Council to Consider $1.4 Million Bond for Wesley Bishop

After last week's talk of compromise in the Moorestown Open Space debate, an ordinance to bond the Wesley Bishop project is back on the agenda, along with one for the town hall project.

Township council will consider bonding the $1.4 million project tonight, after two council members .

In a letter to the Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC) last week, council members Chris Chiacchio and Stacey Jordan .

Reacting to that development, Mayor John Button and township manager Scott Carew added a bond ordinance for the project to tonight’s agenda.

Jordan and Chiacchio have previously voted against bonding for the project, but last week’s letter indicated a shift in their position.

“We’ve gotten into a situation where … they’re talking about compromise, and I felt it was appropriate, and Scott felt it was appropriate, to put it back on the agenda,” Button said. “If council doesn’t want to do it, then we won’t.”

As to whether council would also vote to use the Open Space Trust Fund to pay off the debt service from a bond—assuming the ordinance passes—Button said, “That’s a separate discussion.”

There’s also an ordinance on tonight’s agenda to bond $13 million for the construction of the new municipal complex. Council is holding a special workshop to discuss the project at 6 p.m., prior to their regular meeting.

to ensure the township receives better bids.

Additionally, an ordinance is included on tonight’s agenda to bond $655,500 for improvements to the . The ordinance is carried over from council’s last regular meeting, .

At that meeting, Councilman Mike Testa was the sole “no” vote. He explained he supported the project, but said without a clear idea of where the funding would come from and what the impact on taxpayers would be, he wouldn’t vote for it.

Councilwoman Jordan, who is liaison to the and is presumed to support the project—giving council the four votes it needs to pass a bond ordinance—did not attend the last council meeting.

Council’s regular meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the IT room at . The 6 p.m. municipal complex workshop will also be held in the IT room.

To view the complete agenda, click on the PDF above.

