We have no idea whether Ms. Perna was ever contacted by anyone claiming to be misled, because she has never provided the name of this individual or the circulator who purportedly made any misleading statement. What we have, however, is evidence in her own words that she did not act out of any sense of responsibility towards the citizens.
At the end of this letter are her e-mails, which unequivocally show that she suggested to people that they claim that they were misled. She aggressively acted to call people to have them take their names off the petition papers and to disqualify petition papers.
While Ms. Perna gives examples of individuals who claim they were misled, it is quite possible that these stories were "encouraged" by Ms. Perna's e-mail and oral efforts to provide reasons to have names taken off the petition. There were, in fact, 95 people, who responded to these efforts, not the 100 that Ms. Perna claims. This is a small point, but it emphasizes that facts are not of primary importance to Ms. Perna.
Had there been any evidence whatsoever of fraud, this could easily have been raised in the lawsuit. It was not raised in the lawsuit, because there was no fraud. There was, however, an effort by the Independent Press to manufacture this issue. In one article, headlined by a claim of being misled, Patti Broccoli's husband describes how he was contacted by Ms. Matula. Nowhere in the article did he say he was misled. In fact, Mr. Broccoli never signed the petition paper, so he could not have been misled.
Ms. Chirinos and Mr. Hasz were nominated by the voters in a Democratic primary in June. They then accepted the nomination of the voters. We were not involved in their decision to be candidates. What is particularly troubling about Ms. Perna's statement is that Ms. Perna simply made this statement up. We would expect Council members to make statements and act based on fact, not based on whatever thoughts happen to float through their minds as attempts to discredit residents.
While Ms. Perna accuses us of lying and supporting dishonesty, there is absolutely no evidence of this, because we do not support either. One has to wonder why Ms. Perna would make these accusations. Ms. Perna's unsupported personal attacks are unjustified. As a public official, Ms. Perna represents the Township, and this type of approach to those who lawfully oppose Council positions embarrasses the Township.
Ms. Perna, along with the others who voted for this ordinance, was asked at a Council meeting to put the ordinance on the ballot for November 2007 as a referendum question. That would have given a quick resolution to this matter. The Council could have done that. To say publicly that she supports the right to petition with a resulting referendum goes against what she tried to do through her efforts behind the scenes. The petition was found valid by the Court and gives all voters a chance to express their preference.
The letter to Judge DuPuis is yet another example of Ms. Perna's refusal to accept facts. One of us (Ms. Matula) spoke against this ordinance. At one meeting, Ms. Perna raised the false claim that she did not speak against the ordinance. Ms. Matula repeated her opposition. As the meetings should be on tape, Ms. Perna's false statement can be verified. While we have responded to this point, Ms. Perna's underlying assumption is that if someone does not speak up to oppose a position, that means that the person supports it. No one has any such obligation to do this.
In this letter, Ms. Perna claims that we are eating our cake and having it too. She ignores the facts that this ordinance was drafted by a Council member without our knowlege and was passed by a majority of Council members, some of whom voted in favor of the $10M bond ordinance.