Fri, Dec

Madeline McManus Running for Hopatcong Mayor – In-depth Interview

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As we get ready to vote on November 7th, the following in-depth interview conducted by Hopatcong Lake Regional News will provide you with the necessary information to vote on the Mayor’s position.

Also read the article on Michael Francis running for Mayor

Overview of Madeline McManus: 

Political Party:


Years within Hopatcong:



Mother of five children who graduated from Hopatcong school and graduated from Columbia University, Pittsburgh University, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Montclair University. One son was also in the Marines for four years. I have children and grandchildren residing in Hopatcong.


Education: B.A. in history and political science from Hunter College, N.Y.; M.S. in leadership from Bank Street College; municipal government certificate from Rutgers University


Hopatcong teacher for over 40 years (Semi-Retired), still substitutes

Political Experience:

  • New Jersey Business Industry Science Education Consortium
  • Member of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Hopatcong
  • Hopatcong Council (three Terms)
  • Liaison Police and Fireman
  • Park Commission


In-depth Interview Questions:

Q: What do you love the most about Hopatcong?

The people within the community who are always supporting each other in cases of an emergency or hardship. This outgoing support surprised me when I moved here from New York over 40 years ago, as I wasn’t used to people just reaching out to each other to see what they could do to help.

I’m proud to be a member of a community that helps other people in time of need.

Q: How have you seen Hopatcong Change?

People that have lived here for years and years are leaving the community because the taxes are too high, or they don’t need the big house that they needed before. We now have younger families moving into the community, as the home are affordable, and they want to be a member of a lake community.

I’ve also seen how the implementation of the sewers that helped promote new businesses, which would not have happened under the old requirements for septic systems.

Q: What Business Experience can leverage towards being the Mayor?

I’m a hard worker, fearless and a good communicator.

One of the biggest things about being the Mayor is communications, where I can leverage my skills gained as a teacher in openly communicating in both the classroom and the overall school system to my new job as mayor.

I’m also fearless in presenting my point of view to the public; I will try to give the public all of the facts surrounding an issue, so that educated decisions are made with full transparency.

I’m not afraid to listen to all points of view with an open mind, and I’m not afraid to change my mind if necessary. Every point of view is important; we need to hear other points of view before we make decisions on something that could affect the entire community.

I have an open-door policy, and I encourage members of the community to approach myself or the council to express their point of view. Also, under my administration, I’m seeking to have the meetings televised, which means that your expressed point of view can reach the entire community. If I accomplish this, I’ve accomplished one of my major objectives in letting people have a voice that will be respected by the mayor and the council.

Q: What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: My ability to communicate with the public, and that I seek information on the subject in question to present to the public. I’m also reflective, as I always reflect on an issue before making a decision.

I’m also compassionate, which means that I can understand when someone doesn’t have the money to fix up their lawn or take their car off the road. We are in a community where some people don’t have money, so if we as a community and borough can help them, I’m all for it.

Weaknesses: The fact that I need the time to research each issue thoroughly before coming to a decision. I’m not going to give anyone an instant answer before getting all of the facts. I understand the requirement to act quickly in cases of an emergency, which I’m able to do, but other matters need to be researched thoroughly before a decision is made.

Q: What are your top Initiatives for the Borough and how will you achieve them?

  • Communications: Getting everything televised, and installing more electronic signs so that all areas of the community are informed, not just the center of town.
  • Eminent Domain: I don’t believe in eminent domain unless it’s a state of emergency, or the property is needed for something like a school. I think that the people who own their property will give it up if you want the land bad enough and you offer them the right price.
  • Wall by Hudson Maxim School: This wall was constructed back when I was on the council as a temporary fix, now years later the wall is there, which makes the school look like a police state. So it’s time to take the wall down.
  • Advertising our Community: I believe that we need to do more in advertising our community, and working with the business people to help them advertising to the community.

Support for our School System: We also need to support our school system, as it’s the school system that will help keep people within Hopatcong. You cannot divorce yourself from the school system, so we as a community need to work with the school system. I think we need more police communications within the school (like the DARE program), to help educate the students on the issues of smoking, drinking, and drugs.

Q: Fast Forward 2 to 4 years, what does the Borough look like now?

The Borough will now have Senior Citizen housing, I’m not talking about a big development, but rather small pockets of developments that would house around 8 senior citizens. We need to take care of these citizens as they have lived here all of their life, and they don’t want to leave the community.

The connector road by the high school has been beatified after so many years of neglect, this is an important way into town, and we want people traveling into Hopatcong to have a positive experience. I’d like to see businesses adopt areas of the town, where they would be given little signs that indicate who is taking care of this area.

We are now working more closely with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation to help communicate and support their different activities that support the lake and our overall community.

We are providing more support for our businesses, as they are an important part of our economy. I love small businesses, and I believe the borough should help these businesses with everything from parking, to possible advertisements on the system that televises the council meetings. 

 Q: Why should residents of Hopatcong Borough vote for you?

The residents of Hopatcong should vote for me because they know that I’ll fight for them and that I’ll research and provide all of the information before we vote on any issue. I will not take a position that would benefit me in any way shape or form.

The residents know me from my years of teaching in Hopatcong, and they trust me to always do the right thing.

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