Galloway Township voters will go to the polls in the general election on Nov. 5 to fill four seats on the seven-member Township Council.
The ballot will feature slates of four from the Democratic and Republican parties.
On the Republican slate, Galloway Mayor Don Purdy will run for re-election with candidates Robert Maldonado, Frank Gargione and Tim Meadows. Republican incumbents Tom Bassford and Whitney Ullman will not seek re-election.
On the Democratic slate, incumbent Councilman Jim McElwee will run for re-election with challengers Bill Montag, Michael Suleiman and Cliff Sudler.
Each candidate answered the same the same set of questions about their background and platform.
Read all candidate profiles:
- Democratic: Jim McElwee, Bill Montag, Michael Suleiman, Cliff Sudler
- Republican: Frank Gargione, Robert Maldonado, Tim Meadows, Don Purdy
Name: Cliff Sudler
Education: He has a degree in criminal justice from the University of Phoenix and is currently working toward another degree in private security/business management. Additionally, he has completed the New Jersey Certified Public Manager Level I-III course.
No. of years lived in Galloway Township: Seven
Occupation: Employed at the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office for 23 years and currently holds the rank of Sheriff’s Officer Lieutenant. He has been assigned to various units over the course of his career, including Internal Affairs, Courts and Transportation, and the Fugitive Squad.
Public service: Former president of the Mainland/Pleasantville branch of NAACP and was appointed to the New Jersey Martin Luther King Commission in 2010. Also member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).
What issues do you see as critical for the next four years?
Safety is always the most important issue for any elected government official. We have to make sure that every resident feels safe in their home, on the roads, and in any public spaces in the community. Crime happens in every community and we have to support the law enforcement capabilities of our police so that when it does happen, they have the manpower to handle it. A community known to have fewer instances of crime discourages those who would commit crimes from coming to that community.
Secondly, commercial ratables must be brought in to offset the property taxes that affect every resident which means that we must strengthen the infrastructure in our area by pushing the state to place Parkway interchanges in Galloway that will support our effort to attract quality jobs and investment.
Third, fiscal responsibility must be achieved by insisting on “paying as we go” and ending wasteful spending on unnecessary legal fees and avoidable lawsuits.
Fourth, our professionals must adopt the “Best Practices” utilized by successful communities throughout the country in order to achieve that same success in Galloway.
What do you see as the biggest accomplishments and shortcomings of the existing Township Council and township administration in the past four years?
If I thought the Republican-controlled council of the past eight years had any significant accomplishments, I wouldn’t have felt the need to run for office. Therefore, I’ll address the issues that are the shortcomings.
First, Galloway property taxes continue to increase yearly while the services provided by the township have decreased. Due to the reduction of public works employees, there is:
1. No bulk pickup which places a financial burden on any homeowner in need of having a large item removed from his property.
2. No leaf pickup which means that properties in the township don’t look groomed when the leaves begin to fall and accumulate along the curbs and in the gutters.
3. Infrequent pick up of trash strewn around intersections throughout the township which drags down the image of the town and the property values.
Most importantly because of the reduction in the number of police officers the township is not providing the taxpayers with the level of protection that they deserve nor are the officers being treated fairly by having to do more with less.
Secondly, the volume of property tax appeals, due to the national economic meltdown, gave the current council cover for the 10 years of squandering of funds for which the leadership of Council should be held accountable. Recently a bond was floated for $1.4 million dollars to cover the cost of tax appeals. That bond will ultimately cost the taxpayers much more than $1.4 million and it was done because the past surplus of tax dollars was spent on unnecessary items instead of being saved and invested for the day when the township needed the money for necessities. That kind of fiscal recklessness is unconscionable.
Those are the most critical shortcomings of the Council and the things that compelled me to run for office.
What do you want voters to know about you and what you’ll bring to the table?
My background as a longtime law enforcement officer makes me particularly sensitive to the importance of having an adequately staffed and trained police presence in the community. Accordingly, the police department is the last place I would look to cut expenses. Additionally, I would put all of my efforts into cutting waste in other areas and I would work to increase commercial ratables in order to ensure that the taxpayers get the government services that they should expect to receive for the taxes that they pay to live in Galloway.