To the Editor:
To be clear, it seems as though Mrs. Ewald wants to make everything disappear from her tenure on the committee, as well as Mrs. Ness' involvement. There is truth to the point she was not on the committee for the initial municipal complex rebuild and affordable housing site proposal, but when on the committee advocated for it. Mrs. Ewald and the Democrat-controlled committee also advocated for the failed River Road Site as well.
With the municipal complex debacle, yes the senior center was to be displaced, with no concrete evidence it would ever return, or an alternate site proposed. And no, the Democrat-controlled committee of 2020 did not have any solution.
Whether or not Mrs. Ewald would like to admit it, the committee has been under Democrat rule all year. I will not review all the misgivings, lawsuits, poorly chosen affordable housing sites, or all the public outrage over them, that has taken place this year under the tenure of Mrs. Ewald, Mrs. Fondaco and Mrs. Ness, but as anyone paying attention knows, it has been a crazy debacle. For anyone to say all these things haven't happened this year under the Democrat command, is like asking us to believe we really didn't see Nancy Pelosi in a mandated closed hair salon without a mask.
This 2020 Democrat-controlled committee did vote to use condemnation and eminent domain as a tactic against the owners of the Charlie Brown's site. This was done even as the attorney for Charlie Brown's objected. It is not the proper way to conduct negotiations in good faith to threaten the property owner with the heavy power of the government, but it is clear that is the Democrat way. Remember, the so-called good faith negotiations have not even been completed or reached an impasse.
Mrs. Ewald even states it is imprudent for her to comment on the ongoing negotiation at this time, but nonetheless went ahead with the threat. Certainly, it is comply or else, and does not reflect the values of Chatham Township, or set a good precedent. The question is clear when they want your property, the threat of condemnation will be pushed. As much as Mrs. Ewald may want to hide from the actions of the 2020 Democrat-controlled committee she cannot.
Let's talk about taxes. It is the 2020 committee that approves the spending for the 2020 budget. Last I knew, Mrs. Ewald, Mrs. Ness, and Mrs. Fondaco control this committee and approve the budget and expenditures. It is their responsibility to control spending, make the tough decisions on what is fiscally prudent, and to keep our taxes lower or at least even. What has happened here from this crew is taxes have been exorbitantly raised, and the taxpayers in town used like the committee's personal cash cow.
All this while many are reeling from a pandemic. Again, Mrs. Ewald would like you not to believe the increase in your tax bill, just the excuses of why it has happened under her watch for the 2020-2021 tax cycle. Blame is not a solution for making hard choices, nor is it an answer to solve hard problems. And again, large tax increases under the tenure of the aforementioned hurts our seniors the most, overtaxing their fixed incomes, and jeopardizing our seniors' ability to stay in the homes that they love.
Lastly, I have defamed no one in stating the reality that this committee does not wish to take responsibility for. It is also sad that Mrs. Ewald wishes to defame me with her statements. I am just a private citizen. Mrs. Ewald has chosen to accept her position on the committee, and with that needs to accept and consider the views that may oppose hers. It is a shame that she chooses to attack me, a lifelong resident, dedicated to public service over many years, with a family who has lived here since before there was an incorporated Chatham Township.
Our family has lived for, loved, sacrificed, and served our community for over 250 years. We don't rewrite history, we have made it and lived it. But again, the Democrat way to go after the messenger to avoid cleaning up the mess that they have created, or even the one they perceive to have inherited.
Keep your eye on the ball, and stay safe.
Green Village Section of Chatham Township