To the Editor:

For once, I agree with Dan Miller. The public should not blindly trust Mike Kelly, Tracy Ness or any Township Committee member. But I do trust that the public will not automatically distrust anyone based on Mr. Miller's fact-free letter to the editor published here last week.

When the Township Committee on Jan. 2 reorganizes for the New Year, I plan to stand for Mayor and Tracy Ness will stand for Deputy Mayor. With the support of our fellow Township Committee members, our bipartisan leadership team of one Republican and one Democrat looks forward to a productive and inclusive year where every voice is heard and every well-intentioned opinion is considered.

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The Township is facing major decisions in 2020, including what to do with our Affordable Housing obligation, our oversized and expensive Municipal Building, and our non-compliant Police Headquarters. No letter to the editor is an adequate forum to fully explain the history of these difficult issues. But Tracy Ness and I invite the public to become involved; ask thoughtful questions; contribute productive suggestions, and work toward realistic solutions. Most of all, we ask that you recognize and reject personalized attacks and deliberate distortions. Challenge everyone to explain what they stand for, not just who they stand against.

Tracy Ness and I ask for your trust, but not your blind trust. “Trust but verify” was good advice when it was given and it remains good advice today. We expect the Township Committee to be held to that standard, and we trust that thoughtful members of the public will demand that others do the same. Dan Miller's letter to the editor does not come close to clearing that bar.

Michael J. Kelly

Chatham Township