To the Editor:

Mark Hamilton and Ashley Felice ended their campaign letter to the editor of April 7 with this Affordable Housing claim: “... neither of us has ever suggested that the Township should sue anyone (it's on video Mr. Mayor. Never happened).”

That's a direct quote from the final paragraph of their April 7 letter in TAP, including their use of “Never” in boldface italics and their claim that video evidence supports their position.

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But it's untrue. The actual quotes from the videotape are:

Hamilton. “Sometimes things need to be litigated. I don't think this town needs to be cowering in fear of a little litigation. And I think it's something that might need to happen.”

Felice. “... you would lose your zoning ability. But my question is, 'So what?'” Not as dramatic a contradiction of their April 7 claim as Mr. Hamilton's quote. But a municipality risks losing control of its zoning regulations when it chooses to pursue a legal challenge rather than adopt an Affordable Housing plan, so Ms. Felice is effectively advocating the same thing as Mr. Hamilton.

So now we know two things about the Hamilton-Felice candidacy:

  1. They will forcefully deny something that is unequivocally true.

  2. Their strategy for Affordable Housing is, in fact, to sacrifice local control over our zoning ordinances, and to fight against the Township's Affordable Housing obligation in court.

    Affordable Housing is a serious issue, and it deserves serious attention. Chatham Township deserves better than a smoke-and-mirrors campaign by Hamilton-Felice where they take a position when it's convenient and deny it later when it's not.

    (The Hamilton quote can be viewed at 1 hour and 55 minutes and the Felice quote at 1 hour and 29 minutes into the video of the Nov. 26, 2019, Township Committee meeting. The video is posted on ChathamTownship-nj.gov. Click on “government,” “Agendas and Minutes,” “Township Committee” and “Archived Videos”. )

Michael Kelly

Chatham Township