To the Editor:
I couldn’t attend the May 18th Scotch Plains Township Council meeting where the Republican majority passed the tax increase due to a previous business commitment. Thanks to technology we can relive these moments on our computers.
I agree with the comments of the Tea Party where they said that the town’s budget should be non-partisan. After the November election, when Mr. Glover was re-elected and Mr. Marcus was elected, I told them that I, as the Democratic Chairman, expected them to make the decisions based on what they felt was the right thing to do, not necessarily the politically correct thing to do. They were elected, not me.
It is interesting that in the recent budget drama played out live on May 18th, Republican Chairman Bill McClintock and former Republican Mayor Martin Marks got up and attempted to preemptively shut down any meaningful discussion of a local property tax freeze during the public comments prior to the budget discussion.
The truth of the matter is that there were at least half a dozen opportunities to reduce the taxes worthy of a discussion. Councilman Vastine said that this was the first time he had heard about them, suggesting some sort of political trickery. Certainly that is not true. He heard about them during the conference meeting prior to the televised meeting. I understand that the three Republicans chose not to listen to Mr. Glover or Mr. Marcus. Why? Obviously, because they are in the majority and a majority can do that.
So what was the right decision that night? In my opinion, the right decision would have been to table the vote and spend a little bit more time considering some options. If in the end, the decision was to ignore the opportunities, then so be it. At least they could have said that they tried.
Obviously, by the mere presence of Mr. McClintock and Mr. Marks, the political fix was in and the vote was going to be passed regardless of the protests of the Tea Party or our two Democratic Councilmen.
Folks, we need to get the Mayor to understand that she needs to at very least listen and consider the opinions of the minority. Please call her at 908-322-6700 and tell her so. Thank you!
Scotch Plains Democratic Chairman