Video: Democratic Candidates on Town Hall, Police

Should Moorestown have a permanent downtown police presence? What do the Democratic candidates think of the current town hall project plans? Find out here.

We've heard a lot from the candidates for town council over the last few months, from their plans for improving the business climate in town, to how they plan to rein in spending.

But much of what we've heard or read has been reduced to sound bites or finely polished press releases. We at Patch wanted to give the candidates the chance to provide more in-depth explanations of their positions on the issues that matter to voters, and to do it through the more candid medium of video. 

Identical offers were made to both the Republican and Democratic candidates to sit down with Moorestown Patch editor Rob Scott for separate video interviews. However, the Republican slate was unable to agree to Patch's terms. 

We asked the Democratic candidates the following questions:

  • How can town council be more transparent and how can the township provide better accessibility to information?
  • How do you propose to use the Open Space Trust Fund going forward? What types of projects would be an acceptable use of the fund?
  • Should the police department be located downtown, i.e. at the new municipal complex, and why is the concept of a town center important?
  • Provide a little more detail on the Main Street manager position. What would be the duties of this person? How would you measure success? How would you sell it to the business community?
  • What are the best uses of the revenue from the sale of liquor licenses?

We'll run one video per day throughout the week, each one covering the candidates' answers to the above questions, in the above order. 

Don't forget to get to the polls next Tuesday, Nov. 6, to cast your ballot. Don't know where to vote? Check out this list of the polling locations around Moorestown.

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Mark Hines November 01, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Tom Lynch - I am happy to address your concerns about open space and the town hall. First of all, you state that you think that I am a "sellout" but I am not sure what you mean. If you referring to the lawsuit filed by STEM, in regards to the council's once intended use of the OS Trust Fund, hopefully I can clarify what I know. I was not part of the lawsuit, and actually was quite surprised when it was threatened back at a council meeting in May. My wife is on the steering committee of STEM, which did file the lawsuit, but I can assure you that this was STEM's action, and I did not influence them either way. To the point; I understand dropped the lawsuit because the township rescinded the resolution authorizing the use of the OS Trust Fund for the athletic fields. At that point, there was legally speaking, nothing to sue against. STEM seems to have achieved its short term goals, which was to preserve the fund. I, along with Greg and Brian, have advocated for well over a year for a referendum to resolve the issue. Let the voters decide on how they want the fund used. That is classic democracy. Regarding the town hall issue. I have lived with this issue for four years, and have been extremely disappointed with how this project has developed. I am pleased to have progress on this project, but am greatly concerned about where it is today. It has cost way too much money to date, and the contract before council on Thursday night is troubling. More to follow
Mark Hines November 01, 2012 at 02:43 AM
The town hall plan is still incomplete, which means all of sudden we are rushing to something, but leaving key issues for future councils to deal with, and considerably extra costs to find means to finance. These incomplete issues include no provision for where the police will be located, no provision for where the court will be located, and no strategy, plan, or provision for the current library building once vacated. The solutions to each of these will have multi-million impacts on us, the taxpayers, and yet there is nothing addressed, except to let future councils deal with it. More troubling is that we have just learned that Sambe Construction, the firm that council is planning to award a contract on Thursday night, has had very serious issues with cost overruns on other major projects in recent years. Although council may think it is obligated to go to the lowest cost bidder, it is actually obligated to award to the lowest cost responsible bidder. Regardless, it was prepared to award a bid with two days of due diligence on this firm, and that is absolutely not a fiscally responsible approach. I have advocated for years for a library that our community deserves, but I believe that our current $13 million plan is lacking details and spending too much money on something we do not need. We needed a renovation of the existing library and then start reversing a historic pattern of not maintaining our township facilities.
Mark Hines November 01, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Tom, to concluded, I tried a few days ago to reach you and discuss these issues with you. I called the only "Tom Lynch" listed in the voter registration database, but according to who answered the phone, that was not you. You can contact me at mehines3@gmail.com, and I will happy to discuss further. Best regards, and thank you for your thoughts on the Patch. Mark Hines
Mark Hines November 01, 2012 at 03:24 AM
One more comment and then it's bedtime. I have no intention of being Mayor, so don't let that worry you.
John K November 01, 2012 at 06:34 PM
First of all, big thanks to the Patch staff for undertaking this initiative to better inform the electorate! A contest to win support of Moorestown residents to lead our township’s government should be about more than just simplistic slogans, campaign balloons, and lawns signs. You would expect that any candidate who wants to serve Moorestown residents would look forward to any opportunity to answer questions, not run away from them. The fact that critics of the Dems are commenting on the picture and audio quality of the recording makes me suspect they’re trying to deflect attention away from the real issue here. I certainly may disagree with some statements or positions taken by the 3 Democratic candidates. However, I applaud their willingness to cooperate with the Patch in this attempt to provide Moorestown voters with a deeper understanding about some key issues in this election. The fact that the Republican candidates were unwilling to participate in a public debate and now have spurned this opportunity to be videotaped answering questions from the Patch tells me all I need to know about their real commitment--or, more accurately, lack thereof-- to transparency and responsive governance. I’m voting for Sattinger, Hines, and Newcomer. That’s who I want representing me when decisions get tough!


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