NJ Pen Haddonfield Municipal Election Guide: Meet the Candidates 2021


On Tuesday, May 11, Haddonfield voters will choose from among eight candidates for three spots on its municipal government. We invited each of them to tell the electorate a little about themselves ahead of the polling.

By Matt Skoufalos | May 10, 2021

On May 11, Haddonfield voters will head to the polls to elect three members of its borough municipal government for the next four years.

The field includes six challengers and two incumbents, each of whom is running individually.

We’ve invited the candidates to tell voters a little about themselves by responding to a handful of prompts below. Answers have been edited for clarity and length.

In addition to candidates Colleen Bianco Bezich, Jeff Kasko, Adam Puff, Kevin Roche, and Frank Troy, also appearing on the ballot Tuesday are Kathryn Raiczyk, Mark Rusc, and Daniel Zhang.

Raiczyk, Rusc, and Zhang were invited to respond to the same prompts below, but did not reply to repeated requests for information.

Colleen Bianco Bezich. Credit: Colleen Bianco Bezich.

Colleen Bianco Bezich (Incumbent)

Colleen Bianco Bezich is a six-year Haddonfield resident and married mother to a school-aged child in the borough.

A local government attorney of 11 years, she holds a juris doctorate as well as a master’s degree in public administration.

Bianco Bezich was first elected to the borough municipal government in 2019 to fulfill the unexpired term of former Commissioner John Moscatelli, who moved out of state.

She is only the second woman to hold a borough commission seat in Haddonfield history.

Although her service as a Haddonfield commissioner represents only the first time Bianco Bezich has held an elected office, she has 20 years of local government experience, from community relations to economic development, grant writing, and project management.

In addition to providing pro bono legal counsel through Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Bianco Bezich also has served on the Haddonfield Zoning Board and Celebrations Association, and is a member of the Haddonfield Lions Club. Her hobbies include reading, travel, and fitness.

What is your philosophy of government?

I believe government—especially local government—should create value for and improve the quality of life of its constituents. That may be achieved in a number of ways, such as making residents and visitors feel safe and welcome within the community, or by providing the more mundane services (trash pick-up, road repairs) regularly, and without exorbitant costs or interruptions in service.

Why would you like to serve on the borough commission?

I love our borough, and believe in giving back. I have always been someone who enjoys developing and implementing public policy. Since I have a master’s degree in public administration and practice local government law, the Board of Commissioners is a natural fit for me.

I genuinely enjoy working in local government, because you impact people’s lives on a daily basis. I’ve volunteered in various capacities since childhood, and when the opportunity presented itself in 2019, I thought it was the perfect call to action for me, personally, to be come an elected leader.

What are the biggest challenges your town faces?

The single most pressing issue facing our Board of Commissioners is how we engage professionals (attorneys, engineers, planners, et al.), so as to best represent the interests of the borough and to act on behalf of taxpayers in matters requiring technical expertise.

No single commissioner can be an expert in every area of local government function or policy. As such, we need to rely on trusted professionals to assist with planning, policy development, and negotiations, among other things.

Why is this so important? Because this issue touches every single thing we as commissioners do, from affordable housing and redevelopment (i.e., Bancroft), to financing infrastructure, leasing public lands, and developing long-range plans for our downtown and recreational facilities.

What do I intend to do about it? In 17 months, I have already held firm in my commitment to
employing a fair and open process for professional appointments, and I will maintain this position going forward.

I will continue to advocate for hiring experts in accordance with the local public contracts law, and holding them accountable once contracted. I believe we should develop an annual cycle for appointments (in some cases there may be lawful, multi-year appointments), and continuously review performance, requiring regular reporting from these professionals in open public meetings, so as to further commit to transparency.

What are its biggest strengths?

Haddonfield’s biggest strengths include our residents, our rich history, vibrant downtown, and proximity to large metropolitan areas, such as Philadelphia and New York. I mention our residents first and foremost, because so many of our neighbors give back as volunteers, sharing their time, talents, and treasure within and beyond our borough.

What are three key issues on which you’d like to focus if elected?

