LETTER TO THE EDITOR – READINGTON – New Township Leadership Needed – No More Status Quo! from candidates Larry Lelah and Deb Lyons

New Township Leadership Needed –No More Status Quo!


Dear Readington Residents:


We are Larry Lelah and Deb Lyons, writing to introduce ourselves and ask for your support in the upcoming primary election on June 2, for seats on the Readington Township Committee.  Our opponents published a letter recently, in which they attempted to label us as some kind of airport expansionists.  These types of false accusations do not merit a response.  Despite the numerous personal attacks on Deb and me, we made a decision, early on in the campaign, that the voters are more interested in facts as opposed to making untrue statements, which are easily refutable and simply show a sign of desperation.  Following are some facts that cannot be denied:


  • Readington is $57.2M in debt, which is the highest in Hunterdon County and almost twice that of other Townships.
  • We have one of the highest municipal tax rates in the county.
  • The Township Committee, Planning Board, and Open Space Committee have a direct impact on our debt.
  • Readington ratables have consistently decreased over the past several years.
  • Merck’s departure has placed a heavy burden on the township, and will continue to do so for many years.


Lastly, we realize that Solberg Airport is of significantconcern to Readington residents.


  • Whether Readington will be legally permitted to condemn the Solberg property is now in the hands of the courts and a decision is expected soon.
  • Our position is that we strongly oppose expansion of the airport, nor do we agree that private property should be taken for the purpose of open space and/or to “preserve”the airport, as Readington Township has claimed in its legal arguments.
  • The township has taken this “preservation”stance in its court filings because legally, Readington CANNOT condemn the Solberg land using the assumed purpose of preserving open space.
  • The Solberg case has cost the taxpayers almost $8M in professional fees to date, with more to come.
  • We are not associated with any developers.


Our goal is to build a solid ratables base, doing what we can to help owners re-purposing many of the empty and dilapidating buildings to create an affordable town for generations to come.  Further, we seek to preserve the rural charm of Readington, and we believe we can accomplish both with a more balanced approach, one that will reverse the trends of increasing debt and decreasing ratables. In addition, we will fight to see that our roads are safe and will ensure that emergency services are properly equipped.

We welcome your comments (LelahandLyons@gmail.com) and invite you to visit our website (www.LelahandLyons.org) and like us on Facebook.  We are proud to have the endorsement of JOHN BROTEN and SAM TROPELLO, who were elected last year.  We ask for your vote on June 2.  Thank you.


Sincerely, Larry Lelah and Deb Lyons