LETTER – What Divides Readington is not the “What” but rather the “How”

Readington residents almost universally treasure and desire to maintain Readington’s rural character, charm and open space.  Despite the commonality, we find ourselves yet again with election rhetoric seeking to divide the community with baseless allegations that new candidates are “developers” and “in favor of airport expansion.”

It defies common sense that every new candidate that emerges is out to pave over the town or open the door for airport expansion.  Residents who for 20-30 years have NEVER had their names associated with development efforts or aviation are suddenly out to advance those interests of third parties?  Out of the current candidates, only Ben Smith is an aspiring pilot taking flying lessons at Solberg Airport.  Had he not already been under the wings of the old-guard this fact would most certainly have been enough to plaster his name all over town as a “Solberg supporter” in favor of airport expansion.  Instead, Larry Lelah is the one suddenly favoring airport expansion because his petition was signed by a pilot?    Deb Lyons because her significant other knew Suzy Nagle’s husband from college?  It has gotten so absurd that it should be an embarrassment to us all.

It continues, however, for the simple reason that it works.   Duffy and Smith and their supporters are well groomed in scare tactics that secure votes from those who don’t take the time to dig beyond the mere words.  Fabricating facts to invoke those scare tactics is a must when they don’t otherwise exist.

The reality is that what really separates the candidates and divides this town is not is not whatwe want, but rather how we get there.

For the old-guard, what started out as universal good intentions veered off course when they began to adopt an “end justifies the means” approach.  Many now openly acknowledged and advocate the township’s use of “underhanded” tactics to achieve their goals.  Many ignore or overlook the recent court decision finding that our municipal officials lied in court and to residents, in essence condoning such conduct so long as it gets them what they want.

Lelah and Lyons and their supporters do not support an “end justifies the means” approach, but rather believe we must operate within the law and that our municipal government should conduct itself with honesty, transparency and integrity in all instances.  This is a matter of principal that should persevere regardless of personal interests.  Imagine telling your child that it is ok if they cheat on a test, so long as it is for the purpose of getting a better grade.  We must hold adults and particularly elected officials to the same standard as we do our children – it is never ok to lie, cheat or steal – and you cannot justify it or dismiss it because it is in furtherance of your own personal interest.

We ask that you restore integrity to our municipal government by voting on June 2nd for Lelah & Lyons.