Stafford’s Republican Primary Election Offers ‘Regular,’ ‘Conservative’ Options

May 09, 2018

In Column A this June 5, challenging the status quo in Stafford Township is a slate of seven running as The Stafford Conservatives, who are “on a mission to defend Stafford Township from Governor Murphy’s far-left policies; protect residents’ rights; and provide responsible, transparent leadership.”

The team is comprised of mayoral candidate Greg Myhre and council candidates Tom Steadman, Dr. Tony Guariglia, Mike Pfancook, George Williams, Bob Henken-Siefken and Paul Krier, all of whom are “committed to the principles of limited government, trimming wasteful spending, and fighting for the taxpayer.”

The men say they bring “a broad range of experience to tackle new issues Stafford faces with the onslaught of regulations raining down from the Murphy administration.”

According to Myhre, as the candidates go out and meet the residents in every neighborhood and listen to their concerns, the recurring theme is: “Hold the line on spending, treat us with respect, and do not allow us to become a sanctuary town.”

“Our governor wants us to ignore federal immigration laws,” he said. “We cannot do that. We will not ignore any federal laws. We stand with our local law enforcement, and we want to live in a safe community.”

Moreover, the Conservatives say they will review and repeal “burdensome” ordinances to ensure local businesses can thrive while maintaining the quality of life and classic landscape of the community.

Meanwhile, in a paid advertisement this weekend, Mayor John Spodofora published an open letter to voters in light of the upcoming primary election, urging them to align with Column B.

On the Regular Republican ticket alongside Spodofora are incumbent council candidates Paul Marchal, Sharon McKenna, David Taylor and Steve Fessler, and two newcomers, Ray Fix and Rich Carlson.

Spodofora touted the “true leadership” he and his team have demonstrated in the last seven years, noting the council has “worked diligently to protect your interests and reduce the financial impact of government.” He mentioned minimal tax rate increases, significant debt reduction, a stabilized water and sewer department, and an enviable quality of life.

There are those who are running that would destroy that quality of life under the banner of Conservatism,” he warned. “They fail to understand that quality of life is an investment in our future and the future of the township” – i.e. better schools, great recreational facilities, programs for all ages, road paving, drainage and snow removal.

Of those who oppose a ban on single-use plastic bags, as if the issue were about depriving people of their rights, he said, “They seem to believe that despite the ever-mounting body of evidence that single-use plastic bags cost municipalities thousands of dollars per year in additional disposal and cleanup costs, nothing should be done to control the problem.

“We only need ask ourselves, do we believe that the multinational corporations who are profiting from the use of these bags are going to protect us at their own expense?”

Governing, he said, is about evaluating all the available options and making the best decision possible to the benefit of the represented.

Spodofora also pledged to abide by federal laws where appropriate, despite actions individual states may take, and “not be a slave to what some see as political correctness.”

“New businesses are investing in Stafford Township, the hospital is expanding, and development continues, all because we are a special community that attracts both business and families,” he said.

Primaries matter, he said. “Without your participation, 400 or 500 voters could determine the direction of the township for many years to come.”

Councilman Alan Smith has decided not to seek reelection, due to family and professional responsibilities along with his position on the board of directors of the Jersey Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross, and had this to say about his three years spent in office: The job kept him very busy, calling upon him at times to put his personal life aside in favor of his township duties. “It is a commitment that cannot be taken lightly,” he said.

Stafford is “a vibrant, changing, demanding community, wanting enhanced-quality-of-life decisions made for young families and our senior members.” The town cannot afford to be led by a part-time mayor and council, he said.

Smith praised the incumbent team for smart spending practices, noting the new Ocean Acres Lake Park; upgrades to Mill Creek Park; the new community center on Bay Avenue; the new recreational annex on Pine Street; and water and sewer system upgrades.

“The future of this town needs Mayor John Spodofora and his team,” Smith said.

— Victoria Ford

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