Thursday, October 16, 2008


There was a time that the mere mention of Howell Township on this blog would elicit a "Howellanche" of comments. Indeed, there were those who would even steer a totally unrelated thread to Howell topics. Lately, Howell seems to have dropped off the face of the earth.

Actually, Howell is very much a part of Monmouth County, and with Middletown is key to a victory next month for Lillian Burry and John Curley. As quiet as things have been, there is in fact a local election going on there.

Mayor Joe DiBella has chosen not to run for reelection to another term. As many will remember, he was twice a candidate for freeholder in 2006. That year also saw an unsuccessful effort to recall the mayor. Joe weathered those storms, and we believe he goes out a winner this year.
The local GOP ticket this year is former Planning Board member Russell Bohlin for mayor and Susan O'Brien Wynalek for council. Wynalek replaces Planning Board Chairman Paul "PaulyRXman" Schneider on the ticket, who had withdrawn. They have joined the blogosphere, and can be visited at
The independents are Councilman Robert Walsh for mayor and Susan Schroeder Clark for council.
Once again, there are no Democrats on the ballot for local office. This is the third consecutive local election in which the Howell Dems have not participated.


Sue Veitengruber said...

I think it is snowing in Howell, and there is a blizzard predicted.

Honest Abe said...

Welcome back, Sue!☺

Sue Veitengruber said...

See, I told you it was snowing in Howell and a blizzard was predicted!(Actually we did have flurries, probably in sympathy, this afternoon)

Asbury Park Press
October 28, 2008

In Howell, a debate over whether to televise debates

Voters wanting to hear the candidates debate the issues will have to drive over to Aldrich Elementary School at 7 p.m. Wednesday rather than watch the encounter on television.

The Independent candidates had wanted to have the debate televised on the township's cable station and subsequently replayed on the township's Web site, as it does all of the Township Council, Zoning and Planning Board meetings.

But the GOP candidates said they would not approve the broadcast.

"How my opponent can put (in a previously published written statement) he wants transparency in government and he does not want the debate televised is not funny; it's pathetic," said Robert F. Walsh, the Independent candidate running for mayor against GOP Russell F. Bohlin.

Walsh, a registered Republican voter, is running with council candidate Susan Schroeder Clark, a registered Democrat. Clark will challenge GOP candidate Susan M. Wynalek for the council seat.

Republican Mayor Joseph M. DiBella and Councilwoman Cynthia Schomaker are not seeking reelection.

"What are they afraid of telling people, where they stand on the issues?" said Walsh, who has served three years on the Township Council. "My only conclusion is that they don't want it televised because they don't want the citizens of Howell to have access to their answers."

But Bohlin, the GOP candidate for mayor, said the decision not to broadcast the debate is based solely on not wanting to financially burden taxpayers.

"This is not (about) transparency in government; this is public campaign financing," Bohlin said. "It's an inappropriate expense of taxpayer dollars."

Bohlin said his party would have preferred to share in the costs, "to the extent that we could," to have the debate at a private location instead of at the public school, where taxpayers will foot the bill for subsidiary costs from keeping the school open late.

He said the GOP is running a grass roots campaign and elected not to hold a fundraising dinners, as his counterparts did.

"We're running a real poor man's campaign," Bohlin said.

The GOP party has raised a total of $3,000 to date through one singular campaign fundraising mailing, Bohlin said. The Independents held a fundraising dinner last month and, as of the October Campaign Contributions report filed with the state's Election Law Enforcement Commission, have raised a total of $18,921.

The debate will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Aldrich Elementary School, located at 615 Aldrich Road

Sue Veitengruber said...

Howell had its debate and the Howell GOP dug in their heels and refused to allow the voters to see their comments on the Township's Channel 77 despite some really bad publicity over their refusal. I certainly hope that that their arrogance does not cost other Republicans candidates for the county and Congress votes. During the campaign, the Howell GOP candidates have continually m. Check out their de the point that this election is not about Howell, it is about them personnally.

However, here are some video clips from the debate. Check out "Refusal to Televise Debate."

In a related development, Bohlin's residency has come into question. His 2006 and 2007 Financial Disclosure forms indicate that his home address was 21 Boud Avenue in the Borough of Farmingdale while he was serving on the Howell Planning Board. The phone numbers listed on those forms are also registered to 21 Boud Avenue.

Moreover, he voted in Farmingdale through 2005. So much for his claim of being a Howell taxpayer for 34 years! Aren't you glad the MC GOP did nominate him for Freeholder?