I’d like to continue focusing on affordable housing, public safety initiatives, and streamline sections of borough code, such as the fee ordinances and parking ordinance, to cut costs and directly address constituent concerns that have been brought to me in recent months.

Jeff Kasko. Credit: Jeff Kasko.

Jeff Kasko (Incumbent)

Jeff Kasko is a Certificate of Need and Licensing Division Analyst with the New Jersey Department of Health who holds a master’s degree in public administration and is a father of five Haddonfield public schoolchildren.

A 20-year Haddonfield resident, Kasko has served three prior terms on the borough government, and is a former mayor of the municipality.

He’s volunteered with the Haddonfield Lions Club, Little League, Civic Association, and district PTAs, as well as with the Christ the King Church youth basketball program, and Good Counsel Homes of Riverside.

In addition to supporting his children’s athletic pursuits, Kasko’s interests include the outdoors, live music, and travel.

What is your philosophy of government?

I believe government at all levels should serve the people, not the other way around. Those of us elected to governing bodies should honor our oaths to the U.S. and N.J. Constitutions, and to the rule of law: Government of, by, and for the people.

At the municipal level, my general approach and philosophy is to represent the interests of residents and taxpayers, not to impose my personal will on others; and to seek common ground, make informed decisions, and compromise when necessary to get things done.

Why would you like to serve on the borough commission?

I would like to serve one more term on the board to finish and implement some of the important work we have done on infrastructure, finance, stormwater management, affordable housing, and the Bancroft redevelopment plan, among other things.

What are the biggest challenges your town faces?

Our biggest challenges are:

  • providing essential services while controlling property taxes
  • developing workable solutions for problems like stormwater run-off, diseased trees, and preservation of older housing stock and neighborhoods
  • forming consensus in an increasingly partisan, negative, polarized environment


What are its biggest strengths?

Haddonfield’s biggest strengths are:

  • robust resident involvement and volunteerism
  • quality public schools
  • responsible fiscal management and bond rating
  • a great downtown
  • safe neighborhoods
  • stable property values


What are three key issues on which you’d like to focus if elected?

My top three key issues are: implementation of the Bancroft redevelopment and affordable housing plans, controlling property taxes, and updating the town’s Master Plan.

Adam Puff. Credit: Adam Puff.

Adam Puff (Challenger)

Adam Puff is a 39-year Haddonfield resident, an independent financial advisor and accredited investment fiduciary, and a married father of three.

Puff is a local volunteer with the Haddonfield Area Lions Club, chairs the Haddonfied Educational Trust, is a trustee with the Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust, and serves as a board member on the Partnership for Haddonfield, the management corporation for the borough business district.

What is your philosophy of government?

Governments exist to facilitate the common good; to help people do what they can’t do for themselves.

A government must deliver the programs and services at the quality level the community desires, efficiently, economically, transparently, and accountably.

Haddonfield is blessed to have nonpartisan elections and a nonpartisan form of government. Political parties have no valid role in local government. Local government is about savvy decision-making and efficient management. As former Mayor Tish Colombi once famously said, “Republicans don’t pick up trash any better than Democrats do.”

Why would you like to serve on the borough commission?

I’ve lived in Haddonfield since the day I was born. I attended the public schools, played Little League, played saxophone in the Middle School band, acted at Plays & Players, swam with the Wedgewood Ducks, joined a church youth group, played soccer at the High School, and graduated with the Class of 2000.

The fact that Haddonfield is intertwined with my DNA gives me unique insight among all the candidates as to what this town is, what it wants and needs, and how to keep it moving forward.

I majored in economics at Bucknell, and after college I did what so many others have done: I returned to Haddonfield to raise a family and start a business. I’m a financial advisor. I own a business in town, and I teach a class on personal finance at Haddonfield Memorial High School.

Last year, I purchased and renovated a small office building, so I pay both residential and commercial property taxes and a business district levy. My wife and I have three children under the age of five. We’re invested in this town!

I’m active with the Lions Club, chair the Haddonfield Educational Trust, and I serve on the boards of the Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust and the Partnership for Haddonfield. I’m running for commissioner so I can give back to the community that has given so much to me and my family.

What are the biggest challenges your town faces?

