Three Interlaken Republicans and one Democrat are seeking their party’s nod in the June 3 primary to run for two, three-year terms on the Borough Council in this November’s general election.
Former Mayor Robert Wolf III, John Gunn and Mindy Horowitz are running in the GOP primary. Incumbent Councilman Robert Napoli is the only candidate running as a Democrat so he is guaranteed a spot on the November ballot.
One of the three GOP primary candidates will also not be on the ballot after votes are cast June 3. The question is: which one?
One of the seats up for grabs in Napoli’s and the other is that of Jonathan Cohen, who decided not to seek reelection after filling the one-year unexpired term of former Councilman Corey Folta, who moved from the borough.
Wolf III was a former mayor for eight years and served on the council for two years prior. He narrowly lost a primary challenge made by current Mayor Michael Nohilly in 2011 by 108 to 103 votes.
Wolf said he is running again because he sees little community spirit being fostered in Interlaken. He said in the past three years there has been no recreation advisory committee, except for the annual picnic.
“The sense of a close-knit community has just disappeared. I want to keep the town events going and there really isn’t anything for kids right now,” he said.
Wolf also said he believes there is too much tension at council meetings.
“I would like to see both more civility and stability at the (council) table and a return to a sense of community that just doesn’t seem to exist anymore,” he said.
Gunn, who ran unsuccessfully as a write-in candidate in the last school board election along with Horowitz, said he feels he can contribute experience to help manage Interlaken’s affairs after being a former director of project management for AT&T.
“I am not saying I feel there is anything particularly wrong right now but I think things can always improve. I think there is a history of some chaos and divisiveness but I think a lot of that is behind us,” he said.
Gunn pointed out that the issue of whether or not to keep the borough’s police department and the borough’s recent school-funding formula are perfect examples.
“We are confronting an uncertain future- as are many similar towns,” he said.
Gunn said he has no magic formula right now but that he will confront issues as they head his way.
“I will handle even the mundane issues and keep things running- but I want to be sure issues are thought out in our uncertain future. I want to get inside the envelope, ask questions and, if that is the case, I will be happy,” he said.
Horowitz said she believes there is a “select demographic” of people on the current council that includes no women.
“I think the council can benefit by having a woman on it,” she said.
Horowitz said she has a degree in accounting and believes she can be an asset on any future council.
“I feel I have a lot of different perspectives I can bring to the council and represent the community. I think a lot of people feel we need a little bit of a change in our elected officials,” she said.
Like Gunn, Horowitz said she feels that many of the borough’s major issues are behind it right now but some may loom on the horizon.
“And I would like to be on the frontline when that happens and be involved as much as I can,” she said.