I felt a need to write this editorial to hopefully clear a few things up. My name is Dave Smith and I am a councilman of two years in Sparta and an emergency services volunteer for over 40 years in the Township. It is being alluded to that our council is not transparent. I am not sure I understand because our meetings are always advertised and the minutes always available. We even went to hybrid meetings during the Covid crisis so anyone can join. We have had only a handful of people combined attend our meetings. This tells me that things are going well in Sparta and that the people are happy. The last time we had a crowd was when the Lake Mohawk Country Club held the businesses in the Plaza hostage by threatening to close the club parking lot. The council became concerned for those businesses and it was our council and legal that had actually come up with a way for LMCC to move forward with a paid parking lot if they so desired.
The council has been very successful in many areas. Sparta enjoys a great park system that can be utilized by all ages. We are continually working on making our town more attractive. We have beautiful new street signs, resurfaced over ten miles of roadway, we are paving the library parking lot, we now have veteran banners that are hung on special occasions in the downtown. There is a new walk bridge by the library to Ungerman Field. White Lake park now has a beautiful light up sign and the entrance way trees are lit all the way to the flagpole. We have been able to do this with out any increase in tax. You must bear in mind that the council basically runs the town and everything you see outside of the schools on approximately 20 cents on the dollar of your tax money. Again, without any increase. That is the first time in around 50 years. We are hoping for the same next year. We were prepared for COVID and have weathered it financially. We are also hoping for a triple A bond rating which will reduce our interest rates.
We have one of the finest libraries in the state and one of the finest police departments. We were even ranked 9th safest in the state and 18th nationally. This all did not happen by accident. This happened because we have and had a council that truly put Sparta first. Two of the finest people I know were very much a part of the phenomenal growth of this town and they are Josh Hertzberg and Christine Quinn. Between the two of them more has been done on council for this town in a long time and I have seen a lot of councils over my almost 50 years in town. When some promise change, I ask, “If all is working well, why change it?”