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: Don Purdy
Education: Absegami High School graduate
No. of years lived in Galloway Township: Lifelong resident
Family: I am married to Michelle and together we have four children, all attending Galloway schools.
Occupation: I own and operate three businesses in Galloway — DP Towing, Purdy Collision and Purdy Automotive — and employ many from our area. My first business began operating in Galloway in 1997. Both of my commercial buildings are state-of-the-art facilities, built using local contractors. The collision center is one of the largest in New Jersey.
Public service: I was first elected to Township Council four years ago and became mayor in 2011.
What issues do you see as critical for the next four years?
Galloway’s greatest challenge is the budget, and it’s always problematic to balance without raising property taxes. Working within the 2 percent tax cap can have an adverse effect on many municipal services, so we need diligence through the annual budget process.
What do you see as the biggest accomplishments and shortcomings of the existing Township Council and township administration in the past four years?
We are fortunate that belt-tightening has not affected public safety. Our police and fire departments have done a good job adapting to fiscal constraints, while increasing productivity. Roads, parks, recreational facilities, sewer and utilities are in constant need of maintenance and we must continually find money to make necessary improvements. Galloway has not been immune to decreases in property values that have hurt the entire nation. This has had a direct effect on how much money the municipality has to operate. How I would address this is to continue to explore shared services opportunities and to look for even more operational efficiency, while encouraging commercial tax base growth.
As mayor, I facilitated a workshop meeting that solicited the input of real estate professionals in an effort to examine ways to attract more business. Some of the recommendations from that forum have been implemented, such as fast-tracking the approval process and creating development incentives in specific targeted growth areas.
What do you want voters to know about you and what you’ll bring to the table?After I am re-elected, I will tirelessly advocate for responsible growth through smart planning, capitalizing on an improved economy and renewed interest from commercial developers. I have a proven track record of working with government agencies and officials at all levels and will continue to foster those strong relationships.