SEPTEMBER 6, 2013
A group of Moorestown citizens will be delivering a petition, containing more than 1200 signatures, to the Moorestown Town Hall on Friday, September 6, at 3:30 pm.
The petition will be filed with the Township Clerk, and the petition is intended to repeal the ordinance 16-2013 titled AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MOORESTOWN REVISING PROVISIONS CONCERNING POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPANDING REPORTING REQUIREMENTS TO ALL CONTRIBUTIONS AND AMENDING THE TOWNSHIP CODE. The Moorestown Township Council adopted this ordinance with a vote of 4-1 on August 19, 2013. If this petition is ruled sufficient by the township clerk, the ordinance will return to the Moorestown Township Council, who can either repeal it, or have it placed on the ballot at the next general election. Pursuant to the power of referendum vested with voters by N.J.S.A. 40:69A-185 through 192, citizens can petition for a referendum to overturn an ordinance, but the petition must be submitted within 20 days after the ordinance is enacted.
More than fifty Moorestown citizens began gathering signatures from registered voters, beginning on August 21, and were able to achieve over 1200 signatures in just 12 days. The citizens are represented by the Petition Committee, consisting of Barbara Rich, Lisa Petriello, Francine Cartwright, Mark Singer, and Robert Gorman.
“It was a formidable task and quite an accomplishment,” said Barbara Rich of the Petition Committee.
“It would have been a difficult challenge for a small group of people to gather these signatures, given the circumstances,” said Mark Hines, one of the citizens gathering signatures for the petition. “The action by township council happened in mid-August, and we had to deal with significant number of Moorestown residents away on vacation, bad weather, and a late start to the school year. Plus, this week was eventful with the Labor Day weekend and Rosh Hashanah. It truly took a large group of committed citizens to come together, unite and make this happen. “
“There has been very strong support for our effort, said Kristen Babcock, who collected nearly 200 signatures for the petition. “I went door to door in my neighborhood and the result was overwhelming. People are appalled by the action of the council and were glad to sign the petition. People were grabbing the petition out of my hand before I could fully explain, because they were already well informed and outraged."
Signatures were gathered by walking door-to-door, by asking neighbors or family, and on Main Street in Moorestown. Nearly 150 signatures were obtained on the first Saturday morning of the drive, on the sidewalk in front of Starbucks on Main Street in Moorestown.
By New Jersey state statute, the Moorestown township clerk has 20 days to determine if the petition is sufficient, and either issue a certificate of sufficiency, or if found inadequate, a certificate of insufficiency. A certificate of sufficiency will then send the petition to the next available Moorestown Township Council meeting, where they can vote to repeal, or send it to the next general election for the citizens to vote on whether to repeal the ordinance.
"Citizens now know that together they can make a difference. The Committee would like to thank each and every citizen that participated in this petition drive,” said Bob Gorman, a member of the Petition Committee.