To the Editor:
Given the magnitude of decisions that need making, and the recent election results that have shown absolute repudiation at the ballot box of lame-duck Mayor Kelly, no decisions should be made on any further actions as far as massive expenditures of tax dollars.
Not on group homes, plans for housing, etc. With the forced recusals on our committee and our boards, and two committee members leaving, these decisions should be left to a new administration. This sitting committee has proven its complete inability to properly address the issue of affordable housing and it's particulars. We need to assess how many units we may need in the future and what the capacity of the Charlie Brown's site is capable of producing. Do we want Kelly to spearhead this? I for one think not. Every plan Kelly has schemed or proposed has consistently been absurd and rejected.
Now, how can we believe the balance between the Sunset Lake residents' concerns, especially environmentally, and the proper execution of affordable housing at the Charlie Brown's site can be honestly and correctly carried out with Kelly and Ness at the helm? They have consistently proven that residents in every area Kelly and Ness have proposed simply have not mattered, and consistently spurred on lawsuits. These lawsuits have not been in opposition to affordable housing, they have been about the overreaching and absolute disregard for our existing ordinances and environmental destruction Kelly and Ness have constantly tried to push through.
Another proof of the unethical and possible sabotage of negotiations with the owners of the Charlie Brown's property is the open public negotiation process by Ness and Kelly, after they decried an open negotiation process. Even after objection of the property owners attorney, Ness and Kelly voted to authorize the use of condemnation of the property, in other words, eminent domain. Instead of negotiating in good faith, looking to both what is fair for Chatham Township and the owner of the Charlie Brown's site, a threat is waged.
This is not who we are here in Chatham Township. We have always prided ourselves in this town of being a people of fairness, not a people who just take if we want it. Chatham Township Mayor Kelly and Deputy Mayor Ness should not be showing our children that we take from others, or that we do not act in a fair manner with our residents, business and property owners. The question becomes when will they come for yours?
In regards to the Charlie Brown's property, we may need to build out keeping in mind future obligations, we may be able to have other options with this site right now. We have many variables with this issue, and we need insight, and the insight brought to the table by Kelly and Ness has been wrong every time. We should not be subject to the rule of a lame-duck Mayor, who just lost an election and is working on the resentment of his failed and rejected municipal complex that will not be built and not have a plaque on it bearing his or deputy mayor Ness' name.
The courts will be satisfied with the purchase of the Charlie Brown site.
And if presented to the courts in a truthful manner, the court will surely see why the final plans should be delayed until Mr. Kelly is out of office, as he and Ness surely have not represented the will of the residents of Chatham Township at any point of the affordable housing process. The proof is in all the scrapped plans, mixed messages and numerous lawsuits waged.
The only way anything should be presented at this time is if Mayor Kelly recuses himself. That would be the right thing to do. It is time to do affordable housing correctly. Kelly and his crew have either never wanted that, or are too incompetent of executing a plan that is equitable for all. It is time to work in a smart and thoughtful way for our residents, current and future. Everything presented to this time has not had those two simple principles in mind, and we cannot believe that those principles will be kept in mind now.
Mr. Kelly needs to take a back seat, recuse himself, and let a future for Chatham Township be decided by a committee who has the backing and the confidence of the public. Seeing as Mr. Kelly has had no problem requesting and executing recusals of numerous people on elected and appointed volunteer boards, he should have no problem in placing this moral obligation upon himself.
Stay safe and keep your eye on the ball!
Green Village Section of Chatham Township