Dishonest rescue squad attack being used again

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To the editor:

This is my attempt to enlighten Upper Township voters on the politics in our little community. First, let me emphatically state that no one is against our rescue squad as Mayor Richard Palombo would like you to believe.

This all began when a large number of residents voted for a change last year and elected Tony Inserra to a township committee seat. His campaign promise was to do all he could to cut expenses and keep our taxes down.

The opportunity arose for Mr. Inserra to participate in a fact finding meeting to determine if privatizing the Upper Township Rescue Squad could save us hundreds of thousands of dollars. Immediately, the rumors ran rampant that he was going to disband the squad and residents were going to die as there would be no medical help or ambulances. How crazy was this? This was just one idea to possibly allow AtlantiCare to handle this as they do in other communities. I’ve heard that our rescue squad chief alone is paid approximately $70,000 per year from our tax dollars.

Mr. Inserra briefly touched on privatizing the squad at the February meeting of Upper Township Committee. Outnumbered 4 to 1, it was swept aside and considered dead.

Prior to the June primary for township committee, Mr. Palombo and Committeeman Ed Barr ran unopposed. There was also a primary for county committee candidates including Mr. Palombo’s wife, Sandra, and James Laird against myself and Orvis Leopardi. Mr. Palombo and his wife attached signs to their political signs stating “We Support The Upper Township Rescue Squad.” This is so disingenuous. We all support the squad. Many of the squad members already work for AtlantiCare. These signs were not against Mr. Leopardi and I, but against Mr. Inserra. They implied that we all are against the Upper Township Rescue Squad. This dishonest tactic worked so well that the mayor and Barr have signs, paid for by the PRO (People’s Republican Organization) Club, stating their column supports the rescue squad.

Support for the rescue squad in this election is not and never has been an issue. The Inserra team does not support job losses, whether it is the rescue squad, fire companies or trash collectors.

If you are unfamiliar with the PRO Club, they are the ones who control every aspect of our township government, such as township committee, the planning and zoning boards, and the county committee, of which Mr. Palombo is in charge and Barr is a member. It was an amazing feat when Mr. Inserra broke through and won a seat on township committee. Thankfully, others are stepping up to join him in his quest to manage our tax dollars more efficiently. In my humble opinion, the PRO Club exists only to maintain power, not for any changes for the better.

Mr. Palombo has been on township committee for 15 years, 12 as mayor. Our taxes have grown dramatically and, for the first time ever, in 2011 we were slapped with a local purpose tax under his leadership.

Mr. Barr was appointed, not elected, to replace Committeewoman Kristine Gabor on the township committee. He was told by the PRO Club that they would support him if he joined. He did and he was appointed. He is in charge of recreation, yet rarely does he have anything to report, makes no motions and doesn’t speak except to vote yes on everything that Palombo proposes. So why do we need him? An empty chair would do as much.

We need Hobie Young to occupy that seat. If anyone knows about recreation and other township business, it is Mr. Young.

In November’s election there are three seats open on the school board. My family will be voting for Al Lihou, Lenny Martucci and Russ Morano. We absolutely need these three fellows. If you’ve examined your tax bill you know the majority of your taxes go to our schools. The schools are in deplorable condition even after, and I quote Deputy Mayor Curtis Corson, Jr., “for years and years and years we gave millions and millions and millions of dollars to the schools.” By law, the township cannot tell the school board how to spend even one penny. So, what happened to all those millions of dollars? There are three people seeking re-election to the school board, one who has not paid property taxes in years due to a loophole in the law that exempts her due to where she lives. Well, I have a problem with this person and her spouse, both in our political system, voting to raise our taxes and paying none.

On Nov. 6, we will be voting for Mr. Young for township committee and Mr. Lihou, Mr. Martucci and Mr. Morano for school board. We would love to see more of our neighbors in the township attend township committee meetings twice a month at 7:30 p.m. at Township Hall, as well as zoning, planning and school board meetings to get a firsthand look at our government in action.

Ronald E. McCole

Beesleys Point

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