Mooney, McElwee vie for 1-year seat on Township Council

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Jim McElwee John Mooney

GALLOWAY – Two candidates are running for the final year of the unexpired Township Council term of Dennis Kleiner, who resigned when he moved to Egg Harbor Township in June.

Township Council twice failed to name a successor for Kleiner, a Republican, from three nominees. His party’s Atlantic County Committee members then selected former Atlantic City Police Chief John J. Mooney III to fill the seat until the general election in November.

Mooney is seeking election to the seat. He is being opposed by Democrat Jim McElwee, who unsuccessfully ran for council in 2011.

Both candidates provided biographical information and answered questions posed by The Current.

Jim McElwee, Democrat

McElwee was born in Pennsylvania and moved to New Jersey at the age of 16. He is a graduate of Lakewood High School and the Ocean County Vo-Tech Institute. He and his wife, Kerry, have lived in Galloway for 15 years and have five adult children and three grandchildren.

McElwee is a supervisor for the South Jersey Transportation Authority at Atlantic City International Airport, where he is responsible for all transportation services including parking and shuttle services. He leads a team of 40 employees.

He said he is an active member of the community who regularly attends council meetings “to observe firsthand the way business is conducted by the council and to listen to the issues presented by the residents.” 

Since February 2012, he has served as a member of the Superintendent's Advisory Team advocating for quality education for the children of Galloway. In January 2012 Mayor Don Purdy appointed him to serve on the township Zoning Board, which he said has afforded him the opportunity to not only observe the process but also be part of the decision-making in regard to zoning.

McElwee said he is a regular attendee at community functions, and that affords him the opportunity to speak with fellow residents in informal settings and to learn the things that are on the minds of other people who live in Galloway: their needs, wants and desires for themselves and their families.  

McElwee said that in order for Galloway to be the best community it can be, two things are crucial going forward: ensuring that spending by the township is carefully managed, and bringing new business and the resultant ratables and jobs to the community. 

Asked by The Current what would most likely happen in Galloway that wouldn’t happen if he wasn’t on council, he replied, “I would work with members of council to aggressively market Galloway Township to businesses big and small to bring quality jobs and increase our tax base. I also would work to have a more open and transparent municipality by posting public documents online to provide the residents with more access and eliminating the need for so many costly (Open Public Records Act) requests.”

John J. Mooney III, Republican

Mooney was sworn in Aug. 2, 2012 to fill Kleiner’s unexpired term.

He is a 24-year resident of Galloway, where he and his wife, Bernadette, raised their two children, Erin and John IV (Buddy).

Mooney volunteered as a soccer coach with GTAA and Atlantic United, and assisted with the PAL basketball program and both the Atlantic City Sharks and St. Augustine Preparatory School ice hockey programs.

He and his family are parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church, where he taught Continuing Christian Development and is a lector.

He is a member and past president of the Galloway Township Republican League, and a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, which named him its 2011 man of the year. He has been chosen to be grand marshal of the 2013 Atlantic City St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Mooney retired in May 2010 from the Atlantic City Police Department after more than 34 years of service. He was chief of police for five years. He said he has received many valor awards and citations during his years in law enforcement, and served as past president of both PBA Local 24 and the A.C. Police Superior Officers Association.

Mooney attended Villanova University before his police career, and is a New Jersey-certified public manager. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.; the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar at Quantico; and West Point Command and Leadership Program sponsored by the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police. He is certified in the Department of Homeland Security’s ICS-400 (Incident Command System), a template for government and private-sector cooperation in preventing or responding to emergency situations.

Asked what would most likely happen in Galloway that wouldn’t happen without him on council, Mooney said, “I bring to Galloway Township proven ability to manage crises; was responsible for budget development for nearly 500 employees; securing grants from both the state and federal governments; handling legal and personnel issues; and the ability to network to find solutions. I have a unique understanding of the issues facing Galloway in the near term; listening ability; good temperament and negotiating skills required to reach consensus on the initiatives that will be required to maintain public safety and vital services in our community.”

Mooney said the community faces a challenging future.

“I will be a stabilizing factor on the Township Council,” he said. “Our citizens, taxpayers and most importantly, our children, deserve our best efforts to ensure Galloway Township will 


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