Letters to the Editor

For the Feb. 26 issue.

Development raises

environmental concerns

To the editor:
   During the past two years a large block of farm and woodlands has come under development in southern Bordentown Township. Within the past 20 years, Bordentown Township has also permitted the development of the Petro Truck Stop, Prince warehouse, reconstruction of the Pilot Truck Stop, NWL Transformer, the Bob McGuire Auto Parts warehouse, and the MW Trailer site. Let us also not forget about the landfill.
   The common denominator for all these enterprises currently under construction and already completed, is the huge sedimentation load they have leached in Springhill Brook and the Crystal Lakes. The result of this is the complete eutrophication of Crystal Lake in an extremely accelerated time frame. A body of water which once promoted a proliferation of plant and fish life is now being reduced in dissolved oxygen content resulting in extinction of its rich and plentiful life forms.
   At this time Central Crossing Business Park, Orleans Homes and the Grande at Crystal Lake are presently leaching large loads of sedimentation into Crystal Lake. I realize that this is probably of no concern to the most of the residents of Bordentown, or to the Township Committee. However, there is an environmental impact issue here that will negatively affect two large groups of stakeholders of this area.
   Bald eagles, blue herons, egrets, red headed woodpeckers, wood ducks, wood turtles, beavers, eastern coyote, wild turkeys, hummingbirds, green frogs, warm water species of fish, and all the wildlife that thrive in and around this mesotrophic body of water, as well as the human residents, are experiencing a significant impact from these developments. As Crystal Lake becomes a swamp, the signature of that ecosystem essentially becomes unable to support the above mentioned wildlife.
   One of the main recipients who will do well in this new ecosystem will be the mosquito. Since new township residents will be living within 150 feet, and in some areas where wetlands encroachment has been permitted to less than 50 feet of this new swamp area, all the pathogens mosquitoes can transfer including West Nile virus will be available for the new human residents at the Grande, and Orleans as well.
   I think Bordentown Township has two ways to solve this problem: 1) Get all the insecticide you can, and spray from Hedding Road to Route 130 about every week from April through the end of October. Of course, this action could have a detrimental effect on much of the wildlife in the area. Or, 2) follow what Mount Laurel did when the Strawbridge Lakes were dying from the same thing. Dredge the lakes back to there former depths. With all the ratables that these enterprises generate, make an investment in your community and put this ecosystem back to its former state. Or, consider holding the developers accountable now, before they pull out and drop the issue in your lap as they all so often do.
   The average depth of the back Crystal Lake until recently has been 3-4 feet. It is now about one inch deep. Why not learn what it means to be proactive, and start protecting the health and well being of your human and wildlife residents. Bordentown Township, you invited these enterprises in, and should own up to the environmental devastation created by them and correct it. Prove to your residents that you are not a bunch of money-grubbing individuals with a desire to sell out the environment for tax dollars.

   Robert Tallon, Jr.


Regionalization creates

unfair tax structure

To the editor:
   Thirty-six percent of the residents of Mansfield Township, who are living on fixed incomes, are finding it difficult to live with the escalating property taxes.
   If you would refer to the "Assembly Task Force on School District Regionalization Findings and Recommendations, Feb. 25, 1999, chaired by Assemblyman Joseph Malone, the executive summary of recommendations states on Page ii (1) Regionalization agreements should be constructed in such a way so as to allow reassessment of cost distribution of the per pupil costs deviates by 10 percent between any two constituent municipalities of the regional district in order to reflect the growth of one or more of the constituent municipalities. (2) a new and fairer formula should be devised to provide for any inequity among constituent districts. There should be a realistic mechanism which compels equitable adjustment in the distribution of costs among constituent municipalities for the small number of existing regionalized districts which currently evidence an extreme disproportionate distribution of costs.
   At the present time, as stipulated in the Allocation of Equalized Valuation-CEIFA 03/04 , Mansfield Township pays 42.7 percent of the tax structure at the Northern Burlington County regional School District, Chesterfield and Springfield pay 21 percent each and North Hanover pays 15.2 percent.
   In 1976, Title 18A was changed from a per-pupil tax structure to the present Allocation of Equalized Valuation Formula.
   This is just another example where a report has been collecting dust in someone’s file, instead of being implemented. Imagine how much money and time was spent on the above report. As noted on the report it is already five years old and nothing has been done to resolve the inequity.
   I would like to bring to your attention another inequity that currently exists on the northern Burlington County Regional School District Board of Education as it pertains to the representation from the four constituent districts: Chesterfield, Mansfield, Springfield and North Hanover.
   Chesterfield, after the 2000 Federal Census was awarded one additional seat, which, in my opinion is in direct violation to Title 18A:13-8 number of board members of regional boards; apportionment. "In making the apportionment of the membership of a regional board of education among the several school districts uniting to create a regional school district having nine or less constituent districts, as required by Section 18A:13-36, there shall be subtracted from the number of inhabitants of a constituent district, as shown by the last Federal census officially promulgated in this state, the number of such inhabitants who according to the records of the Federal Bureau of the Census were patients in or inmates of any State or Federal Hospital or prison, located in such constituent district.
   Inmates at the Wagner Correctional Facility were included in the Chesterfield population.
   The make-up of the Northern Burlington County Regional School Board is Chesterfield (3), Mansfield (2), Springfield (1) and North Hanover (3).
   This is a fine example of taxation without representation, especially for Mansfield Township.

   Ernest Dubay


Township appreciates

mayor’s 37 years of service

To the editor:
   This letter is in response to a letter published 2/19/04 from Louis V. Bunnick of Roebling.
   The people of New Hanover Township are not asleep, not now or for the 40 some years they repeatedly went to the polls and continued to place Patrick Malloy in a position of public trust. Your insinuation that the citizenry is somehow asleep or unconcerned is an insult to the voters of New Hanover.
   When Patrick Malloy was initially elected to serve, Hockamick Road (one of the main roads in town) was lined with substandard shacks and people living in wagons. Through his efforts and direction he assisted the residents in achieving FHA mortgages and resurrected the entire neighborhood. He oversaw the construction of a new town hall and a new and properly equipped volunteer Fire Company. By his direction a historic remake of Main Street in Cookstown came about with brick paved sidewalks and gas lanterns. The senior citizen center, and the General Godfrey museum and parks along with innumerous other public amenities were achieved under his direction and watch. During the historic blizzard of 1996, he directed the township to plow all driveways that were closed in and helped many senior citizens. Services such as twice a week garbage pickup, which many towns can’t afford, have been long standing in New Hanover. Couple this admirable list of accomplishments with the fact that for 16 years, New Hanover has had no local purpose tax, plus the total property tax levy has repeatedly ranked near the bottom rate in Burlington County, then maybe you will begin to understand New Hanover’s admiration of their mayor.
   As for the conviction in Federal Court you refer to, this is false. There was no trial; Mayor Malloy pleaded guilty to the charge of obstruction of justice and was sentenced accordingly. After a lengthy and comprehensive FBI investigation, that included soliciting every politically disgruntled citizen, and that encompassed three years of work, the best the government could do was make a deal with a township employee to plead to the mayor for help and in turn entrap the Mayor. This longtime employee and supposed friends of the mayor has never been named by the press, but he knows who and what he is.
   No, Mr. Bunnick, the people of New Hanover are not asleep, just sad. Sad that the unmatched record of public service their legendary mayor has achieved has been blemished by the events of the last few months. A gavel of appreciation—a statue on Main Street would be more like it. Carry on, mayor.

   James R. Durr