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Candidates Lay Out Ideas for Improving Moorestown Business Climate

The candidates for township council stopped by the Moorestown Business Association to explain the variety of ways they could help new and existing businesses in town.

Both the Republican and Democratic candidates for township council visited with local businesses at the Moorestown Business Association (MBA) meeting Wednesday and were given the chance to explain how they would improve the business climate in Moorestown.

The candidates—with the exception of Republican candidate Phil Garwood, who was unable to attend the meeting—offered various strategies for how to aid the revitalization of the township’s business districts, ranging from the hiring of a Main Street manager to the streamlining of regulations through the use of technology.

What follows is a summary of each of the candidates’ views:

Brian Sattinger (Democratic candidate)

“What we’ve been hearing a lot is complaints about difficulties (with business regulations) ... One of the things we’d do is create an ad hoc committee, made up of people from MBA, made up of people from EDAC (Economic Development Advisory Committee), the Appearance Committee, the zoning board, whoever else might have an interest in making sure we streamline the regulations, making it easier for businesses to operate, expand, things like that … We can certainly make it easier to have a business in town … The idea is instead of having piecemeal regulations change over four years, have this committee come and get one package and vote up or down, getting all these changes done at once.”

Pete Palko (Republican candidate)

“I would review, and our team has already begun this process, all the previous visionary revitalization work that’s been done. There’s been a massive amount of hard work that’s been done—really thick, really long documents, with really great ideas. The problem as a town we’ve always had, and we seem to continually have, is we never implement anything. We just kind of study it … Meanwhile the businesses are sitting by waiting for something to be implemented. So we talk about things; it’s time to start implementing ... I’m a five-year plan guy."

Mark Hines (Democratic candidate)

“Let’s take a very tiny bit of that (liquor revenue), we’re talking about 2 cents on the dollar basically. Let’s contract a Main Street manager ... We’re going to set up metrics. We’re going to make sure they fill empty storefronts, that they talk to people. Any way (success) can be measured, there’s plenty of best practices on this, and make sure it works. Two years—if it doesn’t fill the stores, we don’t see the results, then we’ve tried, we’ve given it an effort. But we’re confident it will work. Some people say we’re just blowing the money from liquor revenues. We’re not. What we’re doing is reinvesting … We’re going to be bringing in more revenue.”

Victoria Napolitano (Republican candidate)

“We do need to simplify the way business works in Moorestown. The codes are 500 pages long. The zoning is 250 pages long. It’s very, very difficult for people to get through all of that information. One way we can simplify that and make it a little bit easier is to use ourtownship website … It’s more cost-effective, and probably more convenient, to have that (information) online. That’s something I would definitely like to pursue … Another thing we can do is to move our permitting process online. That makes it easier to apply for permits. You can watch it go through the process online, which also increases our township employees’ accountability.”

Greg Newcomer (Democratic candidate)

“Some of the goals we believe possible in the (Main Street manager) position, directly helping the business community, would be: soliciting businesses of different varieties for a good mix for Main Street and Lenola; establishing a common needs website where all could post such things as open job listings, seasonal or coupon sales, or the dates of special business or site events … One of the many great ideas I’ve heard regarding improving Moorestown businesses as a way to get them known (is) better town signage from one end of town to the other. Another thought was to have a common identifying focal point in each part of town: the mall, Lenola and Main Street. One suggestion of how to do this would be informational kiosks, one at each location.”

______________________

For more information about each of the tickets for town council, visit their respective websites.

http://gnp2012.com (Republican council candidates)
http://www.results4moorestown.com (Democratic council candidates)

