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Dem Council Candidates: Don't Spend Open Space on Fields Project

In a letter to the editor, Democratic council candidates Mark Hines, Greg Newcomer and Brian Sattinger urge the current council not to spend money from the trust fund on the fields project.

To the Editor:

The Moorestown Township Council has . The intent of this public hearing is clear: to hold a vote to utilize the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland Preservation, and Historical Preservation Trust Fund for funding artificial turf fields, parking lot improvements and other enhancements at fields. It will take only a simple majority vote (3 votes out of 5) to appropriate and deplete the current balance of this fund, now at approximately $1.6 million.

We oppose this expected action and ask council to refrain from doing so. It is clear the majority of Moorestown citizens do not want the fund used in this manner. 

The Trust Fund is important to the people of Moorestown. Moorestown taxpayers have