Dangerous Initiative

Sep 18, 2019

To the Editor:

In the Aug. 28 story titled “BH Parking Overhaul on the Docket,” John Harvey is quoted using the Faulkner Act to back door our system of government by initiating referendums without actions by the governing body. The right to initiate is by petition of 10 percent of registered voters. If the governing body refuses to hear the proposed ordinance, it is submitted to the voters.

As our organization represents over 3,000 taxpayers, 80 percent of whom cannot vote, this initiative is extremely dangerous.

The challenges we face in Beach Haven are ongoing. The decisions facing our local government will have a lasting impact on our economy and taxes. Most of the homeowners of Beach Haven are seasonal and are not eligible to vote in local elections.

Established in 1962, the Beach Haven Taxpayers’ Association is a nonprofit “watchdog” to identify issues and to monitor the local governing body on behalf of the taxpayers. BHTA’s mission is to provide input from the community concerning the operation and improvement of the government process in the borough.

The current government structure of council/borough manager provides due process for all taxpayers including full-time and seasonal residents. Issues such as “ineffective parking ordinances” can be brought to the attention of council and the land use board as part of any development/redevelopment project.

If parking ordinances are “ineffective,” our elective officials should be able to hear the concerns of all taxpayers. Borough Manager Sherry Mason is absolutely correct in that the council should hold public hearings to access the merits for all and not just resident voters. We should all be part of the solution and not merely part of the problem.

Beach Haven is a seasonal resort like the rest of the municipalities that make up New Jersey’s 127 miles of coastline; hence, parking is an issue for all. Rather than penalize those developers who wish to establish themselves in Beach Haven for the deficiencies of existing businesses with far too few parking spaces for their patrons, we should better utilize the areas we have, e.g. the elementary school and Veterans Park, for this purpose.

Deb Whitcraft, vice president

Beach Haven Taxpayers’ Assn.



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