Tom October 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Can anyone tell us what the vacancy rates on main street are as compared to the commercial and industrial zones? This might aid us understanding where the problems lie and where to "invest"
This Is Our Town October 18, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I was there for this meeting. Victoria and Pete made a convincing case for their plans. Pete has an institutional knowledge on all of this stuff, not surprising because he's a business owner himself. His ideas about moving forward on plans we already have, coupled with his concepts on getting government out of the way, is a great place to start. Victoria frankly blew me away. I was expecting her to be nervous as the youngest candidate, but her ideas were articulated intelligently with a clear plan for what she would like to do. Her aspect of using her knowledge of computers is one that makes complete sense and is cost-neutral to our town. On the other side, Sattinger did fine, and actually made many of the same points as Pete and Victoria. It's a shame he's a Democrat and will lose because of it, because as far as business goes, he is not bad. Hines made his sad attempt at selling his Main Street Manager idea, but we all know it's just going to be a waste of time and money. What else would you expect from Hines, he's a spender. Newcomer.... Well, he was just plain sad. He read nervously from paper, and he just rambled about tons of ideas that would cost money with no real plan for implementation. Wish Garwood didn't have to be in surgery for work, would have liked to hear him speak. As for this meeting, though, the clear victors were Napolitano, Palko, and Sattinger.
MOORESTOWN REPUBLICAN CLUB October 18, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Come out before the Halloween Parade Sunday at 2:00pm for the Republican Candidates RALLY at Percheron Park, Main and High St -Bring the kids in their costumes as the the Halloween Parade will follow! Music and fanfare before and during the event. -Come And hear from all the republican candidates running in this years election. Look forward toward everyone having a fun filled afternoon!
HomeBrew October 18, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Do you mean the Joe Biden who took Paul Ryan to the smokehouse during VP debate? Joe Biden is genuine, hard-working, empathetic, and devoted to country and community. So, yeah, Greg Newcomer is a lot like Joe Biden.
SteveS October 18, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Or the Joe Biden who lied during the debate that said the Obama tax hikes would only effect people making a $million or more. When the Obama tax hikes will really punish those making 250K or more. The White House even said Biden was mistaken the day after the debate. Or the Joe Biden who was a model for rude behavior by laughing and interrupting others. Good lessons for our kids. Come on, Homebrew you're better then this.
HouseWine October 18, 2012 at 03:16 PM
CNN poll - Ryan 48%, Biden 44% CNBC poll - Ryan 56%, Biden 36% Associated Press - Ryan 51%, Biden 43% NBC - Ryan 63%, Biden 31% ....Uh. Homebrew? Smokehouse? Um.... Yea.
Purple Dem October 18, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I read @ Tom Gains comments, I look at Sattigner's statements, they sound like someone who knows business, afterall he is a CFO for his company, and a Democrat. His ideas are to create a committee, let the businesses and township committees devoted to economic development get together discuss regulatory change and propose the changes in a reform package to the council to vote on. That sounds to me like a really good idea, and continues the Moorestown Values of getting the community involved in the discussion, which has been lacking in recent years. I don't know who else I am going to vote for this year, but I know one of my votes is going to Mr. Sattinger.
Travis Woods October 18, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Leave it to an uber-liberal like Mark Hines to say that spending more money without proof of how it works is "reinvesting." Tell me Mark, how has reinvesting millions of dollars worked out for the schools in Camden and Newark??
Travis Woods October 18, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Where I stand right now is I am leaning towards Garwood, Napolitano, and my third vote is currently between Sattinger and Palko. I was liking Newcomer for quite a while, but let me tell ya, he's failed to impress me as of late. I think my third vote is going to a business person. I lean towards Palko, as he seems less liberal, but Sattinger certainly has the credentials. Hines is far too left wing for me, and Newcomer has truly disappointed in his ideas and performance.
Main Street October 18, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I was there, and what's funny is that Sattinger and Napolitano seemed to fall in line with one another on some key issues (including the input from the business community and decreasing regulation). If business ideas and is your cup of tea, vote like I am. I'm voting Sattinger, Palko, and Napolitano. Sattinger and Palko have some of the real world experience, Napolitano has the new-age technology savvy to get it done. I think that's the team to look at.
Democrats for "GNP" October 18, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Yes! "GNP" are the team we need in our town to represent all of the people in town! Yes sir, "GNP" is the way to go! They care about ALL of our businesses in town! They care about us over by Main Street, but they care about the folks in Lenola, and they care about the Mall, and everywhere else! Yes! We need "GNP" for 2012! Vote Democrat if you prefer, but move over and vote for the Republican team in Column 2 for Town Council! Yes! "GNP" will save this town!
Yah Mo B There October 18, 2012 at 03:40 PM
You have to be kidding. If you believe any of that about Joe biden or any politician above a local town council or BOE you have got to unplug the matrix cable from you head.
Brian J. October 18, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Gotta vote for Garwood, Napolitano, and Palko. We need them to fix this town!
HomeBrew October 18, 2012 at 09:09 PM
A Paul Ryan "Fudged Fact Sampler" from VP Debate: Counted hedge funds and multimillion-dollar enterprises as "small businesses"; wrongly stated that stimulus money use to build electric cars in Finland; wrongly stated that Obamacare will cause "one in six hospitals and nursing homes" to go out of business and that Obamacare includes provisions for taxpayer-funded abortion. There's more here: http://factcheck.org/2012/10/veep-debate-violations/
