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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.

Maxim Sapozhnikov January 03, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Congratulation to Tim Braden , Don Kostka, and the whole township.
Fred Rosellini January 03, 2012 at 04:47 PM
It's a sad day for Montville. The township committee, by a war of attrition, were forced to make this angry guy Mayor. Talk about someone who's in politics for all the wrong reasons... Braden is the poster boy for the type of person who can't make it in the real world, so he turns to politics to fill the void.
mark January 04, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Hold on to your wallets citizens of Montville this crew is only interested in their egos and nothing else How do you hire a new CFO for $16,000 more and then lay people off from other jobs It is all who you know in this town IF ANY TOWN SHOULD BE AUDITED BY SOME ONE ON THE OUTSIDE IT SHOULD BE THIS ONE
cynthia verrone January 04, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Congratulations Tim Braden, as my daughter's former softball coach, I know you'll make smart choices for our town. (WTF with Rosellini...can't believe he's still throwing pitches in the dirt...)
Charles Dyak January 04, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Anyone who knows Tim Braden, knows he is a man of integrity and his love for Montville. In the reall world CFO's as well as School Superintendents and BA's go to the town that offers the highest salary. The better ones get the best offers. I myself am glad they brought in a CFO of her quality. Thats a position that can make a big difference in this town and you get what you pay for. I don't know what Fred's problem is, he or a family menber must of been on the short end of a decision made in the best interest of the town and not a small interest group. I hope the present board will work together to make this great town even better.
John Doe January 04, 2012 at 11:41 PM
In court, it is put your left hand on the bible and raise your right hand to be sworn...so I think maybe deb got it wrong...oh well...it is what is in your heart that matters!
Terry January 05, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Lisa It is definitely raise right hand and place left on the Bible. Deb, as she does in most cases, has it backwards and Jim has it right. You should probably stop leaving foolish comments that you make you look so petty and uninformed.
Dan Pagano January 05, 2012 at 05:22 AM
I have never seen Tim angry or even annoyed. He is as fair and even tempered as anyone I have ever met. I am certain he will meet the challenges confronting the TC head on with equal deference to the other Committee Members views. Tim as mayor and Don as deputy will provide effective leadership and if Tim is able to create sub-committees as he said he would like to, I believe the residents of Montville will benefit greatly.
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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