Edison, NJ - At its April 10 meeting, the Edison Council shot down a resolution to place the controversial Edison-Suez water and sewer deal on the ballot by a vote of 5-2, with only the resolution’s sponsors Council Vice President Ajay Patil and Council member Joseph Coyle supporting the measure.
But several Edison residents are not taking no for an answer. In an effort to place the issue on the ballot in November, several residents have joined with Food and Water Watch to spearhead a petition drive. The group is targeting 4,000 signatures, which they believe will allow them to override the Edison Council and trigger a referendum.
If successful, the proposed 40 year agreement with Suez would be voted on by Edison residents in November.
According to organizers, the deadline to collect signatures is June 1, leaving them with a little over a month to complete the process. All Edison residents, who are registered to vote, are eligible to sign the petition, according to organizers.
To facilitate the collection of signatures, the group has scheduled multiple meetings where interested residents can sign the petition. Currently, there are four such meetings according to organizers:
April 29 from 7p.m. to 9 p.m. at the VFW, located at 53 National Road;
April 30 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Grace Reformed Church, located at 2815 Woodbridge Avenue;
May 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Edison Council Chambers, located at 100 Municipal Blvd.; and
May 4 from noon to 3 p.m. at Edison High School, located at 50 Blvd. of the Eagles.
It is unclear whether the measure will be subject to legal challenges by the Township. Previously, the township attorney, William Northgrave, stated that the proposed Suez deal falls outside the referendum provision of the The Faulkner Act.
In anticipation of a legal challenge to the referendum initiative, proponents of the referendum have engaged New Jersey Appleseed, a public interest law group, organizers said.