Keeping It Real October 18, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Well the only ones who ever really did anything for Main Street were the Democrats. They reduced the absolutely onerous sewer hookup fee which for years sent businesses, particularly restaurants running and changed the zoning ordinances which were more than 5 decades old. The outdoor seating which now gives a sense of vitality to downtown are the direct results of the Democrats. The lighting installed by prior Republican administration were below safety standards and left downtown a dark place. Greg Newcomer took this issue on, and with the help of the Democratic majority, the lighting was upgraded and Main St. was transformed from the deary and dark place into a more inviting place to do business and they made the prior town engineers who approved this below safety standards lighting absorb most of the cost. And the Democrats, particularly Seth Broder, worked with the EDA to find restaurants and businesses. Interestingly, the Republican majority wanted to re-introduce those drastic sewer hook up fees and it was only through the advocacy of Democrat Broder, the only Democrat on Town Council at that time, that this ridiculous anti-business tactic by the Republican majority was averted. Lastly, the liquor referendum will bring more folks to the Mall and less folks to Main Street-an obvious reality. Taking a small piece of that to hire on a short -term basis a main street manager, like most thriving downtowns have, seems like a smart and fair thing to do.
Lifer October 18, 2012 at 10:48 PM
So all these businesses in our town from our founding until 2004, and from 2009 onward, were in no way helped by the 150+ years of Republicans on Moorestown? Only in 4 years did those businesses do well? Yea, right. You didn't build that success. We did.
Kept it Real October 18, 2012 at 11:02 PM
"Lastly, the liquor referendum will bring more folks to the Mall and less folks to Main Street-an obvious reality." We have Democrat Broder who lobbied hard for alcohol, to thank for that also!
HomeBrew October 18, 2012 at 11:50 PM
How about dressing up as Monty Hall (RIP), host of the old game show "Let's Make a Deal," because the Moorestown Republicans are really, really good at backroom dealing.
Moorestown Change Needed October 19, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Brian Sattinger definitely has the financial experience that would benefit Moorestown. I also like that he supports modifying our form of government to be non-partisan. This change would take the Republican and Democrat labels off of local candidates and allow decisions to be made based on where candidates stand on local issues. I hope that regardless who wins that they support this change which would benefit the residents of Moorestown. On a related note I think that we should change the law that allows 5 members of council to pick who will be Mayor. I think that the voters should decide who should be Mayor. Vote for Change.
Jane Agora October 19, 2012 at 01:41 PM
It would be a very, very tough change to make. It's not the system of government Moorestown has in place - we match all the local governments around us, and those that were non-partisan became partisan (Marlton, for example). Even when they are non-partisan, everyone knew who the GOP and Democrats were/are.... It doesnt work,
HomeBrew October 19, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Last May, Taylor Design Group presented Council with a thought-provoking plan for improving parking uptown, a vital element of any effort to improve the business district. The proposal included a much-needed, $1.6M makeover of the municipal lot on Second Street. http://moorestown.patch.com/articles/parking-improvement-plan-could-be-cure-for-what-ails-downtown The GOP Council politely thanked Mr. Taylor, and that was the last anyone heard of the plan. A few months later, the GOP Council decided that taxpayers should foot the $1.5M+ bill for a second syn-turf field at WBNorth. Do any of the candidates, the Economic Development Advisory Committee, the Moorestown Business Association, or anyone for that matter, really believe that carpeting a second WBNorth field is a better use of taxpayer money, a more valuable infrastructure project, a more worthy economic development project than upgrading, expanding, and beautifying the uptown municipal lot?
Ed Nice October 19, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Did anyone offer to pay 50-100% of the cost of the parking like the sports clubs have done? How come you never attack MYBF for the $500k of turf there homey? You hate turf and baseball did turf and council approved that too. Don't you think the parking was a better priority to help businesses than building a new town hall right now too? You sound like a kid without a party these days. LOL!!
Gail Levinson October 19, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Mark Morgan and the MBA were some of the biggest supporters of the KIDS Initiative, actually. They felt that doing the entire project would bring more families into businesses, etc. I dont disagree with you, Mr. HomeBrew, just letting you know that fact.
Gail Levinson October 19, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Garwood, Napolitano, & Palko have my support! Great team.
HomeBrew October 19, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Ed: You're right, I hate syn-turf. I also recognize that conditions, circumstances, and usage sometimes justify its use. Moorestown neither needs nor, in tight fiscal times, can afford a second, $1M+ syn-turf field at WBNorth. But that's exactly what the GOP Council gave us: a field we don't need and a bill for $1.5M+ we can't afford. The Moorestown GOP Council blew off hard-pressed taxpayers and the Moorestown GOP deserves to lose in November because of it. PS: Would love to get the specifics on club contributions. Do you have them? Does anyone? Will anyone ever share them? As far as I know, MYBF is paying 100%.
Ed Nice October 19, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Homey you hate turf but you like paving parking lots......too funny!! If times are tight why do we need to pave parking lots or build town hall or do anything? Explain how did the council blow off taxpayers when the town budgets are less now then when they got in? Do you make stuff up just to be relevant?
Greg Cucumber October 19, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Ah Good times! Nice to see two guys with nothing going on in their lives back on the Patch. I was so lonely.
Hope for Main Street October 19, 2012 at 05:25 PM
We need to elect Garwood, Napolitano, and Palko. They have real-world plans for getting the job done and helping our businesses in town. They have a real course of action to revive our business districts throughout the town without increasing government spending. We need them.
Tom October 19, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Where can I find the details of these "real world plans"? Can you provide some examples of plans that are not "real world" for contrast? Does anyone have the vacancy rates I asked about yesterday or is that not important to the discussion?
Freddie November 26, 2012 at 03:29 AM
What vacancies? Have you people actually been to Main St? There are virually no vacancies. Two or three with businesses moving in. It's a thre block, two traffic light long town, pretty, clean and busy. This is simply not a big problem.

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