On May 7th, say “Yes” to the Golden Rule, “No” on BAC referendum
Thursday, April 18, 2013 • 9:27am
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, also known as the “Golden Rule”, is a teaching known in every part of the globe, expressed by every faith and civilization in human history. By voting NO to the proposed Warren-based BAC facility on May 7th, we in Berkeley Heights can show that that principle remains a central part of our lives.
To be clear, I don’t live in the portion of Berkeley Heights directly affected by the proposal: that, in fact, is why I believe my perspective is one that should be shared. Nor is the vote on May 7th a referendum on the contributions Mr. Wood and the Berkeley Aquatic Center have made in our community; what this referendum is about, however, is whether or not their proposal for a new facility is in the best interest of every resident of Berkeley Heights.
Ask yourself this question: would you want a 52,000 square foot facility, large enough to hold Olympic-length swimming pools as your new, giant next-door neighbor? Would you want your street – in the middle of the woods, perhaps, with no sidewalks and cars limited to 25 miles per hour– to be stuffed with cars going by every week? Above all, would you want to have you and your family’s life turned upside-down while paying more in taxes than before, all without your consent?
The answer, for most, is obvious: of course not! Yet this is the reality facing the residents that live next to the proposed facility – a facility, I should add, that we’d lose as a taxpayer to Warren, even as the legal battles have cost residents more money than we’d get back from the facility using our sewer system.
To me, the question is as clear as it was 2 years ago, when I spoke out against the proposal as a candidate for Council. As I wouldn’t want to live next to this facility, so I won’t vote force fellow Berkeley Heights residents to live with it, either. All of us who wish to “be treated by others as we wish to be treated” should follow the Golden Rule by voting NO on May 7th.
By doing so, in fact, we in Berkeley Heights are voting “Yes” to something better – a principle worth far more than this proposal, however well-intended its backers are. Vote to do the right thing, both by our neighbors and ourselves, and vote NO.