The two candidates running for a seat on the Cranford Township Committee will have an opportunity to share their views on local issues during a Candidates' Forum that the League of Women Voters will host tonight at 8 p.m. in town hall.
Issues such as flood control, shared services and the ongoing fight against redevelopment on Birchwood Avenue will likely be discussed as Democrat Thomas Hannen Jr. and Republican Scott Mease field questions from the audience. Mease and Hannen are both seeking election to the single seat that will be up for grabs in the November election. Republican Mayor David Robinson's term is set to expire at the end of the year, but after nearly six years on the dias, he has chosen not to seek re-election.
The outcome of the November election will determine the balance of power on the Township Committee. Currently, the governing body is made up of three Republicans - Robinson and new members Andis Kalnins and Lisa Adubato Nesi, as well as two Democrats - Edward O'Malley and Kevin Campbell. If Hannen wins a spot on the committee, the Democrats will again have control of the Township Committee.
Hannen, who ran unsuccessfully alongside former Mayor Daniel Aschenbach last year, has been involved in the Flood Advisory Committee as well as several other township organizations. Hannen has been involved in politics for several years. He spent 12 years as a councilman in Winfield, four of them as the mayor.
Mease is a former township commissioner. He ran for Township Committee 10 years ago in 2002 and served from 2003 through 2005. He was one of several residents whose home sustained heavy damage as a result of Hurricane Irene. As a result, he has an especially strong interest in flood control efforts.