Complete Farce

Sep 15, 2017

To the Editor:

The Barnegat Township Committee meeting on Sept. 5 was a complete farce, nothing more than a campaign-style “rally” meeting, a la Trump, where committee members gave stump speeches promoting their “greatness.”

I would, however, like to give them some credit on two issues that we in the township had been strongly and vociferously advocating for over the last 10 to 15 years. The committee listened to us and made some renovations to our public parks and, after all these years, committee members announced that they no longer will take full-time health benefits.

Regarding the health benefits, I would like to highlight two relevant, somewhat hypocritical and misplaced comments made by our committee members at the meeting. Mr. Novak had the audacity to state that he is a “true public servant” because he is generously refusing to take these health benefits. Why didn’t he refuse them the last three years and also when he was on the committee several years ago? Mr. Bille, from the dais of our township committee meeting as mayor, inappropriately “thanked” two candidates for refusing to take these health benefits. This ploy is purely a campaign strategy and should be seen as such.  Campaign matters have no place at a township committee meeting.

The last issue to discuss is one about which our entire town is up in arms: the huge municipal tax increases we have experienced over the last 10 to 15 years – years in which both Mr. Cirulli and Mr. Novak served as mayor and/or township committee members and voted on all the budgets during their tenures. From 2015 to 2016, municipal taxes increased by $2.2 million. Looking back on previous years, we see the same irresponsible spending. Every year residents stand up and ask for answers to these unacceptable spending patterns and the township committee continues to dance around the issue.

I think it’s time for new voices in Barnegat, and the only way we’ll get them is if residents go to the ballot box and make it happen. We have had a one-party township committee in Barnegat for far too long, and it’s time to make some changes. Vote on Nov. 7. That’s the only way we can begin to effect change in Barnegat.

Marianne P. Clemente, chair

Democratic Municipal Committee



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