This is our consequential election. Wonderful, bucolic Millburn is at risk. Crime is up, overdevelopment is up, vehicle congestion is up, school population will be up, tax breaks to insider developers are up, giving in to county and state influence is up. Our taxes are close to highest in the state. If this continues, will home values stay up? Respecting resident input on issues is down. What can we do about it?
Meet the Candidates Who Will Make a Difference
Founder of Concerned Millburn Residents, a non-partisan group advocating responsible development, Ben Stoller has fought tirelessly to protect our town's future. He wants his younger children to have what his older two children benefited from. Ben has an undergraduate degree in Business from the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University. He and his wife Michelle have lived in Millburn with their four children since 2015.
Frank Saccomandi works as an IT Infrastructure Engineer at a New York City-based hedge fund. He is a natural consensus builder and process-driven analytical thinker with a wealth of experience solving mission-critical problems related to operational robustness and technological scalability. Frank and his husband Jerry decided to make their home in Millburn five years ago; they were attracted by the short commute, intelligent and accomplished residents, and the stellar school system. He graduated from Bates College with a degree in Political Science.
These two candidates for Township Committee have no aspirations for higher political office and have years of effective business and people experience. They even switched parties and will make sure we don't lose the very things we moved here for. Meet them, hear them out, you decide.
Visit the Platform tab for more.
We all chose to make Millburn our home after falling in love with this beautiful town.
Frank and Ben will pour their heart and soul into addressing the pressing issues and potential opportunities ahead.
Visit the Issues tab to learn more.
Security at All Costs
How can we help a dedicated Millburn police force without interfering or getting in the way?
Safety Above All Else
Even slow, impatient, backed-up drivers can be a hazard to themselves and pedestrians attempting to cross.
In the last election, we warned everyone of the impacts the Fair Share Housing ruling would have. Look around. And there can be a lot more to come.
Safeguard Best Schools
Encourage closer partnering with the School Board. Have them tell us what increase they can handle and when the increase becomes a burden that affects our kids.
Resist Outside Influence
Vote for candidates who don't have aspirations for higher government positions. Such aspirations put Millburn's best interests at risk.
Respect Residents' Input
Provide a voice to residents and respect their input over any Party orthodoxy.
We are humbled to be supported by residents representing a broad spectrum of Millburn's diversity.
Visit the Endorsements tab for more.
As a resident of Short Hills/Millburn since 1983 and a mother who raised her three children in this lovely town, I wholeheartedly endorse Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi for Millburn Township Committee.
Mayor Miggins and her rubber-stamp Township Committee have foisted on us a terrible deal to vastly increase high-rises and ultra-high-density development in our town above and beyond state mandates. They did this without seeking input from township residents, probably because they knew their ill-conceived plan would face harsh opposition. In my view, the current “Fair Share” housing deal they are forcing on us will ruin the quiet, suburban character of the place we call home.
To make matters worse, the entirely Democrat-controlled Township Committee agreed to a massive income-segregated project on the DPW town dump – not only did they agree to give away the land, but they also put residents and taxpayers on the hook for any shortfalls related to remediation of the land and construction of the building. The dump project will contribute no tax revenue to our schools. Even though they agreed to this overdevelopment, to date there have been no impact studies conducted on traffic congestion, sewer capacity or school population.
I do not trust that the Democrats running in this election will do anything to fix the impending overdevelopment that was wrought by their party on our town. The majority of the Democrats’ campaign funding has come from out of town or out of state – in fact, they received a significant contribution from a super PAC linked to Jersey City Mayor Fulop, a gubernatorial candidate who is running on a platform of doubling the already excessive overdevelopment that is going on in New Jersey. We need our elected officials to act in the best interests of Millburn residents – not outside politicians who don’t live here.
This is why we need Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller – they have worked their hearts out on the campaign trail to spread the message regarding what has been going on in town. They have done the research, formulated plans and proposals to curtail the overdevelopment, and have made themselves readily available to residents who crave a different direction for our town. I trust that they will represent the best interests of residents and protect the town that we all know and love.
We need Stoller and Saccomandi to save Millburn. Please join me in voting for them on November 7th. You can find them on Line A.
Professionally, I am an Associate Professor of Endovascular Neurological Surgery with a dual appointment at NJ Medical School in Newark (University Hospital) and Cooperman-Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. My wife Tannavi Prakash is a physician in Internal Medicine.
Personally, I take great pride in our town. My family and I have lived here for three years. We have experienced Millburn's exceptional quality of life and community and the educational opportunities this area provides our two children attending Hartshorn School. My wife Tannavi and I share a vested interest in the well-being and future of Millburn Township.
Having had the privilege of getting to know Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi, I am pleased to offer my enthusiastic endorsement of their candidacy for the Millburn Township Committee. Ben and Frank have consistently demonstrated a profound understanding of our town's unique challenges and a clear vision for implementing practical solutions.
To address many of the pressing issues facing Millburn, Ben and Frank have committed to:
Opposing Overdevelopment: Their commitment to addressing overdevelopment is essential in preserving the character and vitality of our town. The potential strain on our school system, roads and emergency services demands proactive planning, and their thoughtful, analytical approach seeks to mitigate the impacts of future development on our town. Their support for age-restricted senior housing as part of the next round of affordable housing is just one example of how they will protect our schools from the pressures of overdevelopment.
Stopping the 75-unit, income-segregated dump project: I am deeply concerned about the proposed income-segregated project on the toxic DPW site. I share Ben and Frank's opposition. The proposal offends our values and the resulting stigma to residents likely will impede the advancement of the students housed there.
Prioritizing Public Safety: The recent rise in car thefts and home burglaries has affected many of us, including me. I had my car stolen over two years ago from my driveway. Recently, I was shocked to learn only three officers are on duty at night. Ben and Frank want to enhance our nighttime police presence, utilize advanced technologies, such as Nixle for real-time emergency alerts, and institute a dedicated smartphone app with access to police, firefighters and local relevant news. All are practical and necessary steps toward ensuring the safety of our residents.
Moving Toward Non-partisan Government: Shifting the town's governance from a partisan system to a non-partisan one is a forward-thinking approach that will attract more knowledgeable, qualified, and talented residents to serve on town committees. The move, once passed by voter referendum, will prioritize the needs of Millburn over political affiliations or external influences.
In light of these vital issues and their rational solutions, I am proud to lend my endorsement to Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi for the Millburn Township Committee. Their commitment to the betterment of our community is evident, and I believe they possess the proficiency, dedication, and vision needed to serve Millburn effectively.
I wholeheartedly support their candidacy and urge you to join me in voting for Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller on Line A on Tuesday, November 7. Together, we can work towards a stronger and more vibrant future for Millburn Township.
I first moved to Millburn in 2005 when I was just four years old. It is the place I have called home ever since -- advancing through Millburn public schools at Glenwood Elementary School, Millburn Middle School and Millburn High School. Eventually, after graduating from Millburn High School in 2019, I found myself in Washington, D.C. studying Political Science at American University.