The obvious hot-button issue is Bancroft, and that absolutely needs to get resolved. But the top priority, in my view, is the vitality of our downtown. Why? Because it’s absolutely true that “as the downtown goes, so the whole town goes.”

It’s imperative that we make it easier for businesses to open up here and to operate here. We can do that in a variety of ways:

  • By revitalizing our business recruitment activities.
  • By developing a comprehensive orientation program for new business owners, especially one that helps them avoid making incorrect assumptions about what they can and can’t do with respect to signage, outdoor displays of merchandise, hours of operation, decorative lights, etc.
  • By assigning seasoned and savvy mentors to new business owners.
  • By developing innovative and effective ways to help existing businesses owners recover from pandemic-related setbacks, so they will not just survive, but thrive.
  • By treating business owners as the borough’s customers, providing them with a superior level of customer service, and by showing them, in thought, word, and deed, that they are supported and valued members of our community.


We need to energize the Partnership for Haddonfield and turn it into a proactive force for progress, rather than a reactive naysayer. “Yes!” will be the new “No.”

A first step would be to hire an experienced full-time director and to give that person the executive authority to make decisions and spend money, within the context of policies and procedures established by the board, and without the need for time-consuming and momentum-killing committee approvals.

We need to provide public restrooms downtown that are convenient, accessible, open seven days a week during normal business hours, and are spotlessly maintained. Haddonfield spends a lot of money encouraging shoppers to come to our downtown. The least we can do is give them a place to “go.”

We need to improve trash collection downtown. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are now the busiest shopping days. As a result, trash receptacles are often overflowing by Saturday afternoon, but they don’t get emptied until Monday morning. Open-top trash receptacles in the business district need to be emptied seven days a week!

Our sidewalks need to be cleaner and free from litter. We should purchase a sidewalk sweeper, and put it to work throughout the downtown every morning.

These things will cost money, but it will be money well spent. The investment will pay dividends to our businesses, and to our community, for years to come.

What are its biggest strengths?

  • Location, accessibility, setting, and physical charm
  • History and reputation (especially of the downtown and the schools)
  • Nonpartisan elections and government
  • Community organizations and our spirit of volunteerism


What are three key issues on which you’d like to focus if elected?

Downtown (see above).

Communication and Transparency: If elected, I will want the first item on the first agenda to be a resolution to mandate the recording of public meetings.

Borough communications are uncoordinated, inadequate, and often amateurish. The borough should hire a part-time communications specialist, like the school district has, to handle this work professionally. Communication is too important to be an afterthought. For me, this is a top priority.

The borough can engage the community by inviting residents who have special expertise in all sorts of areas to participate in task forces on key topics. This is an untapped, free resource.

As a commissioner, I’ll start by finding out why so many minutes of commissioner work sessions have not yet been approved and posted on the borough website. For the year 2020, nine of 16 minutes are missing. For 2018, eight of 17 minutes are missing. That won’t happen on my watch.

Bancroft: Recently, a Superior Court judge ordered the commissioners to re-do their February 2019 adoption of amendments to the Bancroft Redevelopment Plan, to record the meeting, and to provide her with a transcript. She also ordered that until she reviews the transcript, the amended plan is suspended.

Right now, the Bancroft redevelopment is on hold by court order. Until the judge rules on the matter, all discussions about Bancroft and visions for the site are academic. The reality of Bancroft right now is “wait and see.”

Kevin Roche. Credit: Kevin Roche.

Kevin Roche (Challenger)

Kevin Roche is an eight-year Haddonfield resident and married father of two who holds a master’s degree in business administration.

Roche is the founder and CEO of LHT Consultants, an investment advisory firm.

He has more than 25 years of experience in analysis, portfolio management, and strategic advisory, and teaches finance at Drexel University.

Locally, Roche has volunteered with the Haddonfield Youth Basketball Association and served on the board of the Haddonfield Memorial High School crew.

What is your philosophy of government?

Government needs to be transparent, inclusive, and forward-thinking. This means there should be a well-defined and documented process regarding decisions, and these decisions should positively impact the community as a whole today as well as in the future.

Why would you like to serve on the borough commission?

