Elections

Letters to the Editor

How to Make Affordable Housing Less Painful

53e5d1b4554128a309e0_825C7535.jpg
Rich Fortunato is a candidate for the NJ State Assembly
53e5d1b4554128a309e0_825C7535.jpg

Dear Editor:

I’m Rich Fortunato and I am running for State Assembly in District 22, which includes Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Clark. One reason why I am running for the Assembly is because of the way affordable housing requirements are being imposed on our towns.

Since the New Jersey Supreme Court decided in 1974 that every town has a constitutional obligation to provide a reasonable opportunity for affordable housing, the Legislature (and the Governor) has failed to adequately address the issue. 

Sign Up for E-News

As a result, towns now have to deal with affordable housing in the context of lawsuits brought by a ‘fair share’ housing public interest group and threatened lawsuits from well funded and well organized real estate developers motivated by the vast profits they will make from building thousands of multi-family units in areas where they previously were not permitted (with only a small portion of them being ‘affordable’). 

The State Legislature could, if the majority party (Democrat) wanted to, take action to provide reasonable affordable housing opportunities in a way that would not result in the disruption of our communities.   

The current affordable housing crisis is addressing the affordable housing “need” for the next 8 years.  Eight years from now, it will again be open season for developers to use the “affordable housing” mantra to convince the courts to let them override zoning rules and build even more units (while only few will be “affordable”).

If you don’t agree with the way the State is dealing with affordable housing, you need to vote for a Republican on November 7. 

Think about this – if a town has to allow for hundreds of affordable units, why is it that the only practical way to do that is to allow developers to build thousands of units? Why doesn’t the town itself build only the affordable units? Why isn’t the State doing more to make that a workable option?  

The Legislature should make it easier for towns to set up housing authorities to build these units themselves and, since finding the money to do so is a big issue, the State should provide meaningful funding to build the housing.  If providing affordable housing really was the only goal, helping towns build only the affordable units would be a good thing to do since doing that certainly would lessen the adverse effects on communities.  

There is no focus by the Democrats in the Assembly on promoting other workable options because they like what the courts are doing.  They think the current system benefits them politically.  It certainly rewards their campaign contributors.

Jerry Green, who has been in the Assembly representing us for literally decades, is the chairman of the Assembly housing committee. He has had years to do something to solve this but has not. He and our other Assemblyman, Jim Kennedy, another Democrat, need to be voted out of office. Otherwise nothing will change, and eight years from now whatever open space the courts think we have (maybe parks, golf courses or churches with ‘too much’ property) will again be targeted by developers and our towns will suffer once again.

Please consider voting for me on November 7. 

Rich Fortunato
Scotch Plains

 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Sex Toys, Gay Jokes, Nepotism, Frat-Boy Pranks; Mountainside P.D. Out of Control Says Lawsuit

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – In a 46-page complaint packed with allegations of harassment involving sex toys, official misconduct, nepotism, hazing, double-dipping and other egregious behavior, five Mountainside police officers and a female employee are suing the borough in state Superior Court.

The complaint, filed by officers Jeffrey Stinner, Christopher Feighner, Richard Latargia, Thomas ...

Penguin Exhibit Opens at Turtle Back Zoo

May 8, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — African penguins have officially joined the giraffes, lions and hyenas in the African Adventure at the Turtle Back Zoo, bringing all of the zoo’s animals from the largest continent into the same area.

Local dignitaries joined Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. in opening the new Shores of Africa Penguin Exhibit on Friday afternoon.

"Our penguins ...

Capitalist or Communist?

Karl Marx may have been the pioneer, but many other Jews were also involved in the struggle for communism, particularly in the early days of the Russian revolution. Personally, I don’t think that we have any apologies to make for this phenomenon. Having suffered unbearably under successive oppressive regimes, many of those political activists genuinely thought communism would be better ...

The Facts About Vaping

May 13, 2018

Dear Editor:

The recent public discussion about vaping and “Juuling” that occurred at our high school really opened the eyes of a lot of parents who may have been clueless about what their kids are doing to themselves. There is a lot of conflicting and confusing information available online, on YouTube and social media about the so-called benefits of vaping vs. smoking ...

Ask Maria: When Should We Step in to Rescue Our Children?

May 8, 2018

Dear Maria: 

My husband and I have been very child-focused most of our lives. We have always put our children first. Many times we have stepped in and rescued and we think it's starting to cause issues. Do you think this parenting style is damaging and what are the consequences of our behavior as they mature? How do we stop it?

Thanks so much!

ANSWER:

As parents, we all have ...

UC's Performing Arts Company Earns Prestigious Foxy Award

May 20, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ -- Union Catholic's Performing Arts Company received a great honor when it was chosen for the Outstanding Achievement in Choreography or Movement for its Fall Play, Peter and the Starcatcher, at Montclair State University's Theater Awards last Monday.

Ms. Jeanette Rudnicki, a 2009 graduate of Union Catholic, was the choreographer. UC senior Angeline Carlo, who lives in ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_52535bd96cf6928a9c9d_autism_-_patriots

Sun, May 20, 1:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Fanwood Community - Autism NJ Day at Somerset ...

Sun, May 20, 2:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

History of Silhouettes & Craft for Children

Other