Race for Committee Seat in Chatham Township Features Two Candidates, Sullivan and Templin, With Widely Different Views
Sunday, October 21, 2012 • 10:05pm
CHATHAM TOWNSHIP, NJ - In the race to fill the Chatham Township Committee seat previously held by Kevin Tubbs, Republican Kevin Sullivan is squaring off against Democrat Erich (Richard) Templin.
Tubbs resigned his seat earlier this year because he relocated out of state and Laura Ali Nonnenmacher was appointed to fill the seat until the end of this year, when Tubbs’ term expires.
Sullivan defeated Nonnenmacher in the June GOP primary to become the Republican nominee for the full term.
The Republican contender has been a member of the township planning board for a little more than three years. A 22-year resident of the township, he was a captain in the Marine Corps, where he served for six years, stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC, and in with the 4th District of the Marine Corps Recruiting Command in Philadelphia.
The candidate has been employed in the fixed income bond market on Wall Street for the last 20 years.
An active member of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Chatham, he belongs to the Knights of Columbus and has coached track and cross country teams in the parish, where he started the track and field program.
Sullivan also has coached in the Chatham Recreation Department youth sports programs.
Married for 26 years, he has a daughter who attends Chatham High School and a son who is a student at Penn State University.
Sullivan said he does not see one overriding issue in the campaign, but he wants to continue with the “excellent job of managing taxes at the zero-increase level and keeping spending under control being done by Mayor Nicole Hagner and done by previous Mayors Tubbs and William O’Connor.”
He praised the current governing body for managing the township staff efficiently and for seeking new ways to apply shared services to keep costs under control.
“I want to help the committee to continue to hold the line on property taxes and control costs so residents will not see their taxes go through the roof to the point where they will not want to remain in the township,” he said.
Although Sullivan said there are a few strictly neighborhood issues in Chatham, it remains a great place to live, with its great access, proximity to a number of parks and the availability of transportation.
The candidate believes his experience on the planning board dealing with quality of life issues in the township, protecting private property rights and addressing commercial development will serve him well as a member of the governing body.
He also said he has proven he can do his best for the residents of Chatham Township, especially its youth, as evidenced by his involvement with his church and recreation athletic activities.
Templin’s view of the election, however, is quite different. He says he is in the race to fight what he sees as corruption in the township and “to reduce the squandering of our money.”
The Democrat said he originally became involved to stand up with neighbors against a zoning change that Committeeman Bailey Brower, Jr. and Mayor Hagner wanted to use to “help themselves and some of their friends to our tax dollars. Because of that minor opposition, it is no secret to anyone in Chatham that I have received harassment from our local officials and their supporters. However, that public face was only a fraction of what was levied on me.”
He added, “I was subjected to dozens of unnecessary visits by our Chatham police force, zoning officers and other officials. Committeeman Brower himself did a ‘Cindy Sheehan’-style protest at a memorial service that I was attending in honor of my deceased father, Col. Richard Templin. Additionally, Brower has had publicly recorded rants with our township attorney on what ordinances they could use "to get me." Subsequently, I was issued a zoning fine for $2,000 for an alleged sign violation. One of our Chatham police officers testified in court that he had told me personally not to erect a political sign, which I did right in front of him, and therefore, was at fault. The officer relented at the courthouse when I produced proof that I was in San Francisco when the alleged act occurred. Perhaps, the final straw was when Brower publicly called me a ‘Maverick Republican running as Democrat’ and said that if he wasn't stuck behind that Committee table he would personally attack me. Of course, I was not at the meeting when he said this. Brower knows betters than to speak like that in my presence. All of these actions are the sign of a terribly corrupt organization. I intend on getting elected, doing a thorough audit of all of our township's activities and getting rid of the people doing these acts. It is not right for them to use our tax dollars to harass and intimidate our citizens. Furthermore, it is not right for them to be using our tax dollars to financially enrich themselves and their cronies. I promise to put a stop to all this.”
Templin is an executive in the pharmaceutical industry with a specialty in company start-up operations. He helped launch three pharmaceutical firms and two film companies.
Through this experience, the candidate said, he has developed extensive business leadership skills and an understanding of complex accounting and budgeting.
He added that he was involved with the implementation of corporate compliance programs for companies that include Merck, Pfizer, Novartis, Sepracor (now Sunovion), Reliant Pharmaceuticals (now GSK), and Organon (now Merck).
He received his bachelor of arts degree from Kent State University and his masters in public administration degree from the University of Illinois. He also has a certificate of corporate compliance in healthcare from the Seton Hall University School of Law.
“I have been very active in politics since my youth volunteering and advising dozens of political campaigns (for both Republican and Democratic candidates). I have served as an aid to Illinois Republican Assemblyman Bernie Pedersen and have been a protégé of the Illinois Republican Party. Additionally, I am a media expert currently consulting with several state and federal campaigns. I was a life-long Republican, but have recently left the party in protest against the behavior of several of our local Republican officials,” the Democratic contender said.
He added, “My opponent in this election is unfortunately the very definition of a ‘lackey’. He was hand-selected by Bailey Brower and Mayor Hagner to give them a three-vote, unbreakable majority on our Township Committee. That will result in Bailey Brower assuming the mayor position and doing basically whatever he wants. As everyone knows, I have already stood against Bailey and his foolish schemes. You can count on me to keep him under control if elected. He has his cronies’ backs! You can trust me to have yours!”