Townie Tidbits: Election Round-Up, Tricks, Treats & Side Notes

Well, Halloween was back on and in full swing this year and early voting took hold.

Halloween hubbbub

Last year and 2012 were the only two Halloweens that weren’t in, well, pretty much ever, that we can recall. And, from all reports, the trick or treaters were out in droves in Rumson and Fair Haven, all dressed up with neighborhoods to roam.

There was some talk of mischief, like the lifting of a bowl or three, and making away with all the candy left out. The ol’ toilet paper in trees trick is still a standard. Egging? Haven’t heard, though curfews are much earlier these days than years ago. More on Halloween traditions and troubles of the past later in our Old News fun.

Both Rumson and Fair Haven got pretty festive with decor this year, too, as evidenced by nominees for the house decorating contests in both boroughs. We’ll update you when we’re updated on the winners.

You’ve seen some from around the towns, but here’s a prime example of premier nominees in Rumson’s video featuring the most spirited haunts. And, show us your favorite trick or treaters!

Deane Porter Elementary School in Rumson had Walt Disney in the house and a host of others at its Halloween Parade. And you know what Fair Haven’s borough-wide one looked like. Does RFH celebrate anymore? Well, they used to! In grande style!


While early voting has been underway, the official Election Day remains the same … today, Nov. 2. So, polls are open until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

And when talking very local elections, again, there is uncontested one in Rumson for seats up for grabs on council.

In Fair Haven, the polls are open at Nativity Church, one spot, for all districts all day.

Again, four are vying for two seats on the local governing body that are up for grabs. One is that of incumbent Republican Betsy Koch, who is running for re-election with running mate and newcomer to the race, Tracy Cole.

The Democrat challengers are newcomers Sonja Trombino and Bob Gasperini.

All four candidates were given the same detailed, hyperlocal questions, in Q&A form, by R-FH Retro at the same time with the same deadline for responses.

Click here for Bob Gasperini’s published interview.

Click here for Sonja Trombino’s published interview.

*The Republican candidates neglected to respond to several requests.*

Here’s a link to their Koch & Cole for Fair Haven Council social media page with bios.

We wish all the candidates the best of luck and thank them for supporting
R-FH Retro; but, in the interest of total equity, do wish we had answered questionnaires published for all.

Side note: Local candidates are particularly important. This is why we feel answers to the Q&A are so critical to making an informed voter choice. They offer the opportunity annually for candidates to answer our locally-focused, detailed questions. The answers offer a look into the candidates’ minds, issues not otherwise touched upon in basic campaign talk and how they may operate as a public official.

It’s a valuable opportunity for both candidates and voters. Lack of response happens very rarely, if ever. In the interest of ultimate fairness equal representation — not to mention offering more time than in a standard interview to answer questions in a more thought-out manner — we have gone with candidate questionnaires in the past several years. In the yesteryear of journalism, candidates got three chances to respond for their interview at the reporter’s discretion, with deadlines set by editors. All deadlines were always met.

So, before you go to the polls, if you haven’t already, give the interviews another look. Those who answered did so in a well thought-out manner. And check the social media pages of both sides, keeping in mind that they are obviously promotional, for a glimpse into what they’ve been up to leading up to today. Informed and equipped is the only way to vote, especially in the local arena.

There’s been a lot of talk around the towns about people voting a straight Democrat or Republican ticket without reflection on issues, only party. Here’s a reminder: Party affiliation in local politics has little relevance on the governing body dais. And, officials of opposite party affiliation have been known to vote alike in many cases on ordinances and resolutions. Voting split tickets is always an option.

Take a look back, also, on last week’s Tidbits to get a better understanding of the form of government Fair Haven operates under, how it works and who has what power.

The election results will be posted when they come in tonight.

Happy voting and enjoy the Halloween leftover candy and decor! I’ll see you around the towns!

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management