I am a long-standing resident of Chatham and I attended the October 10th League of Women Voters debate at the Library of the Chathams. Today, I received in the mail a flyer asking for my vote for both James Clyde and Thaddeus Kobylarz. I’m afraid I cannot support them.
The flyer tells us that Messrs. Clyde and Kobylarz will “increase police presence and number of officers to stem recent increase in thefts.” If they had listened to the AlertChathamBorough messages and read the Borough Website or read TAP or the Chatham Courier they would find that the vast majority of these thefts occurred mainly due to residents leaving contents in their vehicles unlocked, many with FOB keys in their car.
The reality is we are next to Highway 24 and make for an easy “getaway” town. If we leave cars and homes open, we become an easy mark. Where would you go to steal? A town where it is difficult to break into cars or a town that has a reputation of just opening the car door, jumping into the driver seat and taking off?
As for ending “closed-door” one party control of town government, local elections are non-partisan. We have a good record of electing the best individuals for the positions that need to be filled and that is shown in the type of town that drew us all here in the first place.
As for aesthetic downtown improvements, the Chatham Downtown Alliance and the Borough have been working to make Chatham a destination. Those efforts will continue. Regarding open space, it was former Mayor Nelson Vaughn that cut the Open Space tax from one cent to one half of a cent to “stem the rise of taxes.” It did not stem the rise of taxes and it hurt the Open Space fund. I’m pleased to see Messrs. Clyde and Kobylarz pledging to fix their own party’s damage.
Finally, minimizing new congestion-driving development, that is exactly what this current Council is doing with its well thought out plans in the planning for “Chatham Gateway.” In fact, the Council is working with NJ Transit for a rail stop there to make it a commuting destination instead of a driving destination. To stem ever increasing traffic, our mayor and council have met with the state DOT and surrounding towns to request a widening of Route 24 so bumper-to-bumper traffic does not spill onto our Main Streets and Councilman Len Resto is working with NJ Transit to expand rail service on the Morris & Essex Line so rail becomes a much more viable option.
I do not doubt the sincerity of Messrs. Clyde and Kobylarz. I would like to see them involved in some local volunteer efforts first and then have them see if their views would change. I know their views would change.
Patti A. Page
Springbrook Court Luxury Apartments
575 Main Street, Apt. 5C
Chatham, NJ 07928