Several vendors including insurance carriers and legal servants have deliberately submitted proposals that undercut vendors with long standing relationships with the township; only to exploit the township after the new contracts were accepted. This speaks nothing to the credit of township officials who knowingly accepted these new contracts and sign off on the inflated service bills on a monthly basis.
But let’s focus on the positive. In seven months, there have been no lawsuits settled (although several have been filed). There have been no new complaints about roads that need to be fixed or homes that need to be condemned (even though the convenience center issues are left unresolved and the grants received for road improvements have not been implemented). There have been several positions filled (as a result of letting several employees and volunteers go). There will be progress. Leaders who are constantly looking ahead take little responsibility for the wake they’ve created behind them. Any political party leaders worth their salt could spin this to glean more support. But we know better.
Now let’s take a look at what’s to come. We have a mayor who’s denial of owning a small business in the township (because all of the assets may be in a family member’s name); a deputy who’s has a big event in less than 60 says concluding that he may not actually live in the township; two committee members who refuse to run again; and a freshman member who hasn’t decided whether he should continue to take orders or take a stand on an issue. Things are good in Fairfield Township! With no one taking responsibility for the direction of the municipality, the people are at liberty to take the reigns (both figuratively and literally). You see, with the entire committee behaving like stubborn mules, the public can now intervene and make their voices heard! That is however if the public is allowed to participate.
Little explored fact: every governing body in the state of New Jersey is not only required to advertise public meetings, but is also required to allow for public comment. A mayor who is knowingly refuses to facilitate this is in violation of state statute. In fact, a committee that allows this behavior without objection could be charged with conspiracy.
Money is a big factor in municipal management. The governing committee is audited based on its ability to develop a budget, articulate to the public how it has managed public funds, and most importantly adhere to that budget. Short of that, concerned citizens are within their rights to demand accountability legally (either through criminal or civil avenues). We don’t like to see that because ultimately this comes as a cost to the community. Let’s not forget, the Fairfield Township Committee recently passed legislation to protect themselves legally from persecution (or prosecution). Poor planning? Not at all. It’s been beautifully orchestrated. Kudos to the mayor and his handlers.
This is all bought by the tax payers at the cost of a mere two and a half percent tax increase. The township IS for sale…to whomever is willing to pay the price. Some pay to play. Others play so that you can pay. It’s a divisive system, but thus far it’s proven effective.