To the Editor: 

Admirable of Bob Hoffmann to take the heat for the sign debacle. Unfortunately, our mayor and deputy mayor refuse to do the same. Our elected officials love to take responsibility when good things happen, whether they had anything to do with it or not. When bad happens, however, they run for the hills, absolve themselves, and find someone else to take the fall.

Being in charge of many things over the years, I found that the top person was always ultimately responsible, and the action of my people was ultimately my responsibility, good or bad. And any good leader would take that responsibility, and not allow the subordinate to take the fall, especially publicly. And furthermore, if a car is taken from your property it is stolen. If the police find the car and the thief that is awesome. And if you're lucky that car is returned. The thief however is still charged with stealing the car, even though returned. Just because you got your signs back that had been taken from your private property does not mean your rights had not been violated and that they were not stolen in the first place.

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I am sure we don't wish to teach our children that if you take the candy from the store but give it back after being caught that it is no longer a crime and deemed ok, do we? I am sure a good parent would explain to the child that it is stealing and can't be done.

Why should it be any different in the sign gate situation. To say it is ok to take personal property as long as when the takers get caught give it back is simply absurd. And to insinuate that since it is the government, we simply call it a misunderstanding. Also absurd.

Make no mistake, when someone takes your personal possessions from your private property it is stealing and trespassing. To call it anything else is a lie. The test? If you wouldn't let your kids do it, you shouldn't either. My two-year-old granddaughter knows better, but your government doesn't? How ridiculous. And at the past meeting in the conciliatory statements that seemed more like a how dare you question my actions statement, we learned a valuable truth. They did not want the affordable housing mediators to see the signs. Why? Is it because the public sentiment on the signs do not coincide with the backroom deals Kelly and his crew are pushing?

Think about that, don't just take my word for it, the proof is in the statement. I called for the mayor and deputy mayor to relinquish their duties of those positions to two other members of the committee. Not for spite, not for any other reason than taking responsibility for what has happened. In order to set a good example for our children and our community, Kelly and Ness should be the example and not only take the responsibility but show that bad actions do not come without consequences. True character and leadership is when you take responsibility and face consequence for what goes on in the organization that you are in charge of. Our mayor and deputy mayor have done neither.

Daniel Miller

Green Village section of Chatham Township