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Berkeley Heights — Letters to the Editor

Another Insider's Thoughts on BAC Pool Vote

Vic Martinez

Monday, April 29, 2013 • 9:58pm

As a longtime resident of Berkeley Heights and a Berkeley Aquatic Club (BAC) swimmer parent, I have a few thoughts to share.

This past weekend I attended a BAC away swim meet at the Jersey Wahoos pool in Mt. Laurel with my son. I met a few parents of newer swimmers of the club and expressed positive comments about the program as I always have in the last 8 years. On Sunday I got into a conversation with another BAC parent from Watchung, who offered two reprehensible predictions about the pending Referendum vote – and beyond.

The first was that the Stop the BAC Committee would “get all the old people out of the retirement homes, who have no clue what the issues are, to vote against the pool." The second was, and here I’ll paraphrase, that those who live near the new site would arrange somehow for dangerous traffic situations - to prove their point.

To say that I was upset from these remarks would be a gross understatement. I asked the coach to pull my son out of the meet after his next event, which is what happened, and we left.

BAC management stresses to our youthful swimmers to stay focused, come early (or "to be last is to be late") and compete aggressively. But is there room for the concept of fairness in this “let’s win” philosophy?

After the Mayor and Town Council voted No to BAC’s request for a sewer connection – Twice - BAC sued Berkeley Heights to hold a Special Election, in the hope it could garner enough votes to force the town to accept its sewerage – 6,000 gallons a day. Who benefits? Only BAC. If this is allowed, they would only pay a one-time connection fee and then a modest sewerage fee of $11,468.20 per year.

No doubt, if BAC pursues a connection to Warren Township’s sewerage infrastructure, it would be much more costly. So, instead, BAC wants to push their sewerage through Berkeley Heights.

I encourage all Berkeley Heights residents to vote NO in the Special Election on Tuesday, May 7th.

Let’s help BAC turn around and work with neighboring towns to find a more suitable and safer location. I believe that’s fair.

By the way, there are many residents in Berkeley Heights who feel that the actual site selected for BAC's new world-class training/competition center is unsuitable for its intended function. And that, once developed, this facility will indeed deliver many negative quality-of-life issues, including traffic congestion and increased accidents, to those who reside within the surrounding area - be that Berkeley Heights or Warren. 

I thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you.

After posting these comments online, I will be on my way to the BAC facility in Berkeley Heights to vacuum the pool for about 2 hours as a fulfillment of my commitment to the BAC as a swimmer parent.

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