Soon we will again see election signs all over town. This year’s Republican primary will be on June 6th and there are four candidates running for two Readington Township Committee seats. Many residents have asked me why I am running. I tell those who ask that I am doing so because I love Readington, but feel that we are at a critical juncture where change, is essential for it to remain that place that I love.
I certainly give credit to some of our past committee members for shaping the town into what it is today. It seems, however, that all decision making within our municipal government has been so closely held by a handful of individuals for so long that we have veered off course, giving rise to a “by any means necessary” mentality and approach to achieving what are otherwise objectively laudable goals. The results of that conduct have now come to roost in multiple excoriating court opinions, including findings of civil rights violations, all at a shocking cost to taxpayers. We have lost every court battle in the last 3 years, with multiple judges describing our municipal officials as non-credible, disingenuous, and not transparent.
This is unacceptable. We need a municipal government that will conduct itself with honesty and integrity, one that is respected by the courts, and one that is genuinely interested in the well-being of its residents and their concerns. We need leaders who will respect everyone’s civil rights, not just those who share their “vision.” We need leaders who can bring new ideas and solutions, rather than blindly perpetuating these losing strategies.
Readington has budgeted $1.6 million dollars in legal fees for 2017. That does not include damages to be paid resulting from our recent loss in the Solberg zoning litigation and recent civil rights litigation loss. Why are we litigating to support knowingly invalid zoning ordinances? Why are we denying sewer access to legitimate projects when the end cost is millions in liability for violating civil rights? Why are we putting affordable housing on top of wetlands and affecting the traffic patterns for the entire town when we have potential options on Route 22? Our municipal government has blindly followed the same script for so long they don’t even ask why anymore.
This election comes down to more of the same – or change. Our opponents collectively reside on the planning board, the environmental board, board of adjustments and the open space advisory board. The current Township Committee majority placed them in those roles. They will blindly continue the status quo as we have already seen with regard to the Nelson Street development. There is no system of checks and balances without different ideas, influences and viewpoints.
This is why Britt Simon and I are running for Township Committee. We have years of experience running a business and an organization, which has required creative solutions for extremely challenging issues. Most importantly, we’ve always put honesty and integrity first.
Please support us with your vote on June 6th.