HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — The township’s Republicans snubbed first-term Republican Committeewoman Aline Dix this week, agreeing to endorse John Kurtz, the president of the Mays Landing Merchants Association, for Township Committee.
Amy Gatto, the chairwoman of the Hamilton Township Republican Organization, said Kurtz was the only person the organization’s nominating committee interviewed. Gatto said Dix wished to be considered but declined an interview.
The development was first reported on the "Hurley in the Morning" radio talk show Wednesday on WPG 1450-AM.
Gatto, a township committeewoman and former mayor, said Kurtz was motivated and involved, wanted to promote business and “comes to the table with a lot of really great ideas.”
Kurtz, 64, who said he has served 12 years on the township Planning Board, said he wants the township to not spend more than it takes in and continue with the types of public events the Merchants Association sponsors.
“I think I can help out a lot on the committee with those things,” Kurtz said, adding the Merchants Association is in touch with the pulse of the community. He also praised the current board for getting through a budget deficit.
Dix, 67, was a vocal presence for years at committee meetings prior to her 2011 election and spent more than 25 years on the board of the township’s Municipal Utilities Authority. She said she expected the snub.
She wasn’t the party’s choice in 2011, she said, but won the primary and general election. She also heard criticism that she was not a team player but pointed to reorganization meetings when she supported appointments favored by fellow Republican committee members Gatto and Mayor Roger Silva.
“So obviously I was a team player then,” Dix said. “I was a team player putting the different people on the board on 3-2 votes.”
Dix said she opposed proposals to grant raises and make new hires out of concern for local taxes.
“It’s clearly up to the voters to decide,” Dix said. “It’s America: Everybody has the right to run.”
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