I believe if you want to make change, you need to be a part of the solution. I am a husband, a father, a business owner, and a professor. We moved to town when our kids were in middle school, and it has been one of my greatest experiences watching them grow up in an environment such as Haddonfield.

I am running for commissioner because the decisions we make today will have an effect on Haddonfield for generations to come. It is important that we have elected officials who can identify opportunities and understand the risks associated with new initiatives and proposals. It is time to approach these issues with a fresh perspective.

My 20-plus years of experience in strategic analysis and portfolio management uniquely qualifies me to approach Haddonfield’s future with a critical eye, helping make smart decisions that will reduce financial risk for the town and yet reward its residents.

What are the biggest challenges your town faces?

Haddonfield has a number of issues it is facing in this decade. The decision on the development of Bancroft will change the landscape of the community. The lack of transparency during this process has led to delays and lawsuits with nothing being accomplished.

Affordable housing is also a significant concern for our town. Haddonfield has begun working towards meeting its obligation, but we still have a long way to go.

Finally, a number of infrastructure and capital improvements need to be completed. The costs associated with these are significant; deferring maintenance is a short-sighted solution. Rather, it is important to address the issues now so costs don’t continue to rise in the future.

What are its biggest strengths?

Haddonfield’s greatest asset is its residents. There are so many individuals who are willing to offer support when asked. Whether it is youth sports, the arts, or the numerous nonprofit organizations that benefit the town, people are willing to help. It is great to be part of this community.

Haddonfield also has one of the best school systems in New Jersey and a vibrant downtown. With a number of shops, restaurants and a new brewery, visitors as well as residents can enjoy all that Haddonfield has to offer.

What are three key issues on which you’d like to focus if elected?

My focus, if elected, would be to find resolutions to the Bancroft and Snowden projects, find ways to improve our open spaces and fields, and develop alternative revenue sources that will benefit the downtown and community.

The traditional way of accomplishing these initiatives should be re-examined with the focus on acknowledging Haddonfield’s past but working on its future. Providing solutions with ways to fund them will benefit the community today and future generations.

Frank Troy. Credit: Frank Troy.

Frank Troy (Challenger)

Frank Troy is a six-year Haddonfield resident and a married father as well as the vice-president and general manager for IT service management company Albireo Energy.

Troy holds a master’s degree in business administration and is a retired U.S. Naval officer.

He serves on the board of directors of Green Building United, a Philadelphia-based green infrastructure advocacy group.

Troy is an avid surfer and golfer whose charitable interests include the Gary Sinise Foundation, Cathedral Kitchen, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

What is your philosophy of government?

Henry David Thoreau stated, “That government is best which governs the least.” Smaller governments should act as a facilitator of the best practices, talents, and ideas of those willing to contribute.

Government should define the rules, make them easy to understand, and do its best to step out of the way.

Why would you like to serve on the borough commission?

I have always felt it is important to give back. The reason I am running for commissioner is the same
reason I became a U.S. Naval Officer in 1995: I love our borough the same way I love our country. I also have a unique skill set that can be applied to directly address complex problems within Haddonfield.

What are the biggest challenges your town faces?

The biggest challenges are communication and inability to move forward with major issues. I think the former contributes to the latter.

Leadership starts with setting a vision, creating metrics, and managing a process from start to finish in easy to understand terms. This seems to be missing today, but my natural “bias for action” will resolve this going forward.

What are its biggest strengths?

Our borough contains intelligent, generous people who will devote time, talent, and treasure to make it a better place to live. As commissioner, I would appeal to my long-term friendships and new network of friends I’ve met through this process to get involved. I am sure each will come forward and be a part of the positive improvement.

As I’ve repeated countless times on the campaign trail, you don’t need to be bad to be better.

What are three key issues on which you’d like to focus if elected?

Final resolution to Bancroft, enhancement of active and passive open space, and a strategy for a vibrant downtown in a post COVID-19 world.

Voter Information

Scroll down for links to your local sample ballot and a list of polling places, which are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11. After you vote, come back and check with NJ Pen for the results as they come in.

Local Polling Place Finder

Here’s a list of local polling places within Haddonfield.

Don’t know where to vote? Here’s how to find your polling place by address.

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