To the Editor:

The Borough is in the process of negotiating two major redevelopments – Post Office Plaza and River Road. These processes, which started years ago, are reaching a critical stage, and with them there seems to be increasing anxiety about how these developments could change the character of our town, and make current struggles – such as traffic and school funding – even worse. 

At the Borough Candidate’s Forum, all of the participants expressed a hope that the developments could relieve the tax burden on single-family homeowners and that improved traffic engineering along with other improvements paid for by developers could mitigate negative impacts. 

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However, it was mayoral candidate Thad Kobylarz who said forcefully that the Borough must be willing to walk away from any deal that is not a benefit to our community and that we must “keep Chatham Chatham.” Irene Treloar, with her negotiating experience as an attorney and Karen Koronkiewicz with her extensive business experience negotiating deals on behalf of multinational corporations, provide the serious skills we need to face these challenges and come away with a good outcome – or walk away if we can’t get one. 

Almost anyone who looks at the current condition of the South of Main street area or the run down (and contaminated) River Road lots can see the potential for something better. I trust this team to make sure we can realize these developments’ potential while maintaining what we love about our community. 

Curt Alan Dawson

Chatham Borough

Note: The author is a member of the Chatham Borough Planning Board