To the editor:
Thank you for your article about the Township Committee reorganization meeting.
Our new mayor was correct to single out the aging sewage-treatment plants as demanding attention, and I applaud his desire to televise Township Committee meetings.
However, I was discouraged by his disregard for the facts when it comes to municipal taxes, televising meetings, the erosion of township services and Montgomery Promenade.
Rather than undertake a point-by-point correction, I would simply ask these things of the mayor and Township Committee as they settle into their responsibilities and tackle the business of running the town:
Start paying attention to municipal roads, which are falling apart. By continuing to defer road maintenance you aren’t saving money; you’re creating a big, expensive liability.
By all means, televise your meetings – but don’t claim to be the first to do so. Your colleagues killed the initiative that was started in 2009 and stubbornly resisted efforts to revive it.
Don’t call the revised plan for Montgomery Promenade a “main street boulevard”; it is no such thing. You’re right to look at different uses for the project, but the revised road layout turns the promenade into a traditional shopping center with big stores behind big parking lots, and won’t work well for either drivers or pedestrians. As this plan moves forward, please improve it.
When you eliminate services – for example, municipal court – don’t claim that you haven’t cut services. You have. So look very carefully at the costs, including police overtime, and be honest with yourselves and with the public about whether it was worth it.
Don’t stay tethered to a bad idea – whether it’s eliminating court or merging police – just to please political powerbrokers. Sometimes you have to just say no.
On the bright side, I was pleased to see quotes expressing continued support for land preservation. That’s something we can all agree on.