Slayne/Spirig on the Issues
Prioritize residents, protect local interests, and preserve our open spaces.
We will prioritize you.
If you've ever felt like you haven't heard about an issue that the township was facing until it was too late, we understand—because we have too.
If you have turned up at a Township meeting to make a public comment and it made no difference, we hear you. We have witnessed this so many times—because decisions were made before engaging residents.
We believe our local government should be proactive and authentically represent the needs of its constituents. That means making all meetings and proceedings open and accessible to residents, communicating clearly and often, and regularly seeking feedback from residents.
Building developments have been controversial, with the approval process lacking transparency and the opportunity for timely public comments. Limited data on community and environmental impact has been provided, with no evidence that new developments serve the best interest of our residents.
In 2021, we saw Township Committee approval of 44 townhomes to be built on 18 acres in the middle of the woods near Mosle Field, despite significant concerns from residents. At a committee meeting in November 2021, a packed room of residents made impassioned pleas against the rezoning of the Hardscrabble area—but the pro-development majority on the committee immediately voted to move forward with the rezoning anyway. This is not only a local neighborhood issue, but a concerning precedent for overdevelopment in our community.
We're your neighbors, and we want our town to thrive now and for years to come. That means making sound, evidence-based decisions on community issues like development, zoning, sustainability, support services, and so much more—and getting your input FIRST. This is your home, and you have a say.
We will protect local interests.
It’s no secret that property taxes in New Jersey are expensive—and you deserve the best service in return.
Most of our property taxes go towards supporting our award-winning township and regional district schools. Of the $20,000 average annual property tax bill in Mendham Township, only $4,000 stays here to fund police, fire, first aid, Department of Public Works, recreation, and so much more. That means we need to be thoughtful and spend our resources wisely—especially in an economy with rising inflation.
We should care for our town and strategically maintain our existing infrastructure and services before anything else. That means prioritizing:
Long-deferred repairs for our pothole-filled roads
Adequate support for an optimally-funded Department of Public Works to effectively service our community
Highly demanded recreation improvements, like pickleball courts
Smart reuse of the current police station, after gathering input from residents
Updates to the old Ralston Firehouse
We will preserve our open spaces.
See the recording of our Sept. 8 panel, The Dangers of Overdevelopment.
Did you know that last year the committee adopted the Mendham Township Master Plan 2021? Do you know what’s in it? Many people don’t, since a public workshop has yet to be planned, despite residents’ requests for more information.
In a nutshell, the Master Plan was developed by a bipartisan commission, and it charges the township to prioritize:
Maintaining the low density that characterizes our town and preserving its history
Respecting Mendham Township’s limited infrastructure base, which would be environmentally and financially limiting to expand
Protecting groundwater resources, public surface water supplies, and downstream waters to prevent flooding
Promoting more development in our town would do none of the above.
A majority of the Township Committee has consistently pushed for more development and rezoning, ignoring the voices of residents.
The current pro-development majority on the Township Committee has called the unpopular Hardscrabble rezoning of lots from 10 acres to 5 acres a “prudent” move, and consistently touts development as beneficial for the generation of additional tax revenue from new residents. They don't mention the additional traffic, strain on services, or impact on the environment.
Development conflicts are one reason why the Township majority tried to oust Martin Slayne as the Chair of the Environmental Commission earlier this year—because Martin stood up for the community to reduce environmental impact and protect the Township character.
But residents immediately rallied behind Martin, and against pro-development cronyism, with a public petition to demand his reinstatement, and the residents’ voice succeeded. That is one reason why Martin is running for Township Committee this year, together with Lauren Spirig—to respond to the community support for protecting our Township character, and for transparent, responsible decision-making.
We’ve heard loud and clear that township residents value our open spaces and do not support unnecessary development and rezoning to bring more homes to town—and the services that a larger population will require—and we agree.