To the Editor:
A curious situation has developed here in Barnegat in connection with the November election. It appears there was just one debate or meet the candidates event. It was scheduled and restricted to residents of Brighton At Barnegat on Monday, Oct. 8 since only the Democrats were willing to meet with their opponents.
Republican candidates Mayor Al Cirulli and Committeeman Jeff Melchiondo have refused requests without explanation from the League of Women Voters and the residential communities of Horizons at Barnegat and Mirage to meet Susan Conway and Elaine Taylor, the Democratic candidates. Since the League and those communities require both parties to agree to participate, the events were canceled.
One wonders why. Could it be they feel they might not be successful in debating such well-qualified opponents or are they concerned about facing questions from irate citizens on the increases in taxes?
There was a time when Barnegat residents would have many opportunities to meet all the candidates running for the township committee, to listen to their positions on the issues and to make informed choices on election day. It is wrong to deny the citizens of Barnegat this opportunity to make a reasoned choice after being given the opportunity to consider each candidate’s positions.
There are debates at all levels of government from the president, the legislative branch, etc., but to not have them right here at the local level ... Shame on Mayor Cirulli and Committeeman Melchiondo!