Throughout my time at college, I found interest in studying elections across the country. One of the foundational metrics I learned early on is that a telling sign of a strong ticket -- on any level of government -- is the ability of a campaign to gather support from “swing” voters. In other words, a candidate of either party who is able to win moderate independents improves their chances of making it across the finish line with the most votes.
While in Washington, D.C. I also spent time interning on Capitol Hill. I witnessed up-close the often toxic nature of federal-level political divisions that bitterly split the parties along ideological lines, and the increasing unwillingness of many members of Congress to court moderate independent voters, instead opting to political extremes. Is this what we want trickling down to the local level in Millburn?
Unlike their opponents, Bruce Kramer and Charu Goel, who have decided to run a campaign designed to exploit national-level divisions, Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller, both Republican candidates for Township Committee, have far exceeded reaching out to merely the “middle” voter. They have built a truly non-partisan coalition that is unlike anything I have ever seen before: endorsement after endorsement from Democrats and Independents, a campaign funded by just as many Republicans as Democrats and Independents, and most importantly, a volunteer base of liberals, conservatives, and moderates alike.
This diverse coalition is all thanks to a message that aims to tackle the most pressing local issues head on. After all, decisions made by the Township Committee affect all residents similarly regardless of who you decided to vote for Congress last year or voted for President in 2020.
This brings me to the crux of why voting for Ben and Frank is necessary. To put it bluntly, the current approach to Millburn’s affordable housing is destructive and impolitic. The 2021 Settlement Agreement, which was hurriedly passed by the Township Committee without consideration of local residents, has the potential to increase the township’s population to an intractable level that will permanently set down property values, damage the quality of public schools, and test the limits of our infrastructure.
Contrary to what Mr. Kramer and Ms. Goel have previously proclaimed, the Township Committee was under no constraint to make these ruinous commitments to the Fair Share Housing Center, the non-profit tasked with determining municipal obligations to New Jersey’s affordable housing law. The 75-unit development planned to be constructed on the current dump site at 9 Main Street being just one of those unnecessary additions to the agreement.
Additionally, some supporters of Mr. Kramer and Ms. Goel may also point preposterously at past Republican-run Township Committees for “kicking the can down the road” and that the current predicament we find ourselves in is somehow not the fault of those who currently sit on the dais. This is a nonsensical and factually inaccurate diversion of blame as Millburn had kept pace with its affordable housing requirements until it was faced with a builders’ remedy lawsuit in 2018 (local Democrats have been in control of the Township Committee since January 2017).
In consequence, there is no doubt in my mind that the current members of the Township Committee have exhibited a complete abdication of their responsibilities to protect the interests of those who reside here. But what is essential, is not what the current Township Committee has failed to do. Rather, it is the positive, inclusive and level-headed approach to problem-solving that Ben and Frank have displayed throughout the campaign to solve the current quandary we find ourselves in.
So, without any level of doubt or reservation, I strongly encourage you to consider choosing the Vote for Millburn ticket: Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller. You can find them on Line A of your ballot.
Recent MHS Alumna Endorses Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi
As a 26-year-old child of immigrants who was raised in this town, I would like to endorse Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi because I truly want to preserve the best of the Millburn that I grew up in, especially the school system that has helped shape who I am today. To preface, I perhaps take more pride than I should in being very politically ignorant—I have never voted nor paid much attention to national or local politics despite the influence of what seems like the great majority of my more civic-minded Millburn, Ivy League and medical school classmates. But this year’s local election—due to the critical issues at stake—is the first time that I have tried to educate myself and do some research partly by exchanging thoughts with at least 200 community members of different ages and political backgrounds during my evening walks.
Learning that more than a handful of Democrats, including two previous township mayors and notwithstanding candidates Ben and Frank themselves, have crossed party lines made me wonder why. Digging in, I discovered that the settlement agreement between our Township Committee (TC) and the non-profit, unelected Fair Share Housing Center threatens to overdevelop bucolic Millburn. Having grown up here, I recognize the need for affordable housing—increased socioeconomic diversification will critically expose students from a younger age to outside the “Millburn bubble”—but the question is how to ensure these opportunities achieve the desired goal of lifting underserved communities. Clearly, income-segregated housing on contaminated land is not the answer, as this idea does not comport with the very values of safe and inclusive community.
Without any public input, the TC approved a settlement agreement that exceeds our town’s legally mandated obligation by including an income-segregated housing project on the current DPW town dump site. Not only will this project bring zero tax revenue to our schools, but also this site contains toxic and dangerous contaminants down to the deeper layers of soil, such that it is almost impossible to fathom the long-term health risks that disturbing this soil may have on nearby students, neighbors, and businesses. Moreover, the specific income-segregated housing site will do a disserve to the future residents because it isolates them from the larger Millburn community.
Additionally, physical and economic resources for township schools simply cannot catch up to the rate of housing development. Neighboring communities like Chatham have already commissioned studies to examine potential consequences. With a strong evidence base, Frank and Ben have committed publicly to serious solutions that would place our schools top-of-mind as it relates to any future affordable housing agreements. More can be found at their website.
My own aging parents, as well as many of our neighbors, family-friends, and my Millburn classmates’ families have made a conscious decision to live here for the time-honored merits of our community that we love and treasure. Therefore, it is my hope to be able to preserve the same quality, nurturing experience that I had growing up, for future generations. In the philosophy of my favorite history teacher from Millburn High (also a long-time township resident), in the end it doesn’t really matter which party wins—inevitably we will navigate the challenges ahead as a community. But I implore all residents to take a closer look to understand which candidates will represent the best interests for ourselves, our families, and our children. Given their rigorous research and even more developed proposals, I am convinced that Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller are the right candidates to help lead Millburn into the future.
The time has come for leadership change in our town, change from the partisan direction that has brought us a lack of transparency, mismanagement, propagation of personal agendas, and a general lack of respect for the resident’s voice.
As one of the Independent candidates that ran for Millburn Township Committee last year, I possess firsthand knowledge of how difficult it can be to organize and fund a campaign without the backing of one of the major political parties, however that does not mean it can’t be an avenue to success, case in point is the current elective grip the Essex County Democratic Party has enjoyed in Millburn – Short Hills the prior eight years.
I met Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller last year during my campaign. I have gotten to know them, and found them to be both thoughtful and pragmatic, willing to ask relevant questions at Township Committee meetings, and listen when members of the community voice their opinions. Both will analyze challenges, put forth reasonable solutions to consider, and listen to the community before making township decisions that affect us all. Ben and Frank are social progressives, like myself and most of our fellow residents.
Ben and Frank are the only candidates willing to present for vote a referendum for the community to consider changing our local government to non-partisan. This is an important first step in eliminating the type of collusion and incompetence that took place during the closed door 2021 Fair Share Housing settlement debacle. This gross hijacking of the Millburn-Short Hills masterplan, by officials with personal agendas, cannot be tolerated as we face another crucial Fair Share Housing decision.
