In case you missed the Barnegat Township Committee Meeting on Sept. 5, here’s some details. It was a complete farce…nothing more than a campaign-style “rally” meeting, a la Trump, where each of the committee members gave a stump speech promoting their “greatness.”
I would, however, like to give them some credit on two issues which we in the township had been strongly and vociferously advocating for over the last 10-15 years. They finally listened to us and made some renovations to our public parks and, after all these years, the committee members announced that they will no longer take full-time health benefits.
On this last issue of the health benefits, I would like to highlight two relevant, somewhat hypocritical and misplaced comments made by our committee members at the meeting last Tuesday. 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” their 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 I wanted to discuss in this letter is one about which, our entire town is up-in-arms….the huge municipal tax increases we have experienced over the last 10-15 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. If we just take 2016 vs 2015 municipal taxes – they increased by $2.2 Million (10% year-over-year). 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.
Well, I think it’s time for new voices in Barnegat and the only way we’ll get them is if you 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 November 7. That’s the only way we can begin to affect change in Barnegat.
Marianne P. Clemente
Chair, Barnegat Municipal Committee
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