To the Editor:

I would like to congratulate the Chatham Township Committee, and particularly Mayor Mike Kelly, for shepherding the affordable housing issue to a positive ruling on the fairness of our affordable housing plan in Superior Court. After years of previous committees kicking the can down the road, the current CTC is to be congratulated on achieving this important milestone.

It is also gratifying to see that the Township "would retain its immunity against builder remedy lawsuits because of the ordinances and resolutions it had passed to move the plan forward," to quote the TAPinto report. With this ruling, it would appear that the lawsuit filed by one of the Republican candidates for Township Committee, a relative newcomer to our town, ought to be withdrawn if it hasn't been already. It would seem to be unnecessary, both in its content and in its expense to the township defending against it. 

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The Charlie Brown's property is a logical location that makes financial and ecological sense as well. Its convenient walking distance to shopping will also lessen vehicle use for these new residents, reducing the impact on the environment and our roads. 

The reality-confronting approach of the Township Committee's current majority is why I am voting for Democrats Amee Shah and Phil Ankel. Past Republican-dominated Township Committees have crowed about forcing a cap on taxes - but at what cost? We now know the cost was "deferred maintenance," like putting off modernizing our inadequate Police headquarters and a new roof for our Municipal Building. Like the majority of the current CTC members, Shah and Ankel understand that these issues must be addressed expeditiously, not kicked down the road yet again.

It is time to take care of what needs attention, not calling names or launching specious slams against the "Democrat" party. Republicans like recent letter-writer Dan Miller should know the loyal opposition's real name, respect it and use it. But more than linguistics, I fear that if the Republican slate is elected, we'll revert to a concern for optics instead of confronting and dealing with our town's issues. With Amee Shah and Phil Ankel, we can continue the kind of progress that makes Chatham Township such a desirable place to live. 


Paul Payton