To the Editor:

It is not uncommon in political races for opposing candidates to put their best foot forward, laud their strengths, and purport folks will be better off by electing them over their opponent. This goes hand in hand with each party touting itself as the one with the best policies, vision, strategies, and principles. These predictable dynamics certainly have played out locally in the Township Committee race. 

Regrettably, a less acceptable and relatively new phenomenon clearly evident nationally has also taken residence in our formerly polite and congenial Chatham evidenced by the fierce, assailing, “no quarter” evisceration candidates undertake to retain their power or add to it. 

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Multiple letters to the editor found In TAP (and other publications) authored by Republican stalwarts go to great lengths not only to venomously attack the current Democratic opponents but also include the relentless denunciation of committee member Tracy Ness (D) as well as of their own party members - Tayfun Selen and Mike Kelly. 

Whether these assaults are borne from the need for unfettered control by a faction of local Republicans, or are due to plain, mean-spirited bullying, or come from a desire to sabotage having two-party representation in our town it is beyond the pale. 

It is likely most Democrats will vote for the ticket of Ewald & Fondaco however I invite those discerning Republicans and Independents weary of fear-mongering and inflammatory rhetoric to consider fellow town-folk Stacey Ewald and Celeste Fondaco. Chatham will not go fiscally bankrupt by voting for these smart, dedicated, candidates who aim to restore stabilized leadership, calm and decorum to the committee, nor will the quality of our schools and community degenerate because of them.  The “sky will not fall” as some will have you believe.

Hopefully what Chatham will see is a return to civility and calmness, long overdue. That surely has my vote, and hopefully yours! 

Thank you for the chance to express my opinion.

           “aunt”Jane Devlin

             Chatham Twp.