MILLBURN, NJ - After a resolution for a Complete Streets referendum before the Township Committee did not get a second or go to a vote at their August 15 meeting, some residents are mounting an effort to get the referendum and interpretive statement on the ballot.
Carl Mink, the owner of Millburn Camera ASAP Photo, is spearheading a grassroots campaign to override the Township Committee and gather the necessary ten percent of Millburn's 15,744 registered voters to push through the referendum. Mink, a supporter of the Complete Streets in concept finds issues with the execution. "Based on literally hundreds of conversations I've had with customers and neighbors, I know that they are not happy."
Mink said, "Hearing about last week's dramatic Township Committee meeting made me aware that something could be done if enough people expressed their feelings. I was hoping that something could be worked out through dialogue. As it seems that the wishes of the public are being heard but disregarded, the referendum idea had great pull for me."
Some residents and local business owners have answered the call and are looking to mobilize voters to reach their goal. Petitioners are putting out their message on social media, going door to door and sharing strategies to get the necessary support.
The desired end game for Mink is, "an outcome that makes as many people happy as possible." He believes that pushing ahead with the plans as they stand won't accomplish that goal for Millburn.
Committeewoman Diane Eglow commented on the effort, "I believe it is a BOLD effort by the residents of the Township of Millburn Short Hills." A vocal Complete Streets opponent, Eglow continued, "This is a response to the humiliating way the majority of TC members have treated their constituents in regards to the complete streets issue."
At the time of publication, there was no comment from the other committee members to our inquiry.
The petition being circulated is found below:
PETITION BY CITIZENS OF MILLBURN TOWNSHIP, COUNTY OF ESSEX, STATE OF NEW JERSEY REQUESTING THAT A NON-BINDING REFERENDUM BE PLACED ON THE BALLOT FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 7, 2017
We the undersigned, are registered voters residing in Millburn Township. We wish for the following to appear as a referendum item:
“Shall the Township Committee of the Township of Millburn, County of Essex, State of New Jersey halt further implementation of the Complete Streets Project, in order to consider other alternatives and measures to evaluate traffic and pedestrian circulation and safety in the downtown?
YES (. )
NO (. )
The voters signing this petition wish the Township Committee of the Township of Millburn, County of Essex, State of New Jersey to gauge the public sentiment regarding the continuation of the Complete Streets Project, a publicly funded project, in downtown Millburn.
A "Yes" vote is an instruction to the Township Committee to cease the Complete Streets Project and explore alternative designs and/or plans for the remaining portions of downtown Millburn. These other measures may include, but not be limited to, the use of various planning and traffic professionals whose responsibilities will be to guide the Township Committee in working with the businesses of downtown Millburn and the public at large to insure a vibrant downtown Millburn.
A “No" vote will be an instruction to the Township Committee to continue the Complete Streets Project as currently proposed and planned.