On June 2, you will decide whether Clinton Township continues to move ahead… or slips back into pernicious good-old-boy politics.
I ran for mayor in 2005 because Clinton Township government was ineffective and unresponsive to the threats our town faced. When 3,600 residents signed a petition to stop Windy Acres, it became apparent that the council and planning board were a closed club, out of step with the community. Requesting action, residents got only excuses.
The warning that something was very wrong came during the October 2005 Windy Acres public hearings. Then-mayor Tom Borkowski sat mum while planning board chairman Jim Imbriaco badgered, intimidated and interrogated residents – during what was supposed to be their time to speak. When DEP Commissioner Brad Campbell handed Clinton Township the solution to Windy Acres on a silver platter, Imbriaco and Borkowski rejected it and verbally attacked the Commissioner, our freeholders, State Senator Lance and the attorney representing 3,600 residents. (Click to hear the audio.)
It was the darkest day of Clinton Township that I had ever witnessed. I resolved that as mayor I would invite fresh faces to do the work of government. In three short years, we accomplished more than anyone imagined – including stopping the “inevitable” Windy Acres project.
Today, those fresh faces are running for Township Council. Council President Steve Krommenhoek, Brian Mullay, and Colleen Filak represent the best that Clinton Township has to offer. They are not hobbled by old attitudes and fears. They are the future of honest, responsive government.
Colleen Filak got involved when gypsy moths attacked her corner of the township. She worked with the council and township staff and got the job done at no cost to taxpayers. Today she serves on our planning board. Colleen is refreshingly motivated – and I don’t mind being branded “sexist” if I say we need a strong woman like this on our council.
Brian Mullay is chair of our Historic Commission (appointed by former Mayor Borkowski) and works tirelessly on our affordable housing committee. He’s helping turn the village of Annandale back into the jewel it was, before prior administrations pounded it with high-density housing. Brian doesn’t go around complaining, or crowing about his accomplishments. This capable young man will make an outstanding councilman.
Council President Steve Krommenhoek is in the middle of several crucial projects. A no-cost-to-taxpayers partnership with the YMCA will provide a new community center, a town pool, and commuter parking. Steve is handling major litigation against COAH, and he has helped shave $750/year from the average household’s school taxes — while supporting our teachers and schools. He’s usually at school events – listening to neighbors’ ideas.
The three council seats up for election are a majority – they can control the council. Mayor Kevin Cimei needs a council that will work with him for the good of the township. Please look around at all the progress we have achieved. Either we keep moving forward with fresh faces, or we go back to the old insider politics. My vote goes to Krommehoek, Mullay and Filak. Please vote June 2.