I do not personally know the Democratic Party replacement candidates Bruce Kramer and Charu Goel personally, however I have watched and listened to their performances on the various candidate forums. Mr. Kramer, is a member of the Millburn Historic Preservation Commission, he along with our current Mayor, has over the past year, attempted to push a historic re-designation of various parts of our township, without providing residents & business owners due process to accept or reject. This epitomizes our current lack of local governmental transparency. He has ended each of his final forum comments with “We must stop the MAGA Republicans”, I find this disingenuous. Ms. Goel, a banking executive, has in her forum comments, invoked the Race Card, drawing a convoluted link between the “Vote for Millburn” signs and large Jersey City buildings. The Democratic Party is resorting to “Dog Whistle” rhetoric as a hallmark of this campaign, going so far as to post distasteful “Stop Republican Extremism” signs in our diverse, inclusive town. This is not the constructive solution-based leadership Millburn/Short Hills requires.
There is a lot of disturbing global unrest that make all of us uneasy or disgusted, however this is a LOCAL election with LOCAL challenges.
I support Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi for Millburn Township Committee. They don’t have all the answers, nor do they claim to, but they are engaged, and have worked tirelessly over the last two plus years to listen to the residents’ concerns, and gain complete understanding of the township challenges we face: neighborhood flooding, traffic congestion, over-crowding of our schools, maintaining education excellence, crime and exclusionary housing developments.
Ben and Frank are not here to take up partisan replacement seats on our township committee, to continue the favor currying from the Essex County Democratic Party, they are focused and engaged to positively impact the current and future Millburn – Short Hills’ township trajectory.
On Tuesday, November 7th, Vote for yourselves and your family, Vote for Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller
LINE A.........Vote for Millburn!
I am excited to think about Millburn with leaders committed to focusing on the vision we have for our town -- avoid overbuilding and reduce crime.
I am pleased to share that I endorse Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi for the Millburn Township Committee. As a working mom with a long-standing history in our town and a deep background in insurance finance and insurance consulting, I appreciate the need for leaders who possess a keen understanding of finance, who are skilled negotiators, and who leverage data to make rational, risk-evaluated, informed decisions. Ben and Frank embody these qualities and more. They too, have a strong commitment to Millburn-Short Hills, and not to party politics.
One of my primary concerns is the overbuilding in our town, which will lead to further traffic congestion, capacity issues at our schools, and increased strain on our emergency and other essential services. Ben and Frank recognize the urgency of this issue and have a solid plan to address it.
Another pressing concern is the recent spike in crime and auto theft. I worry about the safety of my family, my friends and neighbors. In the past several months, our video security system had recorded at least six attempts to enter our cars:
Twice the police collected fingerprints.
Once, the criminal entered the car and rummaged through the inside.
Once, as my husband, the kids and I watched, a man was arrested by the Millburn Police in our driveway.
Ben and Frank have viable solutions to tackle these issues head-on, making our town a safer place for all residents.
I am deeply opposed to the dump project that threatens to bring income-segregated housing to our community. The potential release of toxins from the soil, and the associated cleanup costs and liabilities, should be worrisome to all of us. Ben and Frank are committed to stopping this project, protecting the well-being of our town and its residents.
In conclusion, Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi are sophisticated business leaders with a strong track record in negotiation, finance and a clear vision for our community's future. They are the leaders we need to address the key issues facing Millburn Township, from overdevelopment to rising crime to challenged infrastructure. Please support Ben and Frank for the Millburn Township Committee to ensure a better future for all of us.
As Indian immigrants who fondly call Millburn home, we believe that our town is a beautiful reflection of the dream that this country offers. Since 2017, we have lived in this idyllic town with our two boys and parents, have made many friends and enjoyed the vibrancy of a culturally diverse community. However, like many others around the country, we feel dismayed by the divisive political rhetoric at the national level which also resonates negatively in local communities. While constructive debate and dialogue are essential to a functioning democracy, extreme partisan views and inability to find common ground has led to logjams stalling progress on many important issues at all levels of government. This is the core issue that is driving our thought process behind who we vote for. This is why we are endorsing Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi in the upcoming Millburn Township Committee elections.
Ben and Frank are former Democrats who are running on the Republican ticket in this election. As Independent voters who identify with social liberalism and fiscal discipline, we find that Ben and Frank espouse similar values irrespective of their current party platform. More importantly, to ensure that the divisiveness of the national political climate does not impact governance of our local community, Ben and Frank have publicly committed to supporting a referendum on non-partisan local elections. They are also committed to creating a more transparent and accountable Township Committee open to hearing viewpoints of all stakeholders.
When we vote in this election, my husband Bharat and I are mindful that we are not just voting for our priorities, but also voting to ensure a bright future for the next generation, including our two high school boys Eshaan and Aaryan, who are looking to adults in this town to make climate resiliency and environmental sustainability a cornerstone of our town’s governance and development plans. Having been actively involved in environmental efforts in our town for many years, I can attest to the fact that while many residents are eager to do their part to live sustainably and reduce our town’s carbon footprint, it has never really been a top-of-mind issue for our TC in the past. The lack of leadership from our elected officials to drive constructive policies has been a serious impediment to achieving meaningful progress.
In our personal and public forum interactions with Ben and Frank, we have found them to be enthusiastic about making sustainability a key part of their agenda. They are committed to supporting policy initiatives that are critical to mitigating the effects of climate change, such as introducing an ordinance to promote native plants and a phased ban on gas powered leaf blowers. We look forward to electing those who champion the cause of our children’s future and our collective economic and environmental sustainability.
Last but not the least, Ben and Frank have amply demonstrated sound business acumen and a fiscally-responsible mindset coupled with a data-driven strategic approach to navigating our town through key challenges facing us, including the contentious issue of overdevelopment. Whether or not you agree with all their views, one can’t deny that Ben and Frank have devoted an enormous amount of time to conduct in-depth research and present realistic alternatives to prevent overdevelopment while fulfilling legal, societal and moral obligations to providing more affordable housing in our town. Since past performance is the best predictor of future results, Ben and Frank have also shown their commitment to working hard by participating in the Township Committee meetings regularly and engaging with current elected officials.
A wise person once said, “Elections have consequences!” We encourage all our fellow residents to make their vote count in this election. Let us not vote as Democrats, Independent or Republicans. Let us vote for the right ideas and the right vision for Millburn. We urge you to share this message with your family, friends, and neighbors and join us in supporting Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi on November 7. You can find them on Line A of your ballot.
Vanita Gangwal with Bharat Jain
Like many in this town, I’m a proud Democrat. I long to see Donald Trump wearing a jumpsuit that matches his tan. But what does that have to do with our town’s government?
I appreciate the intelligent, thoughtful candidacies of Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller. They’re not running in the hopes that a party official will one day tap them to run for higher office. They like Millburn-Short Hills. They’re staying. Running as Republicans, they nonetheless pledge to help make our town’s elections non-partisan. That’s refreshing. We should do it.
