"Good government," he said last week. "That's the man thing. It's the only thing."
Troyer, a very vocal critic of the administration of Mayor Dennis Elwell, and a member of the city's Board of Education, said he will file to run as an Independent candidate Monday.
The election for three out of Secaucus' six ward council seats will be held in November. There is going to be a primary in June for any seats that are contested within a political party, but Troyer, because he is an Independent, will not have to worry about that.
So far, he will only be facing 2nd Ward Democrat Robert Kickey in November. The 2nd Ward is the North End of town.
Troyer said last week that after he published an open letter to the Reporter stating that he was considering a run for council, he received 97 phone calls from residents expressing their support.
As a result, Troyer obtained 60 signatures on a petition to get on the ballot, 19 more than were required to get on.
Troyer, 73, sees his candidacy as a call to arms against the administration of Mayor Dennis Elwell.
"I was hoping that the announcement of my running would cause other people to get involved," he said. "I really think that [Public Works supervisor and Elwell foe] Mike Gonnelli should be running to begin with. I think that he should run for mayor and he should run with a ticket. But it's like the tail wagging the dog. I can't wait for him to make a decision."
Michael Gonnelli, a Secaucus Department of Public Works supervisor and fire department battalion chief, is involved in a long-standing and well-known legal and political dispute with Elwell. Among other things, Gonnelli disagreed with Elwell on the amount of his retirement package, and is suing the administration for alleged political retribution against him and his wife, a city worker.
At this time, Gonnelli is not running for public office, and has declined to comment on whether he will.
Remembering his roots
Troyer is well-known in Secaucus for his activism and government involvement. Raised in Union City, he was a social studies teacher in that city's school system for 40 years.
He has lived in the North End of Secaucus since 1959. He has served several terms as a trustee on Secaucus' Board of Education since the 1970s, beginning his current run on the board in 2001.
Although he stated that he loves education and enjoys being on the board in Secaucus, his real school for scandal was in Union City.
"I moved from Union City to get away from backroom deals," Troyer said. "It's got to stop."
Troyer vividly remembered teaching in Union City at the height of Mayor William Musto's power, before Musto ultimately was convicted in a federal corruption scandal.
"I helped go to war against the Musto regime," he said. "I vowed that when I moved to Secaucus, I wouldn't let that stuff happen here."
Troyer did not give any proven examples of "back room deals," but did suggest issues that are matters of concern in Secaucus.
"I envision that soon this downtown won't be the center of town," he noted. He said the center of town will move down by Allied Junction, the location for the proposed transit village to be built next to the Secaucus Junction train station.
"We should keep this town the jewel of the Meadowlands," Troyer said, "but they are picking out all of the diamonds."
Televise town meetings
Troyer proposed several ways to stop this perceived jewel heist.
According to Troyer, the revolution should be televised. "If people can't come to Town Council meetings, then they should have them televised," he said. "People have to put pressure on the government to make it work."
Troyer also believes that there should be at least a temporary moratorium on future building so that the town has time to properly absorb the changes that it is experiencing.
Troyer now wants to put pressure on Kickey.
"Kickey is a strong candidate," he said. "But he got what he wants. He's too comfortable."
In response to Troyer's challenge, Kickey was calm last week.
"I strongly believe that working with Mayor Elwell, we've made great progress in the 2nd Ward over the six years since I've been on the council," he said. "As for the election, I welcome competition."
Troyer is confident of victory, but knows that in politics nothing is certain.
"A friend of mine says that I'm like Don Quixote attacking windmills," he said. "But every once in a while, I win. By running, I make the government aware that the people don't like what is going on, and our ideas get more open exposure. You often don't vote to get someone in office. You vote to get someone out."
Anyone who goes to Town Council meetings in Secaucus knows that Troyer is a regular. He feels that he has a purpose to be there as an elected official or not.
"Places like West New York, North Bergen, Hoboken and Union City are openly dishonest, but that sort of makes it honest," Troyer said. "At least it's out in the open. That's not true here. By going to those meetings I'm standing up for everyone in this town whether they know it or not. Somebody has to do it."
Reporter Mark J. Bonamo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.