It's been a little over a year since I left office, so last Monday I thought I would torture myself and sit through a full Township Committee regular meeting. It was beyond painful. I haven't seen so much incompetence since Katrina. It is quite clear you could put the brains of Ken Short, Howard Popper, James Harmon, and Jim LiaBraaten in a thimble and still have room to pack a snack! The only thing missing from this month's meeting was Bill Roehrich's typical “deer in the headlights” stare.
On the issue of the flea market, the committee has taken an idea that should have been fully investigated BEFORE being presented to the public and turned it into something that is now clearly dividing our township. Now Ken Short wants to form an ad-hoc committee to study the pros and cons and make a recommendation. If this sounds like Short "passing the buck", you are not hearing things, because that's just what it is. Funny how something Howard Popper was hoping to claim as a major talking point for his upcoming re-election campaign has turned into nothing less than a total "Charlie-Foxtrot"!
In a typical display of cowardice, the committee also passed on a opportunity to discuss a badly needed "pay-to-play" ordinance, because Harlin Parker (who has been pushing the committee to act on one) wasn't at the meeting. Talk about a lack of leadership. I guess the fact former Mayor John Krickus may have asked a township employee to provide him with a list of venders who the township had spent $10K or more so he could solicit them for campaign contributions on township letterhead isn't enough to warrant the committee to have a discussion on their own?
By the way, does Jim LiaBraaten have any plans to pay back any of the $7,104 taxpayers put up in defense of his bogus school ethics charge against former WMRHSD board member Jeff Emery? Because while Jim loves to call himself a "fiscal conservative, he doesn't mind blowing taxpayer dollars on costly election recounts and bogus ethics complaints.
Lastly, a local GOP operative recently suggested Jeff Emery should "get busy saving money for the district". I have a better idea. Seeing how Morris County tax records indicate this same GOP operative pays less than $7K in property taxes and has two kids in our public schools (at a cost to taxpayers exceeding $25K), how about this GOP operative focus his attention on improving his own standard of living with hopes of someday becoming a net contributor to our township as opposed to sucking Washington Township taxpayers dry for the additional $18K it's taking to educate his kids. Not to mention the municipal and county services he may be consuming, but clearly not paying for, as well.
In full disclosure, my property taxes are more than double the $7K paid by this GOP operative and I have no kids in our public schools. And yet you don't hear me complaining.