Citizens Share Heated Arguments With Members Of The Council At Recent Vernon Meeting
Saturday, October 13, 2012 • 12:41pm
VERNON TOWNSHIP, NJ --- Over a dozen citizens approached the podium for over an hour with concerns during public discussion at the October 11 town council meeting.
The biggest heated argument stemmed from former Mayor Sally Rinker during a discussion with council president, Brian Lynch.
Rinker had asked the council why the township had yet to release an agreement with Main Street Associates, which was approved by the council in July.
Mayor Victor Marotta had stated he had not signed the agreement yet.
“I want to know what is taking over three months to sign a piece of paper?” asked Rinker.
Lynch started showing frustration when Rinker kept questioning as to why it is so difficult to sign the paper.
Rinker had stated to Lynch, “Your behavior is unacceptable,” while Lynch had shot back with, “So is yours, Sally.”
In that moment, councilman Dan Kadish had interrupted the discussion in an excessively loud tone of voice.
“Hold on!” exclaimed Kadish.
“You talking to me like that? Because I certainly do not talk to you like that,” expressed Lynch while citizens in their seats mumbled under their breath with, “You talk worse to him.”
“I am talking to you,” Kadish replied back.
Kadish stated that he, along with the other council members, had all received a signed copy of the agreement.
Marotta curiously stared at Kadish shaking his head, "no."
“I have no idea what councilman Kadish is talking about,” stated Lynch.
The argument had ultimately ended with Rinker using her five minutes of speech time, with no positive movement on the agreement.
Maureen Moran was the first resident to approach the council, in regard to the Municipal Utilities Authority.
“I went to the MUA today to pay my bill. I live in a one bedroom with one loft, and I was told by the person working there that a one bedroom with one loft was now considered a two bedroom,” said Moran.
Moran explained that she had been paying the same price since she had bought the condo, and suddenly the tax assessors had put her down in their books as owning a two bedroom, giving her a point eight percent tax increase.
“I need answers. It is very frustrating. No one here is ever able to give us answers,” stated Moran.
However, Moran was not the only citizen who expressed frustration about the lack of answers received from the MUA and township council.
Tom Kelly, approached and stated, “We are always saying that we want to build this community and have it grow, but businesses cannot grow here. People are leaving here and school funds are being cut.”
Kelly explained that his municipal taxes had gone up, and was now paying more for a town house, when he could purchase a regular house for less.
Lynch said Kelly’s statement was inaccurate, and the municipal taxes did not increase.
“How do you run an organization without any experience?” asked Kelly. “I ask you [Lynch] the same questions and the MUA but never get a response.”
When it comes to concerns facing the MUA, citizens said they are disappointed that Marotta never attends the meetings.
Citizen Mary Ellen Vichiconti brought up another topic pertaining to the status surrounding the “blue pillows” put in place at the Highland Lake by Tennessee Pipe Lines. (Click here and here for previous articles by The Alternative Press).
Lynch addressed Vichiconti and the public by stating, “The blue pillows in the water are silt curtains to prevent the water from going any further. The process was done by another environmental agency.”
Vichiconti wanted more answers, but Lynch said she could wait to speak to the Environmental Committee after the meeting.
“She will not have to wait because we are talking about it now,” stated Environmental Committee chair member Beverly Budz, who has been working on this matter for months now.
“Mr. Lynch, you seem very concerned about it now, but months ago you wanted nothing to do with it. You’re a biologist and a chemist now? I would like to know what it is because you sure don’t know. You’re taking someone else’s word over your own environmental committee, this offends me. This offends me as a taxpayer and a chair member of the Environmental Committee. Show me the work and prove it to me right now,” stated Budz.
“I don’t have the work or the documents,” replied Lynch.
“You shouldn’t be commenting on a topic where you cannot produce documentation,because I can prove mine,” stated Budz, as she stormed away from the podium, and citizens clapped for her.