There was a freeholder double meeting tonight which we will get to later but there was also a meeting at the Trailside Auditorium at Watchung Reservation where mountain bikers made their points to county officials.
The parking lot was packed as was the auditorium with about 200 attendees who all looked athletic enough to be mountain bikers. My first thought was that this show of support may not have been the best strategy to assuage fears of hikers, equestrians, and runners that mountain bikers would not overwhelm the trails once they were allowed in.
Here is how it played out starting with wrap-up comments:
778-2016 REFUNDING BOND ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE REFUNDING OF $43,940,000 AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF OUTSTANDING BONDS OF THE COUNTY OF UNION, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, APPROPRIATING A SUM NOT EXCEEDING $44,250,000 TO PAY THE COST THEREOF AND AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF NOT EXCEEDING $44,250,000 AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF REFUNDING BONDS OF AID COUNTY TO FINANCE SUCH APPROPRIATION.
. Propagandizing for making the Open Space Trust Fund $10 million Tax Theft permanent:
Mike Wattick, Summit Taxpayers President, was in attendance yesterday at Governor Christie town hall in New Providence. During Q&A, as usual, Mike was advocating for Summit taxpaying citizens! Mike asked about the high cost of Union County taxes. More specifically, he asked about “taxation without representation” in county government since all Union County Freeholders are elected at large. Summit (and the entire western part of Union County for that matter) has NO REPRESENTATION, NO VOICE, on the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Summit Citizens will send $40MM in taxes to Union County this year, with little to no input on how those dollars are allocated. Mike asked Governor Christie to attend a Union County Freeholder meeting with him, the Governor replied “I might take you up on that.” Let’s hope it happens!
The comments came after a question about politics in Union County. A man who identified himself as a Summit resident said he’s frustrated that all of the seats on the county Board of Chosen Freeholders are elected at-large rather than by voting districts.
Frustration shouldn’t stop someone from fighting to change the system, Christie said.
“If what that leads us to do is to, like, give up, then the special interest will truly… run everything,” Christie said. “So we gotta keep fighting on this stuff.”
There will an agenda setting meeting tonight at 7 with the regular meeting right after with over a million of your dollars being doled out. Chris Christie may not be able to make tonight’s meeting but isn’t it time you got into this fight?
Resolution 93-2016 of the Union County Improvement Authority (UCIA) authorizing a Settlement Agreement associated with a lien claim filed in connection with the Courthouse was approved unanimously on October 5, 2016 and it looks like this and can be summarized this way:
Tonight’s freeholder meeting had a lot on trying to keep the Open Space Trust Fund Theft going, some more pay-to-play, and a welcome return of a regular after a long hiatus but first – mountain biking at Watchung Reservation got some pushback:
Berkeley Heights Swap and Redevelopment is still alive. For those of you that don’t know, there is a complex land deal between Berkeley Heights and the Little Flower Church where the properties are swapped along with millions in cash.
Two of the six members of the town council also hold positions in the church and therefore have a conflict of interest.
On the back end of this deal is a $27 million municipal complex. The town has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to pursue a legal loophole called the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law. This law protects the deal against a binding referendum by the residents so the people can’t vote on it nor on the amount bonded.
In addition the law provides some “flexibility” when it comes to the contracts so that the council doesn’t need to take the lowest bid.