The two candidates for Maplewood Township Committee — Republican Mike Summersgill and Democrat Frank McGehee — squared off on issues such as pedestrian safety, development, library expansion of the main library branch, property maintenance, feral cats, property revaluations, retention of older residents and more.
Both candidates have shared the transcripts of their opening statements:
From Frank McGehee:
Good evening my name is Frank McGehee and I am the Democratic nominee for Township committee. I would like to thank everyone for coming tonight and I would to especially like thank Carol Buchanan and the Hilton Neighborhood Association for putting on this forum. I am your neighbor. As I look around this room tonight I see many people that I have collaborated with on issues important in our town and many more I look forward to working with in the future. My platform is together we will, because through collaboration with residents, town employees and officials alike we will make a better Maplewood. Since I moved here in 2013 I have been very active serving our community. I have been part of Tuscan PTA because I’m a parent who values volunteering at our schools. The Community Coalition on Race, dedicating my time and energy to work toward diversity and inclusion, a critical part of the character of our town and I am a board member on the Library Foundation Board, our library system is a cornerstone of our community. Although our town is a great place to live, we still have challenges and I look forward to the opportunity of discussing some of those issues with you this evening. Thank you.
From Mike Summersgill:
Hello and thank you for coming. I wanted to start out with the elephant in the room. I’m a Republican. At the simplest level, I’m registered to vote in republican primaries. At a more complex level, I’m a product of my family and community. I’ve lived in NJ my whole life and Maplewood for 8. I share the values of this community. I’ve taken public positions and actions on lgbtq rights and women’s health. I’ve financially supported the community coalition on race and attended their events. I’ve taken the not in our two towns pledge and stood with moms demand action in favor of gun control. My father is a republican and our political conversations shaped my views. I’ve never had reason to question his moral compass and I respect his opinions. I’m not sure my mothers party affiliation. She was never shy about sharing her views but didn’t see the value in labels. She did fiercely protect her vote and no person or party were ever given her vote. A vote is something you earn. Tonight I’m here to earn your vote by giving clear examples of how I would make our community better.
The video was recorded by Joy Yagid for broadcast on SOMAtv.