Dear Editor:

Recently Mayor Al Smith of Scotch Plains joined the chorus of ordinary suburban New Jersey voices  who are deeply concerned about NJ overdevelopment in the guise of affordable housing.  Prominent names like Asm. Jon Bramnick, Asw. Holly Schepisi and NJ101.5 radio host Bill Spadea have also expressed concern. 

Unfortunately, I learned on Facebook that Assemblyman Wimberly has canceled his “'information gathering' session to allow people from around the state to talk about the issue," and instead simply scheduled a Wednesday, July 25, Trenton hearing at which only real estate developers, special interests like Fair Share Housing Center, and building advocates are allowed to speak thus far.  
 
This was a major issue in the recent governor's race between Phil Murphy and Kim Guadagno.
 

Why aren't any of the leaders in the anti-overdevelopment movement, such as Mayor Jim Burd's Citizens Improving Affordable Housing and NJ-Stop the Madness scheduled to speak?  What about all the elected officials who have spoken out?  Why aren't they on the guest list?

This is not listening.  This is not democracy.  

I urge concerned citizens, as well as Mayor Al Smith, Mayor Colleen Mahr, State Senator Nicholas Scutari, and our State Assembly members, Jim Kennedy and Linda Carter, to attend the Wednesday, July 25, Trenton hearing and speak out for the interests of Scotch Plains and Fanwood residents and not those of real estate developers.
 
Steve Russo