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Council Candidates Answer Questions on Mahwah Politics, Future

Library Board held its annual 'Meet the Candidates Night' Wednesday night.

Township Council Candidates Gregg Sgambati, Jonathan Marcus, Rob Hermansen, and Jonathan Wong.
Township Council Candidates Gregg Sgambati, Jonathan Marcus, Rob Hermansen, and Jonathan Wong.

This November, Mahwah residents will be choosing one of four candidates to fill an unexpired term on the township council. Wednesday night, about 100 residents gathered at the Mahwah Public Library to ‘Meet the Candidates.’

The event, sponsored by the library Board of Trustees, allowed candidates to address the crowd during introductions and closing statements. Each candidate also answered four questions posed by a moderator, Patch Editor Jessica Mazzola. Candidates were asked to:

  • Comment on a recent council decision they disagreed with
  • Comment on their feelings about balancing future development in Mahwah with land preservation, including their feelings on how the Crossroads Town Center will impact the township
  • Talk about what their personalities will bring to the council, and how they will be able to work with other political leaders in Mahwah
  • Say what they feel the biggest issue facing Mahwah today is, and what the biggest issue facing Mahwah in five years will be

All four candidates – Former Councilman and Bergen County Freeholder Rob Hermansen, Planning Board member Jonathan Marcus, Environmental Commission member Gregg Sgambati, and political newcomer Jonathan Wong – attended the forum, answered the posed questions, and chatted with residents at the close of the event.

The four are competing to finish out the one-year left in a term cut short when former Councilman John Spiech retired earlier this year.

A group of township residents known as “Mahwah1” streamed the entire event online. If you missed it, check out the streamed footage, posted in two parts, on the group’s UStream channel.

M. Basho October 25, 2013 at 09:55 AM
The video is poor quality from a hand-held cell phone.
Daniel Weixeldorfer October 25, 2013 at 07:20 PM
Jessica, Could you please check out some of the statements Rob Hermansen made the other night at the candidates night? 1. Rob said he gave back his pay, $6000, to the seniors and town sports. As I remember he was not allowed by his company to except the pay and the $6000 had to go back into the general town fund and he had no say as to what it was used for. If you could ask the administration and or council at that time if his statement was true or not? 2. He said that during his term from 2006 to 2010 he kept the taxes low in Mahwah. If I remember correctly during the years 2006 thru 2010 the town had the largest property tax increase, over 25%. Could you please check those numbers out to? I really think there should be some fact checking on what a candidate states or the public should be able to ask question after they get to make statements. If the public is lied to by any candidate it should be exposed and not condoned.
Gottardo DiGiacopo October 27, 2013 at 10:04 AM
i think this will be a telling election both about our hopes and tendencies.
Richard Levine October 29, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Am I correct that I heard at least two of the candidates say that they would lower taxes, not just keep it under a CAP? Unfortunately, there is no control over the BOE spending.
Mahwah Dad October 29, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Richard there is control over the BOE spending, run against them then vote them out.
Hank October 29, 2013 at 07:33 PM
According to factcheck.org Mr Hermansen's statements are true. Also you asked on another thread if Mr Wong really worked at Summer Rec. factcheck has verified he did.

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