Letter to the Editor: Berkeley Heights Council Engaged in 'Vendetta' Against BAC Plan

The BAC's Jim Wood decries recent government ruling on proposed aquatic facility.

Five hundred thirty-five registered Berkeley Heights voters petitioned their Township's elected officials to have a vote of the citizenry on the sewer connection for the BAC new aquatic facility.

Instead of honoring the direction of these 535 citizens and having the election date set by the municipal clerk as required by statute, those officials have decided to spend more tax dollars on legal fees, this time to have their attorneys research whether they can bring a law suit to side step the public will.

Hiding behind the transparent charade of professing to want to protect the sewer plant's huge amount of excess capacity, these officials appear hell-bent on spending any amount of tax dollars and utilizing any set of tactics to subvert the democratic process and try to block a project that is a permitted use for its site in Warren Township.

In these times of economic distress and increasing threats to the healthy development of our youth, engaging in this vendetta at the public 's expense to try to stop a facility dedicated largely to training and educating kids is especially unconscionable.

Jim Wood

Berkeley Aquatic Center

Alberto December 20, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Since when does a business know more about a towns resources than the town itself? Just because a business gets x amount of signatures does it mean it could overwrite a towns council? All BH residents should be outraged at the BAC not only has the audacity to force an election that will use up our Tax dollars, but also sue the town costing more of our TAX dollars! They are forcing higher TAXES and this is a business that's leaving us for Warren!!! so Warren will get tax revenue. Jim you should be ashamed my kids went to the BAC but will go to other swimming classes (Lifetime Fitness) due to the mess you're creating!
Concerned in BH December 20, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Mr. Wood, I'd like to talk to those 535 who signed the petition and find out how many actually knew the true nature of the project and the document they were signing. Given the widely publicized bullying tactics your supporters used to get those signatures, I find the argument that they are the ones being trampled upon laughable. Yes, yes, I know, you deny the bullying. And I continue to believe the people I personally spoke to who felt coerced, lied to and, yes, bullied into signing your petition. You and your supporters have such audacity to assert that you know better what's good for Berkeley Heights than its own mayor and town council. YOU sued the town, forcing taxpayers to spend money to defend the lawsuit. YOU are pushing for a special election, which will cost taxpayers upwards of $50,000 to hold. Your arguments in this Letter to the Editor are a desperate attempt to win over BH residents and apparently turn them against their own elected officials. I trust that they are smarter than that.
Dawn Comerford December 20, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Sneaky but clever - trying to accuse us and the Town Council of what he's actually doing (manipulating and costing the town money)!
CB April 12, 2013 at 11:35 PM
I think people need to understand both sides of the issue. For the true facts on the proposal go to Backthebac.org and view some of the facts and answers to the questions proposed. The proposal does not use any taxes to develop, does not create and new taxes or issues for the town. It generates revenue through use fees just like any other business and is just looking to expand the amount of use it can have to send pre-treated water (non-chlorinated) water into the BH sewer plant as was envisioned by the agreement between BH and Warren. This will allow the land to be utilized as Warren projected it might be - with a recreation facility. The land is in Warren and any other support services would come from Warren and not require services from BH and cause and taxes to increase in BH. Please remember, there is NO ACCESS to the proposal facility from Emerson and most people with common sense would utilize route 78 to get to the only entrance point on Hillcrest just off route 78.


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