Candidate disappointed with opponents

| 21 Oct 2019 | 02:03

    I was extremely disappointed that my opponents did not attend the Meet the Candidates night at the Vernon Township High School on Oct. 16, denying the voters of Vernon the opportunity to learn who the council candidates are. I am running for Vernon Township Council. Just before going on stage, Peg Distasi and I were informed by the League of Women Voters (which moderated the event, sponsored by the Vernon Taxpayers Association) that we could not participate in questions and answers, since only 2 of the 4 Council candidates had appeared. LWV rules require the presence of at least one more candidate than the number of seats on the ballot. Harry Shortway and Kelly Weller (who are aligned) did not attend (perhaps strategically), therefore limited Peg & I to speaking for 2 minutes, making it very difficult to tell the voters who I am, why I am running, what I believe in, where I stand on the issues, what my vision for Vernon is, etc.

    I feel in the end it is the voters who were robbed of their right to learn who their Council candidates are. I have never held public office before, I’m not affiliated with any party or other candidate, and have not accepted any campaign contributions, making it challenging to get my name & opinions out there. I work as an insurance risk manager with municipality clients (similar to Vernon Township), I’m a regular attendee at Council meetings, and am in my fourth term as president of Barry Lakes – LCPOA. I’ve found that while private communities like ours make up nearly 40 percent of the taxpayers in Vernon Township, we are often dismissed from Township decisions that impact us. I think we need a voice for the private communities on the council. And I believe we need a nonpartisan, independent person on the council to bridge the current political divide. I was looking forward to getting my message out at the Meet the Candidates night. But unfortunately since my opponents did not attend, the voters of Vernon were unable to learn about me, to make an informed choice when voting on Nov 5. To learn more, go to my FB page “Ghysels for Vernon Twp Council”.

    Thank you.

    J. Scott Ghysels

    Candidate for Vernon Township Council