Meet the Candidates: Moorestown Township Council

Get to know the candidates on the Moorestown ballot.

Leading up to the 2020 election, The Moorestown Sun is running a three-week Meet the Candidates series. In this first week, candidates running in the 2020 election for Moorestown Township Council provide some background on who they are and why they’ve chosen to run. (This week’s responses are listed alphabetically by last name.)

Name: Vick Bobadilla

Occupation: Vice President of New England Technology, Inc.

Political Affiliation: Republican

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: I have spent countless hours in town coaching flag football, street hockey, softball, soccer, lacrosse and basketball. In my free time, I am a trained volunteer with the New Jersey Mass Care Emergency Response Team that assists with sheltering, feeding, family reunification and distribution of emergency supplies in times of crisis. I’m an active member of the Moorestown Rotary Club and have volunteered many hours with Moorestown High School Project Graduation and the Boys and Girls Club.

Why are you running for Town Council?

After 18 years of raising four children and calling this wonderful place our home, it’s time for me to give back in a new way. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves with my friends Barbara Omert and Doug Maute and work hard for the amazing people that make this town a community.

Locally, partisan affiliation of our residents should never impact whether they are permitted to have a seat at the table; we will use diversity of thought as a tool to build better solutions that work for all Moorestonians.

We will hold the line on taxes, fees and water rates, making life in Moorestown more affordable. Our team will move ahead on projects that the current council have let fall by the wayside, from the revitalization of the Lenola Business Corridor to the completion of Percheron Park to building a dedicated softball field for our town’s girls, delivering real results instead of empty promises. We’ll be committed to clean water and better infrastructure and will pursue action against those who polluted our town’s water supply. Most importantly, we will put people before politics – always.

When you send back your mail ballot with a vote for Barbara Omert, Doug Maute and Vick Bobadilla for town council, you are voting for people who are in this for the right reasons. Our campaign is grounded in the concept of hitting the reset button not on our town but on the powers and people who run it, delivering a fresh start.

Name: Sue Mammarella

Occupation: Business Owner

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Healthcare Financial Management Association, Medical Group Management Association

Why are you running for Town Council?

I’ve lived in Moorestown for over 20 years. My husband and I were drawn here by the history, architecture and vibrant town center.

After working for someone else for many years, I took a leap of faith and started my own business right here in Moorestown in 2003. I know how hard it can be to get a business started, to maintain it and to grow it. I am proud to say that my business has been running successfully for 17 years.

Over these past several years, I have become seriously concerned about the state of our union. I am running for council because I believe we all need to be steadfast in protecting the things we hold sacred, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only further reinforced the importance of strong, responsible leadership at all levels of government.

I’m running to be an agent of progress, and I will bring to the position my energy, tenacity and business know- how. I will be a good steward for our tax dollars, and I’m eager to help our residents and business community achieve their goals and remove the barriers that stand in their way.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I can promise that I will listen with an open mind. I will study to understand, and I will work tirelessly as an advocate for all of our residents and businesses.

Name: Doug Maute

Occupation: Attorney and partner at Delany Law, PC. Before practicing law, I worked at a small landscape architecture firm where I helped design Moorestown’s Boundary Creek Park.

Political Affiliation: Republican

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: Moorestown Planning Board, former member and chair; Sustainable Moorestown, former member and secretary; State Society for Health Care Risk Managers of New Jersey, president; Team captain for American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Moorestown and volunteer for the Strawbridge Lake Beautification Committee.

Why are you running for Town Council?

I’ve always been drawn to community service and tackling challenges; town council would be the best way to use my talents, education and training to preserve and enhance Moorestown for the future. I’m proud to be running with Barbara Omert and Vick Bobadilla to get our town back on the right track.

The current council has made Moorestown a less affordable place to call home, raising taxes and fees across the board. They have caused unnecessary and costly delays on the Lenola Redevelopment project, failing to deliver with a $1 million grant secured by a previous council majority. They have held closed-door, non-public sessions for 70 percent of council meetings in the last two years and injected partisan politics into areas of local governance where it never belongs.

Along with Barbara and Vick, I will work hard to lower taxes on our residents and small businesses; practice transparency; encourage business development by streamlining the processes in place to open or expand a business within our borders; stay on top of our water systems to ensure we are delivering the cleanest water possible while holding the polluters accountable and most importantly, listen to our neighbors.

My professional and volunteer experiences, combined with my perspectives as a 30-something year-old parent of young kids, make me uniquely qualified to tackle the issues facing Moorestown with a vested interest in the future of our community. I humbly ask for your vote for the Fresh Start team: Omert, Maute and Bobadilla for town council.

