LETTER – Citizens For Readington should be renamed Citizens Fooling Readington

To the Editor:

 

The political propaganda website, Citizens For Readington, which should be renamed Citizens Fooling Readington, is distorting the issues before the court regarding the Solberg trial in an apparent attempt to influence the outcome of the upcoming primary election in Readington.

 

In her recent letter to the editor, Tracy Kirk, aka CFR’s spokesperson, insists that Readington’s costly attempt to seize private property, is the  “… only barrier to (airport) expansion.”  Such a statement is wishful thinking at best, but misleading to readers.  Moreover, Ms. Kirk’s letter suggests that Readington’s reply brief in the case is factual, but that document simply attempts to explain Readington’s argument; it is not a finding of fact issued by the court.

Ms. Kirk, has either not read, not understood, or simply ignored the 67 page published 2009 Appellate Court decision, which remanded this case back to the Superior Court.

 

Here is what the Appellate Court determined, which one might assume would trump Ms. Kirk’s findings:

 

(from the published decision)

 

“In sum, defendants’ (Solberg’s) evidence strongly suggested that the Township’s true purpose in condemning the land within the airport facilities area and safety zone was to secure ultimate control over airport growth and expansion. Because this purpose is contrary to express State purposes and beyond the power delegated to the Township by the Legislature, the condemnation of any parcels falling within the facilities area or safety zone must be set aside and determined after a full hearing on the merits.”

“There is a keen necessity for revisiting the issue of the Township’s bad faith in a plenary trial and not by way of motion.”

You don’t have to be an attorney to get the gist of the above remarks by the Appellate Judges who wrote them.

Finally, and maybe most revealing, Kirk proclaims that Township Committee candidates Lelah and Lyons are pro airport expansion because they, along with many other residents, are troubled by Readington’s abuse of the Eminent Domain statute and the millions in legal expenses associated with it.  But most believe that Readington’s decision to use condemnation to seize the Solberg property created a black hole in which taxpayers have been forced to throw money.  Kirk and Co. seems to think that that’s ok.  Like her legal conclusions, Kirk’s and CFR’s attempt to smear Lelah and Lyons is not grounded in facts either and she knows it.

 

Paula Baldwin

Readington Township