As a lifelong Democrat, I was distressed to learn, from former Mayor Dianne Thall-Eglow, just how much pressure Essex County Democratic officials put on the Millburn Township Committee to hire particular people, regardless of whether or not they’re right for Millburn.
The larger Democratic Party — which, again, I continue to support (I knocked on a lot of doors for former Rep. Tom Malinowski, who’s one of the good guys) — has not exerted a uniformly positive influence on our town.
This was particularly evident during the affordable housing fiasco. Decided in secrecy, the plan demanded, among other things, a building whose units would be “100% affordable.” The cities of Chicago and New York learned decades ago that segregating people into “100% affordable” projects was harmful for everyone — especially the tenants. Now Millburn’s Township Committee was ready to repeat those cities’ old mistakes without even consulting us, its citizens. That is, it was ready to do so until Frank, his husband Jerry Kung, Ben and a number of others sounded the alarm.
It became clear to many of us that a Township Committee funded and run by Democratic Party pooh-bahs in Essex County was doing this town no favors.
I support meeting our state-mandated affordable-housing obligations. I want affordable housing done right. Frank and Ben will work to make that happen.
I support a cleaner environment and a reduction in carbon emissions. So do Frank and Ben.
I support preserving the excellence of Millburn’s public schools. Frank and Ben do, too.
That’s what makes the ‘STOP REPUBLICAN EXTREMISM’ signs on a few residents’ lawns so silly. They’re part of a desperate, Party-funded effort to frighten residents who haven’t met Frank or Ben. (They’re easy to meet, by the way.) Frank and Ben do not represent Republican extremism.
(I may make a sign saying ‘STOP DEMOCRATIC FEAR-MONGERING.’ Anyone who’s seen the movie “Oppenheimer,” or read the wonderful biography that inspired it, knows how easy and evil it can be to smear a person’s character.)
As I learned when working for the Independent campaign of Dianne Thall-Eglow and Dave Morrow last year, it’s nearly impossible to compete against people who are funded by large Parties. Because they differ with some of the terrible decisions made by Essex County, Frank and Ben knew the Democratic Party would never nominate them for these seats. So they’re running as Republicans. Good for them! These days, that’s the only way to preserve one’s independence in this town.
Let’s stop outside Parties from running our town. Let’s govern ourselves.
Let’s support Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller for Township Committee.
They’ll do what’s right for Millburn.
I endorse Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi in the upcoming election for the Millburn Township Committee on Tuesday, November 7, 2023. I endorse Ben and Frank for the following three reasons which clearly make them the better candidates. I hope you agree.
First I am opposed to one-party rule. Millburn has been subject to one-party Democrat rule for the past five years. One party rule generally stifles debate and discourages independent thinking, but especially does so in local politics.
Few candidates for TC are highly motivated: it’s a thankless job with little reward. Most candidates run for TC because they are recruited by local Party representatives. I know because I have been solicited to run in these races when nobody else will. Low-conviction candidates flattered into running by Party representatives tend to support – big surprise – those who got them there. And, if after arriving at the TC, these candidates find that all their colleagues are from the same Party and agree with them, there is a multiplier effect: it becomes group-think.
Millburn/Short Hills saw the negative effects of one-party rule in August 2021 when the Democrat TC voted to affirm the Affordable Housing Settlement. The Settlement gave away the center of Downtown Millburn (owned by Millburn’s Department of Public Works) to support the development of a 100% affordable housing project that had never previously been publicly discussed. Criticized for approving a dramatic plan with zero public input, virtually every member of the TC claimed that they were pressured to agree to the Settlement and/or received bad advice of counsel. It was a disastrous process. Ben and Frank are independent thinkers who are motivated to join the TC and will bring needed diversity of viewpoint as the TC deals with affordable housing among other difficult issues.
Second, Ben and Frank actively participate in local social media, which I believe is a requirement to serve in local politics. Ben and Frank are active and accessible on Facebook and other social media platforms. Yet, the other current TC candidates, Kramer and Goel -- as well as most past and present TC members -- believe that they are above directly participating in social media. Millburn should no longer tolerate ghost candidates who refuse to participate in social media, we deserve candidates who are accessible.
In 2021, I started the Facebook Group Millburn Local Politics to address the lack of political debate/discussion in the Town. Ben and Frank have participated. TC Members Miggins, Prupis, Romano, Cohen, and Vinayak – and TC Candidates Kramer and Goel -- have never, to my knowledge, posted a single first-person post on my group or on any other FB group relating to Millburn politics. To me, this is disqualifying. If a TC member or candidate is not confident enough to speak for him/herself in the public forum of social media, he/she likely won’t be able to speak for the best interests of the Town while serving on the TC. I admire Ben and Frank’s openness, accessibility, transparency and more of it is required on the TC.
Third, I further support Ben and Frank because, unfortunately, the Democratic Party has become hostile to suburban towns such as Millburn. The Biden Administration is openly hostile to single-family zoning, claiming that it prevents affordable housing and promotes racial inequity. New York Governor Hochul recently proposed legislation whereby Albany may modify local NY zoning laws. And NJ Democrats (together with their developer patrons) are eager to overturn local single-family zoning in our State. But I don’t accept the premise that single family suburban homes are the scourge of society. Between Millburn and New York City there are numerous blighted communities that are already zoned for multifamily housing, have far better access to mass transit than Millburn, and are craving development of new high-quality affordable housing. The idea that, instead of rehabilitating these areas, large multifamily projects must be built in single-family communities like Millburn, Chatham or Berkeley Heights makes no sense unless you are a real-estate developer or a politician influenced by real estate developers. Ben and Frank are dedicated to representing the interests of Millburn instead of some larger ideological agenda to transform society, which is what I want from a TC Member.
Please vote for Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi on November 7, 2023.
I am thrilled to offer my enthusiastic endorsement and support for Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi for the Millburn Township Committee. Having met them personally, having engaged in insightful conversations, and observed their unwavering dedication to our Millburn-Short Hills community, I am convinced that they are the ideal choice to lead us into the future.
What truly sets Ben and Frank apart is their tireless commitment to researching and comprehending the distinct challenges that our town faces. Their wealth of knowledge, gathered from extensive research efforts, is a critical component of what they will bring to the table as Township Committee members. Notably, Ben and Frank have gone beyond Millburn, exploring the best practices of neighboring towns, which highlights how they will enhance ours.
Addressing crime is crucial. They discovered that the township has been regularly under-reporting car thefts. They champion an accurate accounting, transparent to residents. At present, if you lock your car, a thief breaks into your home, finds your key fob, and leaves your home intact to steal your car, the town counts those actions as a home burglary, not as a car theft. “If you can't measure it, you can’t fix it,” says Ben.
Ben and Frank’s proposal to station police cars at the entrances and exits to our town in the dead of night, like Summit and Livingston police departments do, is a proactive measure that can bolster our safety.
Furthermore, Ben and Frank’s readiness to invest in effective technologies, such as additional security cameras and license plate readers and a smartphone app with Camera geotagging is a forward-thinking approach to tackling crime.
In addition to these important initiatives, Ben and Frank are committed to enhancing our emergency alert system by implementing Nixle, a real-time emergency alert system, that neighboring communities are already using successfully.
I share Ben and Frank’s concern about overcrowded schools as our children progress through the school system. Their focus on overcrowding and development has a direct correlation to our school system. They have, and will have, children passing through our school system and are our vested partners in bringing about change in a bi-partisan manner.
Ben and Frank have highlighted, and have specific plans to address, the town’s overdevelopment and especially the Township Committee’s mismanagement of our affordable housing obligation. All the market rate and affordable housing approved by the Township Committee will strain our school resources unnecessarily. Ben and Frank advocate for a more balanced and researched approach, such as directing affordable housing efforts towards senior housing to alleviate this strain.
Lastly, I have had the pleasure of knowing Ben Stoller prior to this campaign, and I can attest to his character. He is a down-to-earth, relatable individual who connects with people and offers meaningful insights. Together with Frank, they would undoubtedly bring valuable assets to the Township Committee, steering us in a better direction and assuring us that our community’s best interests are their top priority.
Tara joins Ben & Frank in quest for non-partisan local elections
I have served as a Democrat on the Township Committee since 2019, in all capacities: Committee woman, Deputy Mayor in 2020, and Mayor in 2021. This Fall will be the first time I am voting for Republican candidates for any elected office, and I urge my fellow Millburn Short Hills residents to join me in supporting Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi for Millburn Township Committee.
In the past few years, a small but vocal group of people, whose mission it is to elect Democrats at every level of government, has torn apart the fabric of our community with nakedly partisan vitriol. They have taken every opportunity to distract from vital local issues and hijack civil discourse with name-calling, baseless smears, and character assassination. They continue to employ partisan politics to divide us, with a singular focus on electing officials who will make decisions based on party pressures and promises, rather than what is in the best interests of our community.
Many would argue that I was unqualified when first elected. Admittedly, I was inexperienced during my first few years in office, coasting to electoral victory on the back of a powerful machine. But during my experience on the Township Committee, I have come to see the dangers of blind party loyalty.
I am voting for Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi because I know that together we can prevent the slated 75-unit 100% income-segregated development on the DPW site. Approving the Fair Share Housing settlement was the worst decision I made in office, which I deeply regret. With Ben and Frank, we can right that mistake.
I am also voting for Ben and Frank because they have publicly committed to supporting a referendum on moving to non-partisan local government. After being immersed in the local political scene for the past six years, I have seen Millburn Short Hills suffer because of party politics. It is time for residents to have a real voice in how they are governed and be given the opportunity to eliminate outside influences and blind loyalties in our future elections.
Don’t be deceived by the local Democrats’ tactics in this year’s election for Township Committee. Their fear mongering with signs regarding “Republican extremism” and whispers of book banning are just the latest manifestation of their obsession with sowing division to maintain a stranglehold on our local government. This is not the leadership that Millburn deserves.
Ben and Frank are reasonable, moderate gentlemen (and former Democrats) who have studied the issues and stepped up to unify our community. The only thing extreme about them is their love for Millburn and our community. We must come together as a community and support their candidacy to ensure that everything we all love about Millburn can be maintained for generations to come.
I implore my fellow residents: don’t vote for Party. Vote for yourself, vote for family, vote for kids. Vote for Millburn.
Vote Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi for Millburn Township Committee. You can find them on Line A.
This independent, Democratic-leaning family recognizes that change has become imperative to save Millburn
After witnessing a host of self-inflicted challenges to our town, from unsustainable, overdevelopment, to the absence of any meaningful flood-resistance solutions, all resulting from years of single-party rule, the Molka family is giving their wholehearted support to Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi for Town Committee. We have lived in Millburn since 2004, raising our three sons, and let’s not forget about our little dog Kona. Our eldest has graduated from college and is now a US Navy Officer, and our twins are Seniors in high school. The challenges have become so dire that the very future of this town is at risk, and thoughts of simply moving on after our twins graduate has more than crossed our minds. But this is the town we love…the village that helped raised our family. If Millburn is to remain a vibrant community with both friendly neighbors and challenging schools, sustainable development is the only path. We have chosen to stay and fight!
Both Frank and Ben have the leadership abilities required to affect change, with no political entanglements. Together, with the previously-Democratic and now Independent Committee Member Tara Prupis, they will potentially make up the controlling coalition of the Town Committee. It’s an opportunity to break from the past, and we couldn’t ask for a better-prepared dual than Frank and Ben.
I first met Frank as he was running last year when he took the time to explain the challenges and his solutions in detail. I find him to be highly intelligent, measured, thoughtful and most importantly passionate about this town. He and his husband Jerry have conducted thorough research into the underlying problems, and he is not afraid to implement creative solutions. Frank is also an exceptional listener, a great quality for a leader. Ben is a friend of mine, as we have spent many years at Gero Park, in youth wrestling rooms, and in football stadiums, both coaching and cheering on our children. He is everything you would want in a friend: honest, blunt when needed and most importantly loyal. He has a sharp analytical mind that can dice apart any problem to seek out solutions. Ben also has incredible people skills…the big guy will make you feel at ease the second that you meet. All of these are traits that will go a long way toward leading our town forward.
The challenges are many. The good news is that both Ben and Frank have made themselves fully available to every resident to discuss these issues and their solutions in as much detail as needed. A major issue is overdevelopment, and it’s the one that has raised the most eyebrows.
Towns in NJ are obligated to provide a certain number of low- and moderate-income housing units. The number of units is negotiated with the non-profit Fairshare Housing Center (FSHC). Frank, Ben, as well as my family all support affordable housing as a goal. However, the FSHC is now being used as a tool by developers, with state-level political support, to bypass sustainability regulations and gain access to affluent towns on the cheap, providing them with windfall profits. The exact number of units required by any town is not written in stone, as it’s a negotiation with the FSHC and judges. Developers have every incentive to push this number as high as possible in a town like Millburn.
It's important to have a Town Committee that negotiates with the FSHC in the best interest of town residents, as opposed to the special interests of any party. These negotiations seemed to have yielded an outsized obligation for Millburn, as two of the six developments agreed to are excess “giveaway” projects. The number of households in Millburn will increase by 735, or in excess of a 10% increase, certainly impacting our already crowded schools. Many environmental, traffic, and school impact studies haven’t been conducted, making such development unsustainable for a suburban town with this high-density housing. The deal was passed without public comment, violating the constitutional rights of every resident of Millburn, and possible grounds for dismissal of the settlement.
One particular excess “giveaway” development of most concern is the DPW site, colloquially known as “the town dump.” It consists of 100% income-segregated units, as opposed to the “20%/80%” model widely used as it keeps property owners incentivized to properly maintain their properties for their residents. If property owners abandon their duty of maintenance on this Downtown property, the residents will be forced to live in substandard housing. According to this excess “giveaway” agreement, the developers will be given the land at no cost to them, and pay nothing in property taxes, contributing zero funds to our schools and municipal services. The DPW would need to be relocated, at a substantial cost. After extensive research, Frank and his husband, Jerry, have uncovered that the NJ DEP has determined that the DPW site contains toxic contaminants. It’s disturbing to think that the site is being considered at all, let alone proclaimed a “done deal” by the Committee and the Democrats currently running.
But wait…it gets worse! In addition to growing the number of households by over 10% in the current plan, the Committee made six additional zoning changes, potentially increasing the number of households by 4,058 high-density units, or a whopping 67% above current levels! Another round of FSHC negotiations will take place in 2025, and developers have every incentive to develop the entire 4,058 potential units, a level of overdevelopment that is far from sustainable for a suburban town like ours. Having a Town Committee in place that represents the interest of residents while balancing the need to fulfill affordable housing obligations is crucial for the future of this town.
All of this doesn’t scratch the surface of other issues plaguing our town. The most concerning for my family is the neglect in addressing flood resiliency, especially in the South Mountain and Downtown areas. Due to the impacts of climate change, weather events now frequently flood the Rahway River. My family has witnessed at least three major floods since living in this town. How many more basements must flood before we do something? How many more times does my family and the greater community need to dig mud out from downtown stores to help save our Business District? The volunteer spirit of this town is amazing to watch, but it’s only a matter of time till more businesses leave.
Change is in the air around Millburn. Although we tend to have ideals that more align with the Democratic Party on a national level, an increasing number of people that I meet want to make a pragmatic common-sense choice by bucking the trend locally. Residents are angry, but also hopeful that change can happen this time behind the leadership of Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi. Ben/Frank signs are sprouting up all around town, and the enthusiasm is reaching a crescendo. Join my family and so many other Millburn residents to vote for positive change with Ben and Frank!
We are writing to support Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller for the Millburn Township Committee election this Fall.
Their candidacy is singularly focused on township matters, not partisan politics. When you meet them, their political affiliation is not your immediate impression. Instead, what comes through is their deep love for this community – they are Millburn residents first.
Frank and Ben are dedicated to bringing fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to township issues in a way that unites our community. My wife Maureen and I have lived in Millburn for over 35 years; we raised our children here, forging numerous friendships along the way. We love this community. However, we are greatly dismayed by the town’s handling of the Fair Share Housing issue.
We believe that the current Township Committee has mismanaged critical issues and has put the future of our town in jeopardy.
One glaring issue has been the rapid expansion of housing in our town. No one we know opposes affordable housing. What we are all deeply concerned about is the plan to place 75 exclusionary income-restricted units on the DPW Town Dump site, which has serious toxic contaminants buried underneath. The optics of this decision, its impact on traffic congestion, future student enrollment and the long-term legal liabilities for the township could hardly be worse.
We consider this decision as a totally inappropriate solution to our Mt. Laurel obligation. More reasonable and responsible ideas are available, as have been raised by Frank and Ben. However, the current Township committee has been unable or unwilling to explore them, instead pushing forward with their plan that ignores Millburn residents’ best interests. The plan was ill-conceived from the beginning, and it was agreed to without any input from town residents who are overwhelmingly against it.
This is precisely why we need a fresh start, with Township Committee members who bring innovative ideas and a commitment to serving all residents. Frank and Ben genuinely care about the future of our town, are dedicated to enhancing our community, and possess the courage to make a difference.
We would not endorse this ticket if we did not firmly believe that we need a change on the Township Committee. Frank and Ben have the skills, the commitment and the creative energy to make a difference. For the sake of Millburn’s future, we wholeheartedly support them both. We hope that many of our fellow residents will cast their votes in favor of unity, critical thinking, and transparency — principles that Frank and Ben are dedicated to restoring in Millburn Short Hills.
45+ Year Millburn Resident and Democrat Endorses Vote for Millburn Candidates
My wife Sally and I have lived in Short Hills since 1977. We had previously been living in Manhattan, but Sally is from Connecticut and wanted to raise our children in a suburban environment. When we came to Short Hills more than 45 years ago, we were captivated by the tranquility, the landscape and the warmth and acceptance of our neighbors. We were able to take advantage of the exceptional school system that both of our children attended.
That was then.
Over the last five years, all of that has been eroded by a Township Committee and mayor that have recklessly disregarded the existing community. They have entered into agreements with developers that threaten to overwhelm the population of Millburn, all without considering the capacity of our roads, schools and infrastructure to support such growth. To date, no studies have been conducted on the potential impact of this development on our town, not to mention the ill-conceived plan to construct residences on the heavily polluted DPW site, expected to house 75 families atop toxic contaminants.
As a real estate developer in NYC, I have experience dealing with community boards and intelligent planning, including the challenge of addressing environmental pollution and remediation. I fully comprehend the disaster that the Township Committee and mayor are foisting on our bucolic community, all while failing to inform the residents of the consequences.
Thankfully, Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi have taken the initiative to safeguard Millburn. I have been profoundly impressed by the thorough research they have conducted to reverse this horrendous policy. Or at least limit it, as other towns have done. They have dedicated an enormous amount of their time to study all aspects of how we can mitigate this impending disaster. I’ve met with them and spoken to them – they are exceptional, supremely intelligent gentlemen, and they are thoughtful problem solvers who have offered comprehensive solutions to chart a better course for our community.
Sally and I are Democrats – as were Frank and Ben – but we are committed to crossing party lines to save our beloved town and community. The stakes are so high that the only logical choice is to support Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi.
Without their leadership, we risk losing the very reasons that brought us to Millburn Short Hills.
20+ Year Millburn Resident and Democrat Endorses Vote for Millburn Candidates
I am proudly supporting Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller because they are the most qualified candidates to represent our community on the Millburn Township Committee. They are intelligent and care about the future of Millburn. They are not beholden to party leaders or special interests. Neither of them has business ties in town, which makes me feel comfortable that they won’t be doing special favors for friends and/or colleagues.
For those reading this, I have lived in Millburn close to 25 years and care deeply about my beloved hometown. Over the years, I have volunteered for Millburn Schools Rock and was co-chair of Millburn Film Fest. I was also one of four members of Millburn United, a group formed in 2007 to fight off a big-box chain from taking over the entire Trader Joe’s and PetSmart location.
I used to carefully read The Item to keep abreast of what was happening in Millburn, until sadly it stopped containing much news. I started attending Township Committee meetings after the disappointing implementation of Complete Streets. I also became concerned about a 75-unit 100% income-segregated housing project to be built at our town dump agreed to by our Township Committee members, even though this project did not need to be included in our constitutionally required affordable housing commitment.
The TC’s public meetings are where I first met Frank last year. We would chat before and after meetings, and I was impressed by his knowledge of the issues facing the town, the research he would do and the questions and suggestions he would bring up during public comment at TC meetings. In contrast, I only began to see the Democratic candidates at TC meetings once they decided to run for TC.
I supported Frank in the last election and, as I got to know him, I was sure I made the right choice. He’s wicked smart, thoughtful, considerate and has creative ideas for how to solve problems. His husband Dr. Jerry Kung has been very effective in bringing necessary data and research to uncovering the real problems and how to solve them, particularly the town’s potential liability due to the toxins at the dump site.
I have also seen Ben Stoller speak at many Township Committee meetings. He is also extremely knowledgeable about the issues and has offered numerous productive suggestions to our elected officials, which have fallen on deaf ears. I support voting for him AND Frank, so they will form a majority with current member and former Mayor Democrat Tara Prupis to give them the opportunity to implement many of their sound and well-researched ideas for our town.
I am a registered Democrat and have voted for Democrats and Republicans in the past. Despite some wanting you to think we need to fight Republican extremism locally, let’s face it – our local elected officials are not voting for or against abortion or gun rights. There is nothing extreme about Frank or Ben. Neither Frank nor Ben aspire to higher political office, so they will vote for what’s right for Millburn, not how party leaders want them to vote.
Vote for the best and smartest people to lead our town. Vote Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller for Millburn Township Committee. You can find them on Line A.
As proud citizens of Millburn Short Hills since 1981, we have enjoyed the wonderful experience MSH offers to families through excellent schools, safe neighborhoods and emphasis on protecting green spaces. We are writing to express our heartfelt endorsement for Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi.
Over the years, we have had the privilege of knowing Ben, his wife Michelle, and his four kids. The Stollers’ unwavering dedication to fostering puppies and their commitment to the Home for Good animal shelter have left an indelible mark on us. In fact, we were so inspired that we adopted a puppy from the shelter ourselves.
We would like to take this opportunity to share a personal experience that exemplifies Ben’s exceptional character and reliability. While we were on vacation 900 miles away, we received a flood alert in our basement in Millburn. Knowing that he would help, we reached out to Ben without hesitation. Despite the distance, Ben promptly came to our aid and worked tirelessly to identify and resolve the issue. His expertise and quick thinking saved us from what could have been a devastating flood. We will be forever grateful for his selflessness and dedication.
By stepping up to run for Township Committee, Ben and Frank have shown an unwavering commitment to our community that is truly commendable. We enthusiastically support their platform, which includes stopping the “dump” project, mitigating crime, improving our schools and pressing forward on critical climate initiatives in town. As a long-time member of the Short Hills Home and Garden Club and an avid gardener, Ursula is especially excited about their support for native plant initiatives. The passion that Ben and Frank have for the pillars of their platform is evident, and we believe that their leadership will bring about positive change.
In conclusion, we wholeheartedly endorse Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi for Township Committee. We are confident that they will continue to serve our community with integrity and compassion.
Ursula Enderlin and Tom Budesa
I am delighted to endorse Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi for the Millburn Township Committee based on their commitment to our town and to its future. From having met them and heard their detailed presentation, I have concluded they are the right choice for Millburn-Short Hills.
Most impressive is their dedication to using data to make informed decisions. They have diligently studied comparable towns, gathering valuable insights that can help us address the challenges we face. Their innovative ideas to tackle over construction and crime are refreshing and much-needed in Millburn.
Moreover, Ben and Frank have made it clear that they want to hear from residents, a marked departure from our current Township Committee. The Committee's reluctance to welcome resident input has led to poor decisions, particularly in the area of over construction, quality of life and affordable housing. We cannot afford to let overbuilding further clog our roads, overcrowd our schools, and strain our emergency and basic services.
I am particularly pleased that Ben and Frank are committed to stopping the dump project, the DPW site at 9 Main Street. The housing that the Township Committee agreed to unfairly segregates families by income, a recipe for failure for residents' children. In addition, the site's toxic chemicals pose a serious threat to the health of new affordable housing residents, students and staff at the adjacent Middle School, and the workers building the project.
Having moved to Millburn for its excellent schools, I believe that our schools will suffer without the best leadership for our town. Ben and Frank offer a clear vision and realistic plans to ensure that Millburn continues to thrive.
Lastly, I want to highlight Ben and Frank's support for non-partisan elections, which is essential in ensuring that the focus remains on the needs and concerns of our community, rather than on political affiliations.
In conclusion, I wholeheartedly endorse Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi for Millburn Township. Their dedication to data-driven decisions, innovative ideas, resident engagement, and commitment to our community's well-being make them the clear choice for our town's leadership.
I am a longtime Democratic voter, who is voting for the two Republicans running for Township Committee in our upcoming local election. Given all the national acrimony between the two parties, how is this possible?
To begin with, I am a former social worker and journalist who believes in human rights and access to fair housing, healthcare, education and clean water. I also believe in fairly expanding affordable housing around the State of New Jersey.
So why am I voting for Frank Saccomandi and Ben Stoller, the two Republican candidates for Township Committee in Millburn Township?
The answer: to save our beautiful town of Millburn-Short Hills from any further overdevelopment by the local Democratic Party.
It turns out that Frank and Ben were themselves Democrats, but they had to change their party affiliation to run against the current local Democratic regime.
Their affiliation change was motivated by their desire to halt, curtail or ameliorate the current overdevelopment pushed forward by the current local Democratic regime.
The overdevelopment, which is changing the face of our township, includes:
•Future township housing densities that were increased to 40 apartment units per acre (from a previously reasonable 10-18). This explains how a four-story, 150-unit apartment building was approved for the former Annie Sez shopping center across the street from the South Mountain neighborhood.
•The 100% segregated, 75-unit, affordable housing project on the contaminated town DPW site. This project encompasses the expenditure of millions of dollars to rid the site of multiple contaminants, as well as spending millions more to move the DPW to another location. And, due to its 100% affordable designation, this apartment building will generate zero tax revenue for our town coffers.
•Signing off on building additional housing beyond our state-mandated quota.
•Overbuilding without first doing any impact studies on school population and traffic congestion.
•Who signed off on these ill-conceived projects?
Under pressure from the State of NJ – behind closed doors and without allowing any input from township residents -- current Mayor Maggee Miggins and former Committee Member Richard Wasserman, agreed to all four of the above travesties.
After the ink dried on the “settlement agreements,” two former township committee mayors and then-current committee members, Dianne Eglow and Tara Prupis, publicly stated that they were coerced into going along with this scheme. They voiced regret that they had allowed themselves to be bamboozled by township attorneys and the Trenton-based, attorney-run, Fair Share Housing Center, a de facto state agency seeking to urbanize small NJ towns.
Neighbors, I do not want more of the kind of local governance that acquiesces to the demands of the Democratic – or any party machine. This is why I am voting for Frank and Ben who will stand up to these outside pressures.
This is the year you need to give serious thought to the impact of your vote on our beloved township. Your vote will affect our children, our streets, our safety and our community. Please consider voting for Ben and Frank this year. This is the year to make a difference!
We are excited to endorse Ben Stoller for the upcoming election (November 7, 2023). As parents of three young children, we have had the pleasure of knowing Ben and Michelle Stoller and their four children for many years. Our daughters have been best friends since kindergarten and have spent countless hours together. We have witnessed firsthand Ben’s dedication to our community and his commitment to making Millburn a safer and more vibrant place for families.
We wholeheartedly support Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi’s campaign platform. Their focus on reducing crime, stopping the 9 Main Street project, creating new fields for our children and implementing flood mitigation measures aligns perfectly with our vision for Millburn’s future. Joe was actually raised in Millburn and decided to move back and raise our family here because of the wonderful experience he had. We believe that Ben’s analytical mindset and ability to think critically will be invaluable in addressing the challenges our community faces.
We are relieved that Ben has decided to run for the Millburn Township Committee. We trust his leadership and know that he will work tirelessly to represent the best interests of our community. With Ben Stoller, we can look forward to a brighter future for Millburn, free from partisan politics. We endorse Ben and Frank to bring some leadership to our TC.
Heather and Joe Esposito
I first met Ben Stoller and his family in the summer of 2005. Ben and I became close friends, sharing similar values of honesty, integrity and public service.
Over the years, we have enjoyed family times, playing golf together and discussing governance issues. We took on leadership roles in our country club, seeking to bring positive changes to the club’s operations, for the benefit of the diverse members and the club’s financial health. Unfortunately, we faced resistance and indifference from the club’s management, who preferred to maintain the status quo. Accordingly, both families decided to leave the club.
Similar indifference is permeating Millburn now; our families remain rooted here, and these issues need to be addressed. Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi are stepping up to address these issues and concerns that are being dismissively ignored by the current administration.
My two daughters, recent graduates from the highly regarded Millburn school system, are now in college. Three of four of Ben’s children are also through the Millburn school system; our children have collectively spent lots of time together in and out of school over the years.
As a Millburn resident, I proudly support the causes championed by Ben and Frank. They deserve a voice in the town’s governance, instead of being silenced by partisan politics and personal interests. Do we consciously want to overcrowd our town and compromise our quality of life and public services?
Democratic machine politics have infiltrated our community; the machine-selected candidates and their supporters focus on form over substance. They distract from their track record of ineffective governance with divisive rhetoric meant to tear apart our community.
I’ve recognized the need to vote across party lines; look at the last two presidential elections (can we move to Canada?). I trust Ben’s ethics and morals, regardless which party affiliation he has to run under to help us achieve change and awareness; we need to support those who have the courage to place our town first.
Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi are the candidates I trust to protect Millburn’s future.
I am thrilled to endorse Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi for Millburn Township Committee, because I believe they are the best choice for our community and our future.
I had the opportunity to meet with them and learn more about their platform to address crime, safeguard our schools and oppose overdevelopment -- especially their plans to stop the income-segregated housing project slated for 9 Main St. (located on the town’s DPW “dump” site).
Ben and Frank have a clear vision and realistic plans to address these issues and improve the quality of life for all residents. They are also easily accessible, open to feedback, and eager to answer any questions you may have. Ben and Frank have devoted their skills to conducting a wealth of in-depth research regarding realistic ways to prevent overdevelopment in our town. Additionally, they have committed to a referendum on non-partisan local elections – non-partisan elections would ensure that the divisiveness of the national political climate does not infect the governance of our local community.
I urge you to visit their website VoteForMillburn.com and reach out to them with any concerns you may have. This is a crucial election – the fate of our township, families and children depend on electing the right candidates. Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi are the right candidates for all of us. Please join me in supporting them on November 7th (or earlier). You can find them on Line A of your ballot.
Having known Ben Stoller for 7 years, we have seen him in a few dimensions: personally, athletically, civically and neighborly.
We are thrilled that Ben is running to be on Millburn’s Township Committee. Typically, we don’t get involved in local politics. Over the past few years, we have taken an interest in some very narrow issues that were personal to us: the Board of Education decision to deprive home-schooled children from participating in extracurricular activities and the Township Committee’s decision to investigate destroying the town’s unique treasure – the golf course. In these situations, we were shocked to find a dysfunctional Township Committee putting politics over people. Attending committee meetings, we found Ben Stoller in the audience advocating for what was right and sensible. Over time, we realized that his advocacy was not limited to these two situations but across dozens of issues where the Township Committee showed similar irrational behavior.
We first met Ben in 2016 when he was among the coaches for our twins' middle school football team. With three sons, we have had interactions with hundreds of coaches. Few have had as big an impact, or taken as personal an interest, as Ben Stoller has in our children. Ben Stoller and Andy Policarpio convinced one of our sons to start wrestling. Convincing a 7th grader with no experience to put on a singlet and go onto a mat to get beat up is no easy sell. Despite our sons’ attending a high school in another town, Ben and Andy followed our sons’ achievements in football and wrestling and took as much pride in them as we do. This epitomizes Ben – he puts people first – over politics, parties, self-interest or other factors that seem to bog down rational decision-making.
We have witnessed Ben’s character as a coach and as a mentor, as a father dealing with trauma, as a civic leader and as a friend. We have seen him apply strong judgment and reasoning to fight injustice and find sensible solutions across parties, committees and departments.
We look forward to the changes he and Frank Saccomandi can make on Millburn’s Township Committee.
We have called Millburn’s South Mountain section home for nearly 30 years and are long-time community volunteers. We raised our two sons here and continue to give back to this community that we fell in love with so many years ago.
We are registered Democrats – but, we will not be supporting the local Democratic candidates in this year’s election for Township Committee. We understand that the issues dealt with by our Township Committee members are nonpartisan. Extremist national politics have no place in our local election for Millburn Township Committee, and we would never support candidates espousing such views or relying on divisive messaging to tear apart our community.
Why does your vote for Millburn Township Committee matter? Our local government will be dealing with these pressing issues in the coming years:
1. Impending overdevelopment and impacts on traffic congestion and school overcrowding,
2. Improving Millburn’s climate resiliency in the face of inclement weather events precipitated by climate change,
3. Proactively educating our community and promoting sustainable behavior for a healthy future,
4. Respecting and including the public prior to making important community decisions.
It is essential for our elected representatives to have a deep understanding of the issues presented to them before any official action affecting our community can be taken.
For these reasons, and in the best interests of the Millburn community, we wholeheartedly endorse Frank Saccomandi for Millburn Township Committee.
We met Frank and his husband Jerry at Township Committee meetings where they spoke out against the secrecy surrounding the township’s handling of the settlement agreement that threatens to overdevelop our beloved town. Over our many conversations since, we have come to know Frank and find him to be a fine, upstanding individual who cares deeply about Millburn. The fact that Frank chose to switch parties (and endure unjustified vitriol) to have a viable shot at fixing the many issues in our town should be commended. It’s clear that he puts our town ahead of partisan politics.
Frank is intelligent, logical, measured and determined to do his utmost to guide Millburn into the future in a transparent and accountable fashion. He and Ben Stoller have stated their positions and shared a plethora of solutions on their website. We strongly recommend that you take the time to read the information presented at VoteForMillburn.com. We look forward to January when Frank and Ben will be able to affect positive changes for our town and our residents.
René and Glenn Paparian
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