Donna Capparuva August 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Three of our biggest fights in town could end tonight?? I'm going to cross my fingers and hope this is for real. It would be a nice change of pace to see these five working together tonight.
Tracker August 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I thought bonds need two votes, so therefore wouldn't end tonight ?
Roger August 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Of course it will end; we'll just enjoy the fruits and leave it to the future generations to pay for it. Selfish and greedy.
Rob Scott (Editor) August 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Tracker, Council needs four votes to pass a bond ordinance. Three council members voted in favor of bonding the rec center project at the last meeting, with Testa voting "no" and Jordan absent. If all five are there tonight, and presuming no one changes their vote, it's likely the bond will pass.
Ace August 20, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I still resent the strawman argument that we *need* $1.4 million in improvements to Wesley Bishop. Council many *want* the improvements, but where is the need? It seems like an extravagent luxury in the midst of a recession.
Open Space Supporter August 20, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I'll take an annual contribution over a complete drain of the fund any day of the week. It's a much better idea than emptying the OS fund, so I can get behind this (so long as the annual contribution isn't insanely high)
Tracker August 20, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Rob I meant tonight the vote for it tonight they néed to come back and vote again at the next meeting so tonight it won't be a done deal per se. You need two voting sessions to pass a bond , second time needing 4 votes?
Rob Scott (Editor) August 20, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Tracker, Yes, you're correct. Sorry, I misunderstood your question. The ordinance tonight is just a first reading. I don't know if they need four votes to pass it on first reading, but they definitely need four on second reading.
HomeBrew August 20, 2012 at 01:55 PM
My understanding is that bond ordinances need three votes on first reading, four votes to pass on second reading. WBNorth and municipal complex bond ordinances are up for first reading tonight.
HomeBrew August 20, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Wouldn't count on resolution of WBNorth syn-turf issue tonight. Sounds like Mayor and Manager slipped ordinance onto agenda without consultation in attempt to railroad the ordinance through and railroad Council members Jordan and Chiacchio into supporting it. SOP for the synners, but not a great way to build consensus and compromise. Also, Mayor Button brushed aside the issue of OS fund use for WBNorth as a "separate discussion." Indeed, the issue is being "discussed" before a judge in Mt. Holly. Council would be irresponsible to act on WBNorth project before resolution of the lawsuit.
Rob Scott (Editor) August 20, 2012 at 02:21 PM
HomeBrew, Council members Jordan and Chiacchio are the ones who recently reintroduced the notion of bonding the project, suggesting as much in their letter to the Open Space Advisory Committee. So I don't think the mayor, or the township manager, are trying to "railroad" them by putting this on the agenda. Mayor Button said he spoke to some of the council members individually about this prior to putting it on the agenda, though he wouldn't go into detail about what was discussed in those conversations.
Townie August 20, 2012 at 02:21 PM
It's amusing / amazing that the lawyer wants to compromise before a judge determines the legality of the compromise being suggested. Instead of waiting to find out what can (and can not) be done with the OS money, counsel is attempting to get the lawsuit eliminated. It just doesn't smell right. If you want the fields, bond them and add it to the local tax costs. If you want to offset that by reducing the OS funding...lets vote on it. This entire conversation feels like a backroom deal to allow everyone (but the taxpayers...who don't pay attention while on vacation the last few weeks of August) to get what they want. The closer we get to the election....the more desperate the players are becoming to get what they want.
maxie August 20, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Put the BOOZE MONEY and have PRIET put up an ad and charge them. This entire process shows the lack of leadership and stewardship of John Button. Don't vote for John Button. Moorestown tax payers can not afford him.
Pad August 20, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Can you Say PMS!
There's Been a Leak August 20, 2012 at 04:49 PM
my source just told me that both the GNP ticket and the HNS ticket have endorsed the compromise
HomeBrew August 20, 2012 at 04:58 PM
What was OSAC's response to Jordan/Chicchiao letter? What is STEM's position on so-called compromise? Who did mayor discuss agenda with? Answer these questions, then we can decide if mayor and manager are trying to railroad syn-turf bond through in dog days of summer. Meanwhile, I'll continue to suspect that they've been working on it all the live-long day.
Potty talk August 20, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Leaks, and what about button and his ghostly ticket? What ticket or candidates have you endorsed?
Ed Nice August 20, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Hey HB the letter to OSAC was from J/C and not all of council. Why are you trying to attack JB about the agenda...are you sayin J/C doesn't want it on there thats up to them to speak up? Is OSAC in charge or is council and who care what STEMs position is the judge will rule on that ....I wonder if Hines will go to the mic tonight and admit he was wrong on the allowed uses and definition of recreation and apologize for his incorrect stance to all 5 members who now support it
Dienstag August 20, 2012 at 08:07 PM
I'm more than excited to see what happens here. Somehow I have a hard time believing Button Gallo and Testa would work with Jordan and Chiacchio. Am I wrong? Let's see tonight. Pull up a chair and get comfortable people, this could be a long one..........
Dienstag August 20, 2012 at 09:31 PM
My only prediction is that this is a big game of chicken & each side just want to see who blinks first. Jordan and Chiacchio talk about a compromise, so Button Gallo and Testa put it on the agenda. I don't know but after attending these meetings for years I cant see the five of them suddenly deciding that now is the time to play nice.......
Ed Nice August 21, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Dienstag 5:31 pm on Monday, August 20, 2012 My only prediction is that this is a big game of chicken & each side just want to see who blinks first. Jordan and Chiacchio talk about a compromise, so Button Gallo and Testa put it on the agenda. I don't know but after attending these meetings for years I cant see the five of them suddenly deciding that now is the time to play nice....... GUESS YOU WERE WRONG!!! And I think you have it backwards...... It's Jordan and Chiacchio finally working with Button Gallo and Testa! Can you admit you were wrong???
Bill August 24, 2012 at 11:45 AM
maxie pad there's been a leak potty talk Some crazy people in this town


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