Name: Barbara Omert

Occupation: I was the third generation to own and run my family’s small business for approximately 30 years and later worked in accounting and tax preparation.

Political Affiliation: Republican

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: I have served on the Board of Friends of MEND, Inc., and have been an active participant in the efforts of The Moorestown Community House; Oaks Integrated Care and Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice of South Jersey. I am a parishioner at Our Lady of Good Counsel and have been an active supporter of organizations such as the Historical Society of Moorestown; the Moorestown Garden Club; the Moorestown Domestic Violence Alliance; the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Mercer & Burlington Counties; Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS),and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Why are you running for Town Council?

I’m running to serve the community that has given me so much over so many years. If elected, I will join with my running mates, Doug Maute and Vick Bobadilla, to make town hall work for the people of Moorestown.

Over the last two years, the current town council has voted to increase municipal taxes, water rates, recreation fees, sewer rates, fire inspection fees, and library taxes, even while sitting on an over $8 million surplus of taxpayer money. They have failed to recoup costs with cleaning Moorestown’s water by holding the polluters accountable, and awarded millions of dollars in no-bid contracts.

Moorestown deserves better. Doug, Vick and I will strive to deliver lower taxes and fees, take a proactive approach to business revitalization in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, increase transparency and accountability in township operations, pursue legal action against the polluters of Moorestown’s water supply and remove politics from the decision making process in awarding contracts, appointing to township boards and committees or collaborating with our residents.

Our team will approach all issues fairly for all residents and businesses by seeking compromise, – not a one sided political outcome – on the pressing issues in our community. We will seek to bridge divides, find common ground and work across the aisle to ensure the best solutions are found on the issues facing our town. By sending back your Vote By Mail ballot for Omert, Maute and Bobadilla, you are electing a fresh start for the town we all love.

Name: Jake Van Dyken

Occupation: Attorney

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Clubs/Organizations: American Bar Association; New Jersey Bar Association; Burlington County Bar Association – Co-Chair, Personal Injury Committee; Recreational Advisory Committee Member; New Jersey Realtors, member.

Why are you running for Town Council?

My name is Jake Van Dyken, and I was born and raised in North Jersey, but moved here to my wife’s home town about 15 years ago. I have two daughters who attend Moorestown Friends School, and I am a local trial attorney specializing in personal injury law.

Personally, my involvement with the town began through the recreation department, where I was a coach and mentor for my two young daughters. Later, I served on the Open Space Committee and now the Recreational Advisory Committee. Most recently, I decided I wanted to become more involved with helping the township, so I accepted the opportunity to run for council.

My reasons for running are simple. I want to help. I believe it is more important than ever that our council unite the residents of Moorestown, support the community, combat racism in any form and work towards achieving the common goals of supporting local businesses, improving infrastructure and maintaining the things that make Moorestown an idyllic place to live and work. In my mind, that does not include playing politics; it means making decisions that put Moorestown, its residents and its businesses first. That is why I believe the council needs to be a welcoming place where everyone’s ideas and opinions can be considered, and the ultimate decisions made by council and the basis for the same, must be done in an open and transparent way.

I think this wonderful town deserves responsive and responsible leadership, and that is what I am offering.

Name: Dave Zipin

Occupation: Attorney

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Clubs/Organizations you belong to: My family is actively involved with the Moorestown Jewish Association; my wife Cyndi serves on the board.  I am an adjunct professor in the Management Department for American Public University. I serve on the Moorestown Planning Board as a full member. I serve as the Moorestown Planning Board’s liaison to the Economic Development Advisory Committee.

Why are you running for Town Council?

I have spent the whole of my professional career working for state and local government, including several years working with the Division of Local Government Services and the Local Finance Board as well as serving several years as the Associate Solicitor for Cherry Hill Township. Those experiences gave me a unique opportunity to truly understand how municipal government should operate. Currently, I serve as an Ethics Officer and a Harassment and Discrimination Officer for a state agency. Over the last four years, national politics have felt like an attack on my values and hit at the core of what I have devoted my career to protecting; when I saw the same level of dividends creeping its way into Moorestown, I simply could not remain on the sidelines.

I hope to bring my experience and knowledge of proper local government function and protocol to Moorestown. I want to rise above partisan divides to bring Moorestown together as a community; one that is welcoming and respectful of all opinions and ideas and encourages the community to treat each other as neighbors. I want to ensure that Moorestown is run in a fiscally efficient and responsible manner with a focus on transparency and sound government practice.  I want to help grow Moorestown’s business community by both ensuring that Moorestown strives to PARTNER with existing businesses to HELP them succeed and work to repair Moorestown’s reputation to make the town more attractive to new businesses.