Hammonton Town Council Debates

Hammonton Town Council Debates

This article was originally published online on October 19, 2014 by The Atlantic City Press.

The Hammonton Town Council debate between seven candidates from three political parties took place on October 19, 2014 in the Town Hall, and was moderated by Daniel Douglas, director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University.

All seven Republican, Democrat and independent party Hammonton First candidates agreed to debate. The last time local candidates debated was 2008, and it’s been even longer since all three parties participated.

Running for three, two-year seats on Town Council are:

- Hammonton United Republican Club candidates Steve Furgione, who owns TLC Landscape Co. in Williamstown and lost his seat on council last November by 25 votes after serving one term; and Mike Torrissi, senior vice president at Coraluzzo Torrissi Transport in Vineland, a councilman from 2011 to 2012; and Regular Republican Club candidate Sal Mazza, a retired cook, caterer and Whitehall Laboratories worker who served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969.

- Democrat Rock Colasurdo, owner of Frog Rock Country Club and Kerri Brooke Caterers, who was a co-founder of the independent Hammonton First. Colasurdo served on council in the 1980s as a Republican and from 2006 to 2007 as a Hammonton First member, but had a falling out with the independent party.

- Hammonton First incumbents Sam Rodio, owner of Sam Rodio Produce LLC, first elected to council in 2008 and the founding president of Hammonton First; Paul Esposito, a senior vice president and chief risk officer of Ocean City Home Bank first elected in 2010; and Dan Bachalis, a retired acting director of the Office of Housing, Policy, Planning, and Evaluation with the state Department of Human Services, first elected in 2012.

Five of six council members and Mayor Steve DiDonato are Hammonton First members. Councilman Mickey Pullia is a Republican.