Letters to the Editor

LETTER: False accusations by former Peapack-Gladstone official

EDITOR: I write in response to John Sweeney's letter to the editor of the Bernardsville News.  Mr. Sweeney, in my opinion, has falsely accused the Peapack-Gladstone Council of “gambling” with the taxpayer’s money in the Mosle Road project in a Sept. 29 letter to the editor.

The truth is the Mosle Road contract had a contingency clause in it to “shield the borough” from legal and other repercussions in the event of unforeseen and unplanned project delays.  The contract was reviewed not only by the council, but also by the borough administrator and the borough attorney to make sure that the risks were managed.

Following the state’s suspension of the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) projects, the council deliberated long and hard about moving forward and decided that the risk exposure to the taxpayers was too great in the absence of TTF grant certainty.  Thus, the council opted for a temporary repair job through our own department of public works to get us through the winter or until the TTF matter was resolved.

Sign Up for E-News

This is another instance where the mayor and council have been excellent stewards of taxpayer money.  They have performed very well despite the fact that prior administrations dealt them a poor fiscal hand.  As a prominent councilman and finance committee chair, Sweeney was the architect of a short-sighted fiscal policy.  Among other things, this short-sighted fiscal policy espoused by then councilman Sweeney produced outsized employee benefit costs and high debt.

In 2006, when Sweeney was on the council, the council voted to re-authorize employees retirement health benefits beyond those required by state law, one that is granted by a very small number of towns in our state.  While we certainly want to reward our employees for loyalty and good work, that council did not provide any clear funding mechanism.  They left the issue open for future councils to deal with.

As a result, the borough will pay approximately $662,000 for health care in 2016.  Contrast that figure with Bedminster, which will pay an estimated $703,000.  Bedminster has more than triple P-G population, almost five times the land mass and approximately 33 active employees to our approximately 21.

In addition, during the Sweeney era, the borough relied too heavily on borrowing.  When Sweeney left the council, the borough was left with over $5 million in debt, over $4 million of which was in bonds.

I have no doubt that the P-G Borough Council would welcome constructive input from any interested taxpayer.  A political letter to the editor is hardly that sort of input.

A telephone call, or an email, or even a visit to a council meeting, which are all clearly noted on the borough’s web site, would be welcomed.


Lenape Trail


Editor's Note:  Mr. Sweeney did not submit his letter to TAP into Somerset Hills.  


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:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Somerset Hills

Checkmate: Somerset County Freeholder Returns to Tournament Chess after 20-year Hiatus

February 21, 2018

PARSIPPANY, NJ – Somerset County Freeholder Brian D. Levine made a so-so return to playing tournament chess last weekend after a twenty-year hiatus, but says the experience convinced him that he needs to get back in the game.

Though critical of his performance – “I won some and lost some,” he said – being surrounded by more than 1,000 other top competitors of all ...

Saint Peter's Fights Against Fatal Cardiac Arrests on the Playing Field

February 17, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a particular Tuesday evening, Jim Fisher stood in front of a group of coaches and doctors at the newly ​-​ renovated, start-of-the-art simulation center at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick.

Jim’s son, Sean, died in Aug ​just​ 2008, as a result of an undetected heart defect. He was just about to turn 13. The two and their family are ...

Bedminster Police Blotter

February 21, 2018

BEDMINSTER NJ - This is the Bedminster Police Blotter for the week of February 12-19 as published by the Bedminster Police Department.

DUI Arrest
February 12th
At 0304hrs, while en route to a service call, Bedminster Police came upon a black Honda Civic parked in the middle of Allen Road at the intersection of Hamilton Road. Subsequent to the investigation, Joseph Carbonaro, age 25 ...

WFP Tax Partners Walks You Through 4 Step Tax Return Process

February 22, 2018

Over 80% of Tax Returns Have Errors or Missed Deductions. You're Probably Paying More Than Your Fair Share in Taxes

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tax returns certainly give a clear picture of the past year, but WFP Tax Partners believes it's wise to strategize for the current year to have a plan for moving forward. 

At your tax appointment, they ...

Somerset County Young Democrats Call for The Adults to Take Action On Gun And School Safety Plan Somerset County "March for Our Lives" for March 24, 2018

February 22, 2018

Somerset County Young Democrats Call for The Adults to Take Action On Gun And School Safety

Plan Somerset County "March for Our Lives" for March 24, 2018

For Immediate Release, February 22, 2018

Contact: SCDC Executive Director Nathan Rudy at somersetdemsed@gmail.com | (908) 552-1923, or Jason Lam at jlam@hsdems.org

Bridgewater, NJ – The Somerset County High ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, February 22, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art , Bedminster,

Dan Bischoff: Critic As Artist

Thu, February 22, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster

Keepers of the Chroma: An Exhibition Regarding ...

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, February 23, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art , Bedminster,

Dan Bischoff: Critic As Artist