In case you missed it last night, Howard Dean joined Keith Olbermann last night to talk about what the Democrats might expect if the falter on health care issues and he was totally on point. Dean explained that it wasn’t about being conservative or liberal but whether or not you side with the Insurance Companies over the American people and he wondered if Obama and the Dems current plans are really change we can believe in or just something else. MSNBC’s Countdown 07/07/09 – Air America Media
Daily Archives: July 9, 2009
I write in response to the recent letter of Mr. Peter VanNortwick criticizing Pat Short and me for our vote against a recent COAH Resolution, 09-128, abolishing the Council on Affordable Housing. Initially, I would challenge Mr. VanNortwick to substantiate the quote attributed to Mr. Short. His assertion that Mr. Short opposed the Resolution because it eliminated a “handout to some of the residents of the town” is absurd.
This Resolution had a political objective. The Republicans at the local and county level have been working for the better part of the last year to make COAH a lightning rod for this year’s election. Conjuring up images of local communities overrun with “low income” outsiders and decrying the conversion of our pastoral Township into an “urban” landscape, locally elected officials have roundly criticized Trenton for its COAH legislation and will no doubt deem all locally elected Democrats guilty by association. The sponsor, Deputy Mayor Scharfenberger, no doubt hoped that Mr. Short and I would vote no to the gross exaggerations contained in the Resolution. He got what he wanted.
For the record, Mr. Short and I share many of their concerns regarding COAH, but found the error-ridden Resolution to be political hyperbole. Mr. Short and I voted in support of Middletown joining the state-wide litigation challenging the most recent COAH legislation. We too feel the implementation strategy pursued by the State is unworkable and unfair to Middletown. The Middletown Township Committee also voted 5-0, 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats, in support of the Affordable Housing Plan submitted by Middletown Township to the State. Mr. Short and I have also consistently expressed in our public comments our dissatisfaction with the most recent legislation implementing the Supreme Court’s affordable housing mandate. From my perspective, if we cannot overturn the most recent round of legislation, then the State should impose a three year moratorium on its implementation. Requiring implementation of these new State requirements at a time when we are suffering through the worst financial crisis in 50 years makes little sense. This would give municipalities, developers and taxpayers a breather while our economy hopefully rebounds a bit.
The Resolution cited by Mr. VanNortwick and introduced by Deputy Mayor Scharfenbeger, however, is flawed. It attempts to play on people’s fears and grossly overstates the impact of COAH. As an example, the Resolution approved by our Township Committee states that “approximately 10,000 more units of housing would have to be approved for construction in the Township of Middletown” requiring Middletown to “forfeit any reasonable zoning principles, land use regulations and open space preservation efforts”. There are no plans to build anywhere close to 10,000 units of housing and we continue to preserve open space. I vigorously objected to this ridiculous assertion when the Resolution was passed. I am heartily in favor of debate, and our Township Committee has come a long way in the past two years in terms of debating Township issues out in public, but it is a dangerous precedent to fill official Township resolutions with gross exaggerations and distortions in order to achieve political ends. If I am mistaken, I would encourage Mr. VanNortwick to review our Affordable Housing Plan and show me where the 10,000 new units of housing are going.
“The republican political hacks in Middletown continue the ridiculous drivel they have become noted for these many last months and perhaps years. This now includes the candidate who lost to Committeeman Sean Byrnes two years ago. Hasn’t Tristen Nelsen ever heard ,no one respects a sore loser ?? Sean Byrnes out qualified her plain and simple Maybe her most notable qualification was her last name and whatever connection she has to the newly appointed township attorney .
The people in this town want fair representation of each resident,regardless of partisan politics.and Sean Byrnes and Patrick Short try to provide representation of all the people of Middletown. It’s no longer business behind closed doors as it’s been for so many years in the past under an unchallenged majority of republicans.
Speaking to the budget in Middletown.this township has no approved budget because the Republican majority has stonewalled every attempt at reaching a consensus for a budget in Middletown. They are so used to doing whatever they wanted without restraint. They can’t cope with two Democrats now involved in making policy here in town. The Republicans have their heads in the sand and are oblivious to current economic conditions in this town,this county ,this state and this country. Rhetoric doesn’t solve problems. Action solves problems ! A budget committee is a good idea as suggested by Committeeman Byrnes.
The Township of Middletown also needs a forensic audit by an accredited accounting firm with no ties to any politician in this township. The need is long overdue. The question is, what are the republicans trying to hide ?? It’s time to find out !!!