Braden Tapped as Mayor

The Township Committee voted Tim Braden mayor and Don Kostka deputy mayor at the reorganization meeting Monday.

A Montville Township High School graduate is chairman of the Township Committee for the first time.

The five members of the governing body tapped 1977 graduate Tim Braden to serve as mayor for the year, making him the first graduate to assume that role, he said.

Don Kostka was picked as deputy mayor.

Braden, a general contractor in his second term on the committee, gave a State of Montville address titled "Weathering the Storm," in which he said sound fiscal policies are the reason Montville is in good financial shape and thanked those who responded to two debilitating storms in 2011. Addressing an apparently excessive surplus in the Water and Sewer Department is a top priority for 2012, he said.

He said the committee members work together.

"We are a committee of five, but a body of one," he said.

Montville's government reorganized for the new year on Monday in a 6 p.m. meeting at the . Congressman Rodney Frelinghusyen swore in re-elected committee members Deb Nielson and Jim Sandham.

In his remarks, Braden thanked committee members' spouses and township volunteers who serve on committees and commissions in town.

He said town employees, , members and the , and firefighters are heroes for their responses to Irene and the October snowstorm.

"They are the true heroes of 2011 and they deserve a round of applause," he said.

Braden said the Water and Sewer Department is , and that addressing the issue is a top priority for 2012.

Township eighth-grader and "X Factor" finalist Emily Michalak sang the Star-Spangled Banner. The Rev. Mark Olenowski of gave the opening prayer and the Rev. Dr. Vijaya Kumar of gave the benediction. Regina LoBiondo, a high school sophomore, sang God Bless America.

Other politicians attending the event included former Montville Township Committee members Russ Lipari, Dan Grant and Art Daughtry, State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio, Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, Parsippany Councilman John Cesaro and Morris County Freeholders William J. Chegwidden, Douglas R. Cabana, Gene Feyl, Thomas J. Mastrangelo and Ann Grossi.

Lisa LoBiondo January 05, 2012 at 12:04 PM
The town is looked at by "someone on the outside" each time it is reviewed by the rating agencies and they continue to give Montville it's highest rating- AAA!
Dan Grant January 05, 2012 at 01:42 PM
You can swear, You can affirm without a Bible just as long as you take the oath of office. The Mayor of Montville is given no special rights except to bang the gavel at meetings and give a Statement of the Condition of the Township. That is it and until we as people of the Community get to vote on who that Mayor is, it will remain a pretty meaningless position. . Our Charter clearly requires that the actions of the Committee are done as a body and all members are equal. that means any three that agree. That also means no one member is accountable. All any member has to do is vote for themselves and have two others join them and they are Mayor. Over the years it is a kind of yearly swap meet based on who doesn't like who who wants to get appointed to which Board and what pet project gets to be discussed rather than a real selection of who would be the best representative for the Township. Accountability and leadership comes from a Real Mayor elected by the people working with a separate Township Committee and each looking over each others shoulders.
Tina B January 12, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Actually Tim has already disappointed me. The township administrator did a pretty despicable thing with a petition my son was circulating asking that an adult member of the REACH program continue to be given assignments and not fazed out. This petition (which already had 40 signatures) was unlawfully confiscated at a school dance (now they are claiming it was interfering with the dance - backpeddling) instead of just asking the people signing it to put it away, it was taken and kept. The petition eventually landed on the desk of the interum township administrator who instead of returning it to us - made copies of it and circulated it to people who weren't the intended recipients. The petiton was handed back to us with a letter from Adam Brewer stating that decisions were made and won't be changed. Tim told me that this issue was going to be discussed Tuesday night at a TC meeting and promised me I would get a phone call yesterday. The call never came. So, does that mean that it was OK for the township administrator to copy my sons petiton, circulate it, exposing names of signators and deprive my son of the democratic due process of bringing this petiton to a township meeting during the public forum? The mayor is a figure head. This township right now is being run by an inexperienced interum administrator who, in my opinion, has already abused his power. Lisa, who are these outside people watching our township? Maybe they should hear from some of the citizens.
Gary Lewis January 17, 2012 at 05:28 PM
I'd be curious to know if you ever did get a response from the Township Committee?
Dan Pagano January 18, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Gary, Since you are curious about the TC and their responsiveness, I have one for you. In October 2010 the TC passed ordinance, 2010-39 the "Plausha Neighborhood" Water Expansion Project. The ordinance is not specific regarding who it affects and undefined regarding how much a property owner will be forced to pay even if they have a private well. I have been asking for months and also filed an OPRA request {that generated 200+ pages} and I still haven' t discovered who is responsible for providing Bond Counsel the information necessary to write a such a vague public document. What I have discovered is that the TC is not responsive and is unwilling to hold anyone to account for their actions.


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