2 Gop Incumbents Face A Battle In Moorestown Mayor Howard Miller And Councilman Mike Nichols Will Fight For Their Seats In The June 2 Primary.

Posted: April 26, 1998

MOORESTOWN — Two Republicans will challenge fellow party members Mayor Howard Miller and Councilman Mike Nichols in the June 2 primary for the Township Council.

Bob Dannheim, director of marketing for a Mount Laurel computer firm, and Richard Kraemer, a Center City trial lawyer, regularly attend Township Council meetings, at which they offer public comment on everything from budget printing mistakes to hiring lawyers with conflicts of interest.

The winners of the primary will face Democrats Jonathan Eron, a lawyer, and Don McNeely, a teacher at Temple University, in the November election to join the five-member council.

Dannheim and Kraemer support paying other municipalities to build or restore affordable housing to help Moorestown meet its affordable-housing obligation. The council is reviewing this change in the township's long-held policy toward providing affordable housing within its borders.

Dannheim said last week that he and Kraemer would stress the preservation of open spaces, longer-term financial planning, and establishing a senior citizen advisory committee.

``In terms of fiscal planning and responsibility, the day is coming when we need three- and five-year planning horizons to fund major initiatives,'' said Dannheim, a member of the local GOP committee and of the Planning Board.

On open space, ``We're starting to close out the available land,'' Dannheim said. ``We need to update the master plan and make a conscious decision about what we want Moorestown to look like'' in the next century.

And creating a senior citizen advisory committee, Dannheim said, is needed because seniors are a ``growing part of our constituency.'' A related issue is the creation of a professional, rather than volunteer, emergency medical service for the township, he said.

Miller responded that the township's finances could not be in better shape. He cited the AAA bond rating as proof. The council adopted a $14.3 million municipal budget in March.

``We've had three successive years of tax decreases, and anything that goes into any plan has to be meaningful,'' Miller said. ``We do excellent financial planning.''

Criticism that the township does not have enough surplus is unfounded, Miller said. For Moorestown, $6.2 million is plenty.

``To me, they're stretching for some kind of issue,'' Miller said.

Miller cited two new soccer fields, two new baseball fields, improved drainage, and street construction as other accomplishments of his administration.

One area Dannheim said should be watched closely is the commercial stretch of Main Street. For instance, Eckenhoff Buick, a longtime dealership on Main Street, will be moving to a bigger lot in Cherry Hill this June.

``We're very interested in the progress that other communities have made in restoring the center of town,'' he said. ``The town needs vision.''

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