Ryan seeks write-ins to be Howell’s mayor

Wants to provide alternative to voters fed up with GOP, Dems


Staff Writer

Richard Ryan Richard Ryan HOWELL — A fourth candidate for mayor is focusing his effort solely on a write-in campaign.

Richard Ryan, Maxim-Southard Road, said he is running independent of other established political parties because, “I believe a great number of people, like myself, have become disillusioned with the two-party political system in our country.

“This is the year of the taxpayer,” he said. “People are tired of the political clubs and are looking to clean house. The current crop of candidates offer the same old rhetoric — we’re not getting anything new from them.”

Ryan said he believes that many times people see their vote as simply a “choice between the lesser of two evils.”

Ryan said he wants to send a message to career politicians that people want a leader who will focus only on what’s in the best interest of Howell, not on repaying favors to wealthy “benefactors” who helped them get elected.

His opponents in the Nov. 2 contest for the four-year term include Republican Joseph M. DiBella, Democrat Steven Farkas and independent candidate James Garvey. DiBella is a current member of the Township Council.

Two-term Democratic Mayor Timothy J. Konopka is not seeking re-election.

Ryan said he has a specific platform he wants to initiate if elected mayor.

First, Ryan said he pledges to take no monetary donations whatsoever toward

his election campaign and that includes individuals as well as professionals.

He promises to not send “silly campaign literature” in the mail.

“In fact, I will not send you anything at all,” Ryan said. “I won’t stick fliers in your door or under your car’s windshield wipers.”

He also promises that he will “not litter the landscape of this beautiful town with campaign signs. I may put one simple sign up on my own property and if I do, I’ll take it down the day after the election.

“I have one simple priority if elected mayor — the health and safety of all Howell residents, especially the children, period,” he said.

Ryan said that if he is elected he will never forget that he is “simply the mouthpiece of the taxpayers. I act and or vote on their behalf only, not special interests.”

Ryan said the No. 1 negative issue taxpayers constantly deal with is the “intolerable property tax issue.” He said he will do everything he can in his capacity as mayor to lobby the state for tax reform.”

He even said he will “go to the steps of the State House in Trenton dressed as Moses and scream, ‘Let my people go,’ ” if, he adds, he believes that the photo opportunity will get some attention for the issue.

“Seriously, it (property tax relief) will be a huge priority for me,” he said. “We simply must change the way we fund education in this state.”

Ryan says he also would initiate a complete audit of all the department budgets in town to look for savings and added efficiencies.

“Nothing is sacred when it comes to finding savings for our hard-working taxpayers,” he said.

He also said he would turn his focus to making open space and farmland preservation a top priority.

“Urban sprawl continues to threaten our town’s rural character,” he said. “I will work hard to preserve as many acres of land with an emphasis on ‘developable land’ as much as possible.”

He said he also believes that code enforcement needs attention.

“It is my opinion that code enforcement in this town is done selectively and inadequately,” he said. “I will seek additional code enforcement officers for our town and initiate a review of their practices and policies.”

When it comes to school budget votes by taxpayers, Ryan said he will not “rubber stamp” a budget when the taxpayers have voted against it.

“When the taxpayers defeat an education budget they can count on me to listen to them,” he said.

Referring to collective bargaining as it affects the school budget, Ryan said he doesn’t believe in “sacred cows.”

“I believe it’s time for a little give and take when it comes to negotiations with the teacher’s union,” Ryan said. “We all need to pay our fair share.”

Summing up his philosophy and what he will seek to accomplish if elected mayor Nov. 2, Ryan said, “Every child deserves nothing less that a quality education in a safe environment. Every taxpayer deserves nothing less than value for their dollar. Efficiencies will be realized. Fraud, waste and abuse will be rooted out.”

Ryan said he realizes casting a write-in vote might seem tricky for some voters once they get inside the voting booth. He hopes voters who hear his message and like what they hear will not be dissuaded from taking the extra steps a write-in vote requires.