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Stafford Mayor Delivers 'State of the Township' Remarks During Meeting

Challenger for open seat in the Council race calls address a "campaign ad."

In what some suggested were conveniently-timed remarks, Stafford Mayor John Spodofora delivered a "state of the township" address at last night's Township Council Meeting.

In the address, Spodofora addressed some issues that have been raised at "meet and greet" events around the township being hosted by "We are Stafford," a panel of candidates who are challenging Spodofora and other incumbents in the November election.

"We are Stafford" includes Mayoral candidate Paul Marchal, David Taylor, incumbent Joanne Sitek, Christopher McManus, Esther Libenschek, Ben Pieper, and Brian Corley White for Council. Marchal is one of two independent candidates taking on Spodofora in the November election. Another independent candidate, who is not affiliated with "We Are Stafford," Thomas Litwin, of the Beach Haven West section was arrested and charged recently for trying to sell marijuana to an undercover police officer. 

In the address, Spodofora noted that since he has been on the finance board in 2009, there has been a total decline in average percent tax increases in town, and that residents are paying on average about $171 a month in taxes.

Spodofora added that the township's budget has also been on a steady decline and has leveled out in recent years, thanks in large part to a reduction of 33 full-time Stafford Townshp staffers since 2002, and a reduction in overtime pay to many township workers, including Public Works and Police. He also touted a shared services agreement with Ship Bottom, which brings in about $87,000 for the township annually. He noted the township is also looking at other shared service possiblities with other municipalities as well. 

Spodofora also addressed the township's gross debt. He noted that "a lot has been said" about the township's debt, and indeed, the We are Stafford candidates have taken aim at the township's net debt. Spodofora noted that the gross debt has been reduced, while We are Stafford notes that the net bonding debt has actually increased. 

David Taylor, who was in the audience at the meeting, stood up during the public comment portion of the meeting and called Spodofora's address a "very nice campaign ad." He then took aim and noted that the council "dumped $2 million worth of water bills on the small busineses in this town, so you didn't do that good a job."

Taylor has honed in on the lack of small businesses in the township's main business district in comments at some of the We Are Stafford meet and greets. 

Sitek also asked Spodofora about the timing of his comments, and Spodofora responded that since the township is just getting started on next year's budget, he "wanted to give everybody an update on where we are, how some of those thigns we did turned out, and wanted to thank all of the electorate for their work."

Sal Sorce October 17, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Sounds like "silly season" was in high gear last night? If this is not considered campaigning ... what could a resident call it ... to use a legitimate reason to slam an Independent group seeking election on their efforts ... working with records obtained from NJ State and County records ... yet the mayor use and his spit team have been using "FACTS" in their ads ... Assuming what's been said then the state and county cannot be relied upon for THEIR FACTS ... I was for John Spoodora and worked to support him to run for mayor, fearing the choice under a well healed machine would be Mancini ... two ... NO three Mancini's as mayors in two of the fast growing townships in Ocean County ... face it Block lost "his town" a few years ago and many do believe he is working hard to get "his town back" Too bad I have been busy trying to survive in this area, I had originally planned to speak on some issues ... This was a well timed event with no other township council meetings until after the November 6th election. Sorry situation Mayor John ... I had hoped the page was turning ... appears it has NOT ...
IGOR EVANOVITCH October 17, 2012 at 11:32 PM
STAFFORD TWP IS AS CORRUPT AS A SMALL TOWN CAN BE. THIS WHOLE COUNTRY WILL BE IN ANORCHY SOON...AND I AM PREPARED !!!!! EVERY MAN WOMAN AND CHILD SHOULD OWN A FIREARM AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT !!!!! SOON THIS WILL BE A DOG EAT DOG COUNTRY
IGOR EVANOVITCH October 18, 2012 at 09:15 PM
WRITE IN A GUY CALLED ANDY FALKOFF FOR MAYOR HE WILL CLEAN THIS TOWN UP

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