Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Concrete Batch Plant

Hearing Postponed

The hearing on the concrete batch plant proposed for Fresh Ponds Road at the old Weldon site has been postponed until November 18th.  I called the Township today and this was the report I received.

Any industrial development in a rural residential zone is unacceptable. Homeowners should not be subjected to the the noise, pollution and truck traffic generated by this time of project.

More on this later, but for now, residents have gotten a breather from battle.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Ratables Chase

Is It Worth It?

Property taxes keep going up in South Brunswick, and yet the Council keeps reminding us how many businesses have come into town--and into the warehouse district.

The trouble is, while ratables to contribute to the tax base, they also cost the Township money.  Industrial development puts a burden on our roads, utilities and services.  We need more water to supply huge warehouses and more roads to carry the trucks and cars they generate.

South Brunswick needs to reevaluate its quest for industrial ratables.  We need to examine just how much they do contribute to our tax base. Do a search on the Internet for "ratables chase" and you will find numerous studies reporting that ratables are not necessarily the solution to high property taxes.

One of the best investments for a town?  Surprise! Open space!  Not only does open space make a town more pleasant to live in, but is also does not add to the tax burden.  And actually, some studies are proving that well planned residential housing is also a good investment.

Go figure. Or, go visit some of the websites and go figure.

Here are some selected sites:

Friday, October 8, 2010

No Debate, No Discussion

Why Can't We Talk?

The Dayton Coalition's planned "Meet the Candidates" night on Octover 20 has been canceled due to a lack of interest.

Interest from whom, do you ask?  Not the public.  The candidates.

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans accepted the Dayton group's invitation to attend the event.  This was to be an informal gathering, where residents could ask questions and get to know the candidates as people and also learn more about their platforms and opinions on local issues.

Debra Johnson and Jean Dvorak accepted at the first invitation.  Why do the other candidates not want to engage in conversation on topics relevant to the election?

There has been no open debate.

Why not?

One side is ready, willing and able.

Perhaps those same Independent thinkers are the ones most ready, willing and able to run the Township too?

It's worth thinking about.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another Victory for Open Space

One More Farm is Protected

North Brunswick Township just announced a victory in its efforts to preserve the Pulda Farm in their Township.

This is the end of another epic battle to protect Open Space and defeat efforts at over development.  Going on for just about as long as the EVA's fight to buy the South Brunswick farm, the North Brunswick battle has many twists and turns.  The disputed land was slated for all kinds of high density development along the way.  Dedicated residents and concerned groups argued again and again, using every available defense to protect this piece of valuable Open Space--one of the few left in their Township.

Again, it was a collaborative effort among the Township, Middlesex County, and the State of New Jersey's Green Acres program.  Some have suggested that the South Brunswick preservation effort to save the farm in our Township may well have impacted the North Brunswick situation as well.

Either way, this success proves what can be done when a dedicated and determined group of citizens bands together to do something positive in Town.  It is hard work and it demands a constant effort to find every possible method available.

In South Brunswick, we generated a constant stream of news coverage which included television, radio and newspapers, even getting stories published in the New York Times. EVA members traveled to countless preservation meetings, made hundreds of phone calls and e mails to public officials and others who might help. We offered public presentations,  took interested parties on tours, and met numerous elected representatives such as Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein and Representative Rush Holt.

North Brunswick residents worked as hard, even battling their own Township government's zoning decisions which seemed to be benefiting the developer instead of residents.

But the farm  will be preserved, despite all the forces working against it.

Congratulations, North Brunswick.  Now, you have joined your neighboring Township in protecting and preserving and important part of our heritage and one more piece of beautiful Open Space for generations to come.

Well done!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Open Space Commentary

Republicans Want to Cut Funding???

South Brunswick Republicans seem to think cutting one penny from the Open Space Tax in South Brunswick is a good idea.  Candidates on Open Space in the South Brunswick Post  As Steve Walrond notes, there is a surplus in the Open Space Trust Fund, so why not make cuts?

But every time Open Space funding shows up on the ballot in South Brunswick and New Jersey, taxpayers always vote to support it with their tax dollars.

As far as I'm concerned, cutting Open Space taxes is an example of being penny-wise and pound foolish.  It is exactly what I criticized Middlesex County Freeholders for doing this summer.

More and more evidence is proving that Open Space is one of the best investments a municipality can ever make.  Open Space contributes to the health, welfare, and comfort of residents, it does not add to the need for infrastructure, and in the end, it makes good economic sense.  And it's clear it's exactly what citizens want.

The perceived surplus in South Brunswick needs to be spent well to buy more land and maintain the quality of the parks we already own.

It's what the people want.