That resolution was passed unanimously prior to the start of Tuesday night’s council meeting, the final one to be held before the Nov. 5 elections.
It’s the first time council passed such a resolution since the 2009 campaign.
“The last couple of elections have been quiet,” Gorman said of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 campaigns. “Years ago, it became a dog and pony show. It becomes crazy in council chambers and it makes us all look bad.”
Gorman said he called for the resolution not necessarily because of actions by council members. On Oct. 8, former Galloway Township News Publisher Harry Scheeler spoke before council, accusing Councilman Jim McElwee of engaging in various illegal activities. McElwee, a Democrat, is running for re-election Nov. 5.
"I tried to shut it down, but McElwee wanted to answer him and it became a circus," Mayor Don
“When we’re in city hall, we’re not there to be candidates,” said Gorman, also a Democrat. “We’re there to do the right thing for all the township, not for people in this party or that party.”
Tuesday night’s meeting was free of political attacks from either council members or members of the public.
“I don’t know if it was necessary to pass a resolution,” McElwee said. “One of our meetings got sidetracked. It got loud. There was some back and forth about something that was not germane to the council. It went farther than it should have. All we needed was an announcement by the mayor before the meeting that we were going to focus on the business of the township.”
Purdy, a Republican, is the only other member of council running for re-election Nov. 5. Four seats are available, and each party has put forth an incumbent and three challengers. Republicans Tom Bassford and Whitney Ullman decided not to run for re-election.
Purdy reiterated that it was Gorman's idea, and that the resolution was on the agenda when he arrived at Tuesday night's meeting, placed there by Township Manager Arch Liston.
On Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola commented it was a shame a resolution was needed to do something council should always do anyway.
“If you’re running for public office, I hope you’re doing it for the right reasons,” said Coppola, a Republican. “When I was first approached about running for council (in 2010), I was reluctant to do it, but I live here and my family lives here. We call this the silly season, and there are political ads all over the place. Some are attacks, and there’s no place for that. This lasts for the next two weeks, and then no matter who wins, we all have to work together.”
Coppola added there’s a sacrifice that goes along with not just serving on council, but with running. He said he appreciated the sacrifices the candidates were making, and added he’s missed several family events for council meetings.
“I missed my daughter’s soccer game (for Tuesday’s meeting),” Purdy said, seconding the Deputy Mayor’s statement. “This is a thankless job, but an important one.”