Madison Democratic Committee (MDC) co-chairs, Alix Jennings and Christine Preston, announced that “following a call for all interested Democrats to participate in our extensive vetting process, MDC district representatives and elected officials voted to endorse Mayor Bob Conley of Brittin Street, Councilmember Bob Landrigan of Kings Road and fifth generation Madison resident and long-time volunteer John Forte of Academy Road for the Democratic nomination for the Madison Borough Council.”
The mayor position and two seats on the council are up for election on November 7, 2023. With the MDC endorsement, Mr. Conley, Mr. Landrigan, and Mr. Forte will appear on the Morris County Democratic Committee, Inc. line on the June 6th Primary ballot.
Bob Conley is running for his fourth term as mayor, having also served two terms as a Council member. Bob Landrigan is running for a second consecutive term on the council, having served twice in the past. A win in November would be Mr. Forte’s first election to a council seat.
“Two-time Councilmember John Hoover will not be seeking a third term and John Forte will be running for the seat he is vacating,” stated Ms. Preston. “John Hoover has served Madison admirably, beyond even his important work on the Council, through countless volunteer positions across many groups. We thank John for his six years of dedicated service on the council.”
In announcing his retirement, Councilmember Hoover said: “I have been honored to serve the Madison community for so many years and hope I have made a positive impact across my various liaison roles and through my other work, particularly as a former President of the Board of Health, with the Tri-Town 55+ Coalition, and as a member of MAASA.”
Hoover continued, “It has been a pleasure to serve on the Council with so many other dedicated public servants and I am proud of our record of achievement. I especially would like to thank the exemplary Borough employees for their hard work and commitment to Madison and the hundreds of volunteers who together use their time and talents to make Madison the vibrant and thriving community it is.”
Bob Conley has once again heeded the call to serve the town he loves and to continue to improve on his impressive record of accomplishments. Conley has been at the helm through both challenging and exciting times, providing leadership throughout and prioritizing listening to and representing all Madison residents.
Though his involvement with the League of Municipalities and the NJ Conference of Mayors, Conley has cultivated respect and admiration for Madison from surrounding towns and across the state.
His record of achievements is considerable, including guiding Madison through the development of a new Master Plan that provides a forward-looking roadmap for Madison’s future, ensuring Madison meets our affordable housing obligations, supporting Madison residents and businesses during the height of the pandemic with the COVID-19 Crisis Toolkit, prioritizing fiscally sound budgeting, and navigating the challenges and vast opportunities to position Madison as a leader in climate change action at the municipal level.
Mayor Conley stated: “While I am proud of my accomplishments in my three terms as Mayor, I still get up every day energized about what opportunities exist for making Madison even better. Right now, it’s vital that we work together to save the Drew Forest, which will draw upon my experience in bringing all parties to the table. We must continue to work to preserve our historic buildings and open spaces, and we have to face the challenging economic factors that make controlling taxes while maintaining services our residents expect difficult. I am confident that I have the skills, experience, and passion to lead Madison forward to an even brighter future.”
Conley has served as chairman of the Chatham Joint Meeting Finance Committee and was founding chair of the Shared Services Committee with the Board of Education and the Traffic Calming Committee. Bob Conley is a past chairman of the Madison Recreation Committee and was a member of the Open Space and Recreation & Historic Preservation Advisory Committees.
Bob Landrigan is completing his third three-year term on the Madison Borough Council — one as an elected Republican and. two as a Democrat. His most recent term started in unprecedented times for which he was uniquely qualified. As the COVID pandemic continued to stress Borough resources and required a deft hand to navigate, Mr. Landrigan was able to draw on his vast experience. He is in his 26th year as a volunteer for Madison Volunteer Ambulance Corps, was the Coordinator of the Madison Office of Emergency Management through Hurricane Irene, the October Snowstorm and Hurricane Sandy, and has served as an Auxiliary Police Officer. Prior to serving on the council, he was a past president of the Madison Board of Health and a member of the Downtown Development Commission (DDC).
As a council member, he led efforts to renovate the Bayley Ellard fields from an unused grass area to a natural grass sport facility with parking and stands. Following significant fires in town, he worked with the Borough Administration to develop a process where displaced residents could find housing and obtain lost personal records.
Councilmember Landrigan observed: “I have always believed that one must contribute to preserve something they value. This core belief is why I have been honored to serve on Council and why I am asking residents to allow me to serve again. To sit by and hope things work out is not an option for me. I am proud of the work I have done on Council and as a volunteer, and hope to continue with another term.”
Bob Landrigan is a Senior Real Estate Tax Analyst in a major New York tax appeal firm and recognizes the challenges in property values and taxes faced by homeowners, corporations and the Borough.
Landrigan’s running mate, John Forte, is a fifth generation resident of Madison who first heard the call to serve when he was a student at Madison High School and participated in a program called “Youth in Government” where students were selected to attend Council meetings and participate by providing input to the governing body from the perspective of the students. “This is where I first became interested in local government. Having been a community volunteer for almost 20 years, I’ve found it rewarding and I’ve been proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish by working together with others to benefit Madison,” he stated.
Forte has served on the Madison Downtown Development Commission, and the Madison Historic Preservation Commission for 19 years and the Madison Planning Board for 15 years, where he currently serves as Vice Chairman. He has been a trustee of the Hartley Dodge Foundation since 2020, where he serves on the Finance Committee and as Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee, leading efforts to make capital improvements to the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building.
Professionally, Forte is the Chief Underwriting and Operating Officer of an insurance company that focuses solely on providing liability insurance to U.S. domiciled governmental entities. He has been directly involved in insuring public entities for fifteen years and in analyzing their risks and evaluating their budgets, gaining insights into what makes a well-run governmental organization.
The candidates concluded: “This is an exciting time to be a part of shaping the future of Madison. We face some extraordinary challenges to protect our environmental and historic assets and to operate with fiscal pressures that make balancing a budget, while maintaining a high level of service. We feel strongly that our collective experiences, both professionally and from our decades of volunteer work, makes us uniquely suited to meet these challenges. Madison prides itself on being a well-run municipality that is the envy of our neighbors, and we intend to build on that and continue to make Madison the most desirable place to live, raise a family, and own a business.”
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