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Residents' Safety a Priority Over Election, Montville Candidates Say

Don Kostka and Mike O'Brien vying for single township committee seat.

As Don Kostka and Mike O'Brien hope to capture votes for a single seat on the Montville Township Committee Tuesday, both candidates said their first concern was the well-being of the people of Montville.

Republican incumbent Kostka said Tropical Storm Sandy had an effect on his last few days of campaiging as he, himself, remained without power on Monday. Kostka cancelled his plans to campaign door-to-door last weekend because of the storm. Many Montville residents have been without power for more than a week, some taking advantage of shelters set up by the township and sleeping away from their homes for several nights.

"In the scheme of things, going door-to-door is not as significant as these people putting their lives together," he said.

Kostka's challenger, O'Brien, a Democrat, also said politics, and the election in general, did not seem to be the first thing at the minds of Montville voters.

"[A voter's] mind is somewhere else now and I think to bother people at this time, to me, would be a fairly unproductive thing," O'Brien said.

O'Brien said his campaign was directly impacted after the storm forced organizers of debates between the candidates to be cancelled. He had also planned to make phone calls to voters but was no longer able, as landlines were cut off and he did not have cell phone numbers to call. 

But O'Brien was confident that most voters knew who they planned to vote for before the storm and that their decisions Tuesday will reflect that.

"People probably had their minds pretty much made up," he said. "I don't think the storm is really going to make a difference."

Even with the challenges the storm has presented to the voters themselves, Kostka said he is hopeful residents are able to make it to the polls.

"I hope everybody is able to go out and vote," he said. "This election is extremely important. It's a presidential election and every single vote counts."

Kostka said his primary concern, though was how the residents were doing as "most of the people in the township were without power." O'Brien also said he is hopeful that the township employees are working as hard as they can to help all the residents who are still without power.

O'Brien said he is unsure whether the power outages will affect voter turnout.

"We don't know. All we do is speculate and we can't really speculate. We'll just see," he said.

"I'm hopeful that all the people in town are working to make things better," O'Brien said.

Maxim Sapozhnikov November 06, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Since being elected to TC, Don Kostka has been protecting taxpayer money from wasteful projects and unnecessary expenses. That's exactly what we need, both nationally and locally. R&R 2012 - Don Kostka for TC
Nate November 06, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I stand behind Mike O'Brein. Long time resident, veteran of the school district. Fresh views and change for Montville Township.
wally November 06, 2012 at 04:26 PM
"Fresh" views? I think I missed something,, what are those fresh issues?
Dan Grant November 06, 2012 at 05:35 PM
First you could start with open government because the current Township Committee is very secretive. They protect each other when push come to shove. You can't have open government when one party is in complete control. That is a fresh idea all by itself.
Rosie November 06, 2012 at 06:54 PM
I am totally with you. I worked with Mike in the HS in the 80s and found him to be honest, caring and just an all around good person. Montville needs more Dems to try to evden the Repubs in this town. Go Mike!!!!!! We are behind you.
Rosie November 06, 2012 at 06:58 PM
I agree with you, Dan. But this is how it has been since we moved to Montville in 1969. Republs took over the town. For a long, long time we counted on you and you did not fail us. Now we need to count on Mike who is a wonderful person. I worked with him in the 80s in the High School. A true gentleman. I wish him only the very best.
BooBooBear November 07, 2012 at 02:21 PM
PLEASE HELP US! DAY 10...NO POWER, HEAT, WATER IN TOWACO, SOMEONE DO SOMETHING...ANYTHING!!! WE ARE BEGGING YOU.

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