To the Editor:

Kelly's use of the "Visual" Zoom Meeting Format, is unacceptable.

It gives Kelly a perfect screen to hide behind by either manipulating a meeting, or dragging it out so long most residents simply give up trying to get through to be heard.

Sign Up for Chatham Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

IF Township residents want to see just how their town is being run, who is running it, AND realize what a travesty the Kelly and Ness "Team" represent, just tune in channel 26 on the Thursday night Town Hall Meetings,

In an almost totally empty room - except for the press and township employees, sit Kelly and Ness holding forth on the podium and deflecting and manipulating "call-in conversations" from residents.

The entire meeting electronic format is disastrous

Most of the phone calls are unintelligible, due to the poor sound quality, with the speaker's words unclear or garbled.  Worse yet, one has to sit through an interminable time listening to Kelly and Ness pontificate, or defer answers to the same questions asked time and time again to the town administer and lawyer.

Kelly hasn't learned a cardinal rule when conducting a public meeting and addressing speakers' questions. Anyone who has taken a high school speech course knows that the person to whom a question or statement has been addressed should "repeat" the question before trying to answer it.

By holding these "virtual, call-in" meetings citizens are deprived of the give and take input they enjoyed when they were able to attend the meetings in person and have meaningful conversations with ALL of the Committee while judging their body language and familiarity - or lack of - of the issues residents raise.

Furthermore, crammed into a single meeting Kelly holds hearings or discussions on a multiple of issues which don't begin to allow time for any substantive input or discussion from citizens.

FRANKLY, as far as any citizen is concerned, the format under which these meetings are held AND conducted, is all but meaningless.

To Summarize:  Kelly should postpone any controversial hearing topics and especially those which demand citizen participation and input, to future open meetings where the public is able to attend.

The township administrator is capable of running the town until this pandemic crisis passes.  Until then, ONLY items or subjects affecting the operation of the town should be acted on by the Township Committee.

This meeting "format" allows Kelly to "mute" a caller when Kelly disagrees with what the caller has to say! 

This is an insult not only to the callers but to those who residents want to hear what the caller has to say.

Taking calls at random makes any meaningful, focused discussion at a "public" meeting a sham.

Kelly, as expected, is giving lip service to his campaign promises to hold open and inclusive discussions, and his fake promise of an "open Government" with business conducted publicly, not behind the "closed door" practices - which Kelly so blatantly practices.

This plays into Kelly's doomsday projections of Fair Housing and gives him and Ness the cover they need to tell the public that "they are being heard".

The very least Kelly can do would be to obtain a professional call in system rather than the inadequate and incomprehensible system presently employed.

Bailey Brower, Jr.

Past Mayor, 4 term Committee Person with 28 years of volunteer service on Twp. Boards