News Alert
Top 20 High Schools In New Jersey; Cherry Hill…

UPDATED: Dem Council Candidates Challenge Opponents to Debate

Candidates Mark Hines, Greg Newcomer and Brian Sattinger have invited their opponents for Moorestown Township Council to publicly debate the issues.

UPDATE: Mayor John Button was reserved in his response to the Democrats' challenge.

"I will withhold comment at this point," he said Wednesday. "I understand what they're trying to do."

The mayor, who is running as an Independent with Randy Cherkas and Elaine Goralski, said he's "very comfortable that I understand the issues."

Button, , filed as an Independent after he was  earlier this year.

Democratic campaign manager Francine Cartwright said the candidates wanted to get their debate proposition out sooner than later, both to give the other candidates time to respond and prepare—assuming they're interested—and in case a second debate is warranted/wanted.

She said the debate, as envisioned by the Democratic candidates, would invite direct participation from residents.

"We definitely want Moorestown residents to be able to participate and supply questions," she said. "When you're really considering a campaign that is open ... if you're really interested in listening to the community, what other venue do you have?"

No timeline has been set for holding the debate, but Cartwright said, given the summer schedules of many Moorestonians, September may be a realistic target date for a debate.


have fired the first shot in what is almost certain to be an interesting election season, formally challenging their opponents to a debate.

In a release put out by campaign manager Francine Cartwright, the Democratic candidates—Mark Hines, Greg Newcomer and Brian Sattinger—said, “We owe the voters an opportunity to actually see the candidates in person and learn where they stand on important issues facing our town before heading to the polls. We would like a format where the general public can attend, ask questions, and receive direct answers.”

The candidates went on to state, “It is our belief that elected officials work for the voters. Hence, we trust that the other candidates will look forward to an opportunity to share their positions. We hope that the candidates accept our offer.”

The Democrats are members of a crowded field, with three candidates running on the Republican ticket and three candidates running as Independents. Hines, Newcomer and Sattinger drew a hard line in the sand in the release, stating, “Any politician who would refuse to participate in a debate is not worthy of the people’s vote.”

Steve Solomon, campaign manager for the Republican ticket, responded to the Democrats’ invitation via email, writing, “We look forward to a vigorous debate in the fall. In the meanwhile, we will continue to bring our positive message of responsible government, and common sense ideas to the voters. We feel confident that the contrast between our small government approach and the tax and spend policies of the Democratic Party will resonate with our neighbors in November.”

Mayor John Button, , did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

What do you think? Should the candidates hold a debate? Vote in the poll below and tell us in the comments.

Townie July 19, 2012 at 01:55 AM
When I was a kid the road before the main entrance (headed east) was a straight shot all the way to 38 (dirt road). Then MFS built an addition, and the road went away. There's a development down there now, and I have no idea who owns what. Listen to the complaining on this little site, and tell me what neighborhood would want to sign up for the traffic (even if they could)? I appreciate it's a problem (i'm usually gone before and home after, so it doesn't effect me), but assume the only real way to improve the traffic is to avoid it if possible.
Dylan July 19, 2012 at 03:47 AM
MFS gets all the same services we all do except they are free go figure. I think they should be required to pay extra for police to manage the traffic problems they create or make them pay for the improvements to connect to 38 so traffic can flow.
Townie July 19, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Dylan...you obviously have no clue what you're talking about, but don't like the traffic so let's blame it on the assumptions that must be true because they don't pay taxes. How much extra did the town spend on police to manage the traffic problems last year? Do you have a single fact you can share with the class. What other services? Trash....don't think so. Water / sewer....oops, they pay that? Those wild Quaker parties probably exhaust police resources on the big football weekends like homecoming? Damn...no football team. What's so amusing on this site are the statements about making the Friends do something.....sell the ACME, fix the traffic, pay for improvements to their land they don't want... That they appear to have no interest in doing. It's just noise. There's nothing you can do. By the way, they were on that piece of land (most likely) long before your family came to this country. If you dont like the traffic, avoid it. Leave earlier. Work later. If there aren't alternatives...move. It's really not one of towns bigger problems.
Arch Fisher July 19, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I find it amusing that this discussion has evolved into a complaint about MFS. This school is a great asset for this town and as Townie said, they have been a part of this town long before most of us have been here.
Dylan July 19, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Townie...you sure are passionate and knowledgeable about MFS. Sorry to have struck a nerve but MFS does in fact create traffic problems that makes traveling Main St a nightmare and hurts local businesses. MFS does also own the blighted little ACME and are doing absolutely nothing to improve it. MFS does use township services for free. Let's ask everyone else who waits at the intersection of Chester and Main for hours if they agree or disagree.
Tara July 19, 2012 at 01:34 PM
David July 19, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Folks, the town over the years has spent an incredible amount of money studying the traffic, studying the use of the town hall site, studying the use of the library, studying how to revitalize Main Street and Lenola (Camden Ave.), yet it appears no one ever reads these reports. Might I suggest the candidates look at the good work of the past to see how to solve the current and future problems. At some point the studies have to stop and someone needs to step and implement. That person is a leader.
Townie July 19, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Dylan....MFS just happens to be the center of this discussion, but what I'm passionate about is someone making unfounded, unachievable suggestions based on little or no fact other than they get stuck at a red light during the school year. You keep saying they use resources....but haven't delivered an example. You're making assumptions. I completely agree with anyone who wants to see something done with the ACME. I am 100% around fixing the traffic problems. What I find harmful are statements that include terms like "make", which is beyond the authority of anyone here including the mayor. They own the ACME, and can do whatever they want with it. If they would rather have grass and fields without access to Rt. 38, you can't make them build a road. BTW - when the $1m traffic study suggests things that push traffic away from town onto other streets, please expect a violent response from the recipients of your revised traffic flow. When you live in a place that has good location as a characteristic, traffic and delays are soon to follow. It's not a Moorestown issue...it's a global one.
Dylan July 19, 2012 at 02:27 PM
It is a fact the MFS creates traffic problems and the flow at the intersection is bad and affects businesses. I think what you are now saying is that traffic is a way of life and should just be tolerated. Maybe but we do have a traffic problem so how do we fix it? Does MFS pay anything towards police, fire or trash services? Also, you brought up a traffic study. Can you point us in the direction so all can see it and understand why it got your NIMBY panties in a bunch. The ACME is a blight and I wish they would do something to clean it up or use it but I do agree that they own it and can do what they want as horrible as it is right now.
Spokesperson July 19, 2012 at 02:29 PM
David, are stating that mayor Button isn't a leader? Then what is he? I think most could agree the last time we had a Mayor that lead Moorestown was Mayor Miller and Mayor Maahs. A leader is a real title.
Townie July 19, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Please show me the facts of the MFS impact on traffic. I'd be very interested to see your data on the negative impact that the school's traffic has on business. Please be sure to include the offsetting benefits derived from the increased number of visitors from outside of town who visit businesses in town. The "when" in my statement was an assumption that we'd end up paying for a traffic consultant. I don't have a study, and have no idea if one was done. I honestly don't think it's worth paying anything to study traffic based on all of the other outstanding issues in town. Unless you live on Chester before the tracks or in between Chester and Mt. Laurel road, there are options to avoid traffic.
Dylan July 19, 2012 at 02:50 PM
My facts remain what I see on a daily basis and that is the bottleneck and congestion and our main street businesses are doing average at best. If you want to claim that traffic isn't the reason why than we can just agree we have differing opinions. What about answering does MFS pay for police, fire and town services? My understanding is that not for profits don't pay but I am willing to admit I don't know.
Townie July 19, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Finally.... You said at the top of this chain that "MFS gets all the same services we all do except they are free go figure". I asked you to give examples...you don't. You finally admit that you don't know....which is fine. My point was you throw something out as fact when it is solely based on your assumptions. That only distorts even further a discussion around whether there should be a debate. Asking them to pay for services because they cause traffic problems is a bit like saying OLGC should pay for Police and Fire because last Sunday I waited 5 minutes for all of the congregants to cross Main after services. Their tax status and their traffic impact having nothing to do with one another. BTW - it's entirely possible they make contributions to the Police / Fire. I have no idea.
David July 19, 2012 at 03:06 PM
What I am saying is simple. If you look at anyone who has been a great leader, Ronald Regan, Bill Clinton, or, bite my cheek, Chris Christie, the individuals knew how to draw upon the materials and information that was already complied before setting out to find a new way to screw in a lightbulb. Being a leader has nothing to do with the tile and everything to do with how you draw upon historical information and documents and use that information to problem solve today and for the future. What I am saying is enough studies have been done on all of the ills within the town, someone needs to be an implementor, that is what we should be looking for in the candidates for council. A Mayor cannot act alone, and in our form of government, the title of Mayor is more a symbolic title than that of leadership.
Dylan July 19, 2012 at 03:06 PM
They are free until someone can prove they pay taxes for them. That is my premise and until corrected, it stands just like the traffic problem is real and just like the Acme is a blight is real.
Rob Scott (Editor) July 19, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I'm not quite sure how a story about a potential debate among township council candidates turned into a debate itself about Moorestown Friends School and what it owes the town. But for some clarity, most of the Friends School property is indeed tax-exempt—as most educational institutions are. (Read here for more information: http://patch.com/A-stbg.) However, the Friends School does pay taxes on several of its properties, including a number of buildings it owns on Main Street, as well as the "Little Acme" on Chester. I don't have more information than that for you, but thought that might help.
Townie July 19, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Just looked it up....$30k/year for the ACME. Imagine the traffic if they actually did something with the place!
Dylan July 19, 2012 at 03:50 PM
We have veered from the general debate topics of traffic, taxes, business community to the specific impact MFS has on them. Why doesn't Patch find out what the candidates positions are on them and educate the voters?
Spokesperson July 19, 2012 at 09:17 PM
So then, Let's not have a debate,? Sound good? I think mayor button hinted this debate idea is a no go?
Springsteen429 July 19, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Would the debate cost anything? If not, then why not for people who don't know who to vote for. I think I could benefit from it.
Poolsticks July 20, 2012 at 12:43 AM
If it appears, Mayor Button and campaign doesn't want to Debate then let's end this , and say NO to having a town council debate! This is getting petty! Btw- sounds like a boe candidate friend wants a debate? What about a piece for BOE candidates?
HomeBrew July 21, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Rubber Field Redux: $1.5M from OS fund for WBN rubber field on July 23 Town Council agenda. It only takes three votes. http://www.moorestown.nj.us/filestorage/207/154/2143/488/3250/2012_07_23_agenda.pdf
Turf Toe July 21, 2012 at 01:40 AM
So homebrew, if council only needs 3 votes for turf to use the open space funds then why didn't they do it last year? Earlier this year? What have they been waiting for? What can you others do to stop "them"? This is nauseating! It like the idea of putting the liquor money into a "lock box" or trust fund but yet later "they'll" use it for some other purpose than what it was Intended for. Anyone help homebrew out?
HomeBrew July 21, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Last-second lawyer's letter threatening lawsuit stopped council from proceeding in May. http://moorestown.patch.com/articles/threat-of-lawsuit-halts-council-action-on-fields-project Not sure if or how legal issues have been resolved (if anybody knows, please post), but something must have changed if $1.5M appropriation from OS fund for syn turf is on July 23 agenda.
Observer July 21, 2012 at 03:29 PM
If you check the agenda, there are two resolutions that will spend about 2M of the OS fund. How much is there and will there be anything left to purchase the Hess Farm as planned?
Suds July 21, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Hey Leaks, want to share what you are talking about? You really think they are going anywhere?
Hot wings July 22, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Question "there's been a leak" .. Will "they" even follow this "playbook" that your talking about? Why would they care what "they" think, if as you say 'they' were "kicked out of the party". Either you or someone needs to elaborate why those "kicked out " ( as you stated) should still be involved? This is getting confusing. Tell the whole story, rather than coded language. Anyone know what "got a leak" is talking about?
HomeBrew July 22, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Hope for his sake that Mayor Button misses Monday's Council meeting. If he shows up and votes to drain OS fund to pay for a second $1M+ syn-turf field at WBNorth, then he has absolutely no chance for reelection in November. Missing the meeting, and therefore not voting, might represent his best hope for retaining his seat. Then again, he could show up, vote against the resolution, and be a hailed as hero and savior. That always works with voters.
Dienstag August 20, 2012 at 08:22 PM
We don't need debates. We've done just fine without them for the last 10 years.
Ed Nice August 20, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Ok Dienstag who is afraid to debate? Kinda strange that someone who wants to debate like Hines now is quiet on explaining how he was misleading all the OS people about the uses being illegal and trying to get the definition of recreation changed against the state law. Any chance Hines will be at the meeting tonight to apologize to BGT and now J/C who know its all legal. I havent seen anything from the DHreps either so who wants to go first?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something