Editorial was worst Monday morning quarterbacking

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To the editor:

In response to your editorial regarding the elimination of the Dennis Township Environmental Commission (questions remain on Environmental Commission, April 19), I would like to first point out that it must be very difficult for a newspaper to understand any local issue when they basically never send a reporter to the local government meetings.

Your paper is engaging in the worst kind of Monday-morning quarterbacking on this issue.  Had you bothered to pay attention to the debate before it became twisted into a Republican attack on a sacred environmentalist cow, you might have understood the motivation.  The fact of the matter is that Committeeman Frank Germanio read a statement into the record when the ordinance was introduced explaining precisely why such action was being taken.  The elimination of the commission was part of a package of ordinances that included combining the Zoning and Planning Boards.  By adoption of these two ordinances, our new majority has made it significantly easier for land use applicants to get to a hearing on their applications.

What your paper has to explain is why, when we have the New Jersey Pinelands Commission and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reviewing everything we do in Dennis Township, why would we need to have yet another level of environmental bureaucracy?  Also, if your paper had paid attention to what was happening before the environmentalist spin-masters got a hold of the story, you would also have learned several key facts.

The Dennis Township Environmental Commission was required to meet 12 times per year.  Last year it held barely half the required meetings.   It could not achieve a quorum on many occasions.  It failed to keep required minutes of its meetings.  It missed a very important filing deadline for a our forestry certification.  The infighting among members of the commission had gotten so bad, that dueling letters of accusation and explanation were being sent to local officials from commission members.

Our focus was on streamlining the land use process, but these other issues certainly gave further justification to our actions.  We know that our efforts to change the way things are done in Dennis Township after nearly 30 years of Democratic control will not be popular with entrenched interests or left-leaning newspaper editorial boards, but that is not who elected us.  Less government is better government.  Where we have an opportunity to reform, we are going to take it.  We will leave it up to the voters of Dennis Township to decide whether or not they approve of such reforms.

For now, we would encourage your paper to do the mundane task of sitting through every meeting instead of cherry-picking issues when they fit a particular agenda.

 

Mayor Eugene Glembocki

Dennis Township

 


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