To the Editor:

And to the voters of Chatham Township:

The repugnant spectacle that unfolded during the September 12th Township Committee meeting, and has been the subject of recent letters in this forum, tells you pretty much all you need to know about the rapidly approaching Committee election.

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Indeed, and notwithstanding the understandable efforts of several of her more politically sophisticated supporters to distance her from the event, I appreciate Democrat candidate Stacey Ewald confirming for the record that she supports and "applauds" the disruptive antics of Maureen Kelly (in which Mrs. Ewald visibly and audibly participated). What this establishes, and what Chatham Township voters need to understand, is that try as she (and her supporters) might to "hide the ball" or otherwise feign reasonableness, Stacy Ewald is, as is Celeste Fondaco, a hyper-partisan, extremely liberal Democrat. The type of person who believes that expanded government authority and increased regulation of citizens' lives and property are the right answer for everything, and who will shout from the rooftops about "diversity" and "inclusion" but apparently cannot even tolerate the sight of a conservative woman like Karen Swartz voicing an opinion that is different from her own.

Nonetheless, and in keeping with the leftist game plan particular to communities like Chatham Township, she would have you believe that she is non-partisan or even interested in "good ole collaboration." Does she really think that you are that naïve; that easily fooled? This is a person who apparently has so little respect to for the voters' ability to deductively reason that in one brief letter to this publication she both claims to be against hyper-partisanship and "applauds" the disgraceful nonsense that took place at the last committee meeting.

This is what extreme liberals do. They know better than you. They decide for you. How big your house should be. How you should treat your lawn. What kind of shopping bags you should use and how sophisticated businesses that provide valued services (and tax revenue) to the community should operate. However, because they know so much better than you do, they get that you cannot fully appreciate the wonderful merits of extreme liberalism and, therefore, in order to wrest control from voters who misguidedly see themselves as sensible people, they pretend around election time to be moderate, non-partisan, and interested in cooperation. Why so shy, Stacey? Own your truth. You are an extremely liberal Democrat. I am not shy. I am a conservative Republican. So is Rez Estevez. We support and will maintain the conservative principles championed by the last four mayors of the Township (before this year) that have firmly established this community among the most desirable, and economically sound, in the state.

We trust the private and corporate citizens of Chatham Township to comply with existing laws and act responsibly for themselves, the community and the environment in general without the specter of government watchdogs. And we certainly will not promote the passage of new laws and regulations for the Township on the ridiculous basis that 55 other towns (and New York) are doing it (am I the only one whose mother used to ask what you would do if all the other kids were jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge?).

To the extent that outside forces have saddled the township with certain mandates with respect to "affordable housing," we will be guided when considering the ultimate resolution of these issues based on what is best for the quality of life of the actual citizens of Chatham Township and not by what housing activists from Trenton or developers are pushing. We absolutely reject both the tactic of calling the new tax currently being pushed to fund affordable housing costs a "developer fee" when the misleading term "developer" includes any private homeowners in the Township who want to remodel their bathroom or kitchen and the very concept of stockpiling such funds in the first place.

The choice before the people of Chatham Township in November could not be more clear. Rez Estevez and I stand unabashedly for the consistent, conservative, largely "hands-off" governance that has served this community well for decades. Stacey Ewald and Celeste Fondaco aim to enlighten Chatham Township with the glorious "change" embodied by the extreme liberal agenda that you can see coming out of Phil Murphy's office in Trenton and splashed across CNN and the New York Times while, for some reason, pretending in public to be moderate and non-partisan.

Don’t be fooled. In their view, there is no place in this community for dissent from their liberal agenda. Just look at the behavior towards Karen Swartz displayed at last week's meeting. And for the record, Mrs. Ewald, no one ever said that Mrs. Swartz “couldn’t handle” anything. I am proud to call Karen a friend, and I assure you that she can “handle” anything that you and your liberal “resistance” squad care to bring. What was said was that the behavior was rude and disrespectful. It was. Let’s see what the voters think on November 5th.

Mark Hamilton

Chatham Township