Two slates in Montclair’s upcoming municipal elections announced changes and kick-offs this week. In a surprise move, Real Progress Montclair, headed by mayoral candidate Karen Turner, announced that Chris Swenson has joined the ticket.
Back in January, Swenson was rumored to be running on a ticket that included Turner, Joseph Kavesh, and mayoral candidate Robert Jackson. Turner and Swenson then broke away from the Jackson slate; later, Turner formed her own slate without Swenson, which included LeeAnn Carlson, Peter Zorich and Jeff Ogden. Yesterday, Turner announced that Chris Swenson was replacing Ogden as candidate for 3rd Ward councilor.
Reached by phone in Texas, where he is attending to a family situation, Swenson said that he contemplated running independently but decided to become part of the Real Progress team. “This is the greatest chance for the greatest change for Montclair,” he said.
He noted that Turner’s past experience with the Operating Budget Advisory Committee and Concerned Citizens of Montclair gives her the credibility to work with the town’s finances. Also, he said that the Real Progress slate is independent, noting, “We’re not tied to past coalitions.”
Turner said, “I don’t just want a seat at the table; I’m asking what I can do for this town.”
In an press release issued yesterday, Turner said, “Central to our campaign is the commitment to instill common sense and practical and clear fiscal responsibility to Township operations while delivering services in more innovative and cost-effective ways. It is Real Progress Montclair’s position that the solutions to Montclair’s problems do not rest solely with budget cutting or reduction of services. Real, progressive solutions lie within new, smarter, more effective ways of governing. Real Progress Montclair believes that by doing things differently, Montclair can provide the same, even better, levels of services, but at a lower cost.”
Turner also said, “I have invested substantial time in researching and analyzing Montclair’s finances and operations through my work with OBAC and CCM. I strongly believe we have assembled the best group to lead this town for the next four years. Real Progress Montclair has specific plans and is uniquely prepared for this moment in Montclair, with perspective, expertise and a non-political motivation to implement progressive and transparent changes.”
Meanwhile, the Montclair 2012 slate — headed by Robert Jackson — officially launched its campaign, announcing a new website (Montclair2012.com) and a Campaign Kickoff event.
From the press release:
Many challenges lay ahead of Montclair. Our schools struggle to do more with less, our first responders are stretched thin and the crushing burden of property taxes threatens to extinguish the ideal that is Montclair. The scale of the challenges we face demand solutions of an equally grand scale. On Tuesday, we launched our campaign, we believe, bringing forward smart, practical solutions to these problems.
The website lays out the slate’s plans for reducing debt, economic development, shared services and schools. The campaign will host a Kickoff event on Friday from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at 480 Bloomfield Ave. Montclair 2012 is comprised of Jackson, who is running for Mayor, Richard McMahon III, Bob Russo, Richard Murnick, Robin Schlager and Sean Spiller.
Photo of man shaking cocktail courtesy of Farmers & Fishers in Flickr.