to say?

I will be the candidate that signifies the new generation of the Montville School District. One where parents will come to speak knowing that someone is listening and giving his all to act on their concerns. Find out more about me on Instagram: @Nick_ColomboBoE

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