Deputy mayor’s votes on trucking issues questioned

Miscoski says he has no allegiance to company that sponsors his race car


Staff Writer

UPPER FREEHOLD — An attorney has alleged that Deputy Mayor William Miscoski has a conflict of interest when it comes to making decisions about truck traffic on Sharon Station Road.

Attorney Steven Edelstein, who represents a group of residents from various developments who oppose truck traffic on Sharon Station Road, said Miscoski should have recused himself from voting on any issue dealing with truck traffic.

The Township Committee voted 4-1 at its Dec. 7 meeting for a resolution calling for a regional effort to establish alternate truck routes in the township. Miscoski voted against the measure.

Edelstein said he had sent a letter on Oct. 4 to Mayor Stephen Fleischacker about the traffic issues, but had yet to receive a response.

He told the Township Committee that residents are entitled to courteous and polite dealings with the mayor and governing body regarding the traffic issues. He said ignoring him or the residents would not make either go away.

“I think you have a dead-on problem, and part of the problem is William Miscoski,” Edelstein said.

He alleged that Miscoski had a “clear conflict of interest” regarding participation in these issues. When a member of a public body has a disqualifying intent and doesn’t recuse himself, and when the rest of the body doesn’t make him recuse himself, Edelstein said any resolutions voted on regarding the matter should be void.

While Edelstein did not identify the supposed conflict of interest, Miscoski previously said that someone from the Woods at Cream Ridge development called him and threatened to “expose” him because a trucking company called EME Trucking sponsors his race car. At the time, he called the anonymous caller “a coward.”

“I don’t call people’s houses and threaten them because they don’t agree with my side of an issue,” Miscoski said.

Miscoski said the owner of EME is a good friend of his and that a plumbing company and an electrician also sponsor his race car.

Miscoski has said that his friendship with EME’s owner has nothing to do with his feelings about trucks on Sharon Station Road. He has said that Woods residents should have done their homework before moving into the development.

Miscoski responded to Edelstein by saying, “Just because an attorney comes up here and says I’m not courteous doesn’t bother me. Just because you don’t agree with my opinion doesn’t make me discourteous.

“Most attorneys are discourteous anyway,” he added.

Miscoski said the idea of rerouting trucks down Route 537 past Six Flags Great Adventure, where old houses are built next to the road, is discourteous.

The resolution the committee voted on stated that the township has experienced a significant increase in truck traffic on local roads. Since Upper Freehold is located between several mining facilities in the southern part of the state and on northern routes to Middlesex and Mercer counties and the New Jersey Turnpike, the town has become a regional hub for heavy truck traffic involving large trucks, according to the resolution.

The large volume of truck traffic has caused a detrimental impact on residential neighborhoods in the township and in the adjoining historic district of the borough of Allentown. Area residents have complained about the adverse impact of the traffic on their quality of life, citing factors such as noise and air pollution. The design of local roads does not support the speed and weight of the truck traffic, according to the resolution.

The resolution calls for a regional effort to find alternative truck routes because of the location of regional schools, new residential developments, and the historic and sensitive nature of Allentown.

The resolution asks for representatives from the township, the borough and the county to all work together and partner with the state Department of Transportation (DOT) for the design and implementation of alternate truck routes in Upper Freehold. Committeeman Stephen Alexander would be the township’s representative, with Mayor Stephen Fleischacker as the alternate in this matter.

Miscoski said Township Engineer Glenn Gerken’s recent presentation on alternate truck routes shows that they would not work.

“This Township Committee agrees with [this resolution] after that report last week?” Miscoski asked.

Fleischacker said the township plans to work with Allentown and the county to pursue state approval of a plan to reroute trucks.

“Good luck,” Miscoski said.

Plumsted resident Barbara Isaac said residents in her town are putting together a petition to keep trucks away from the Route 537 intersection with Route 539, which was an alternative route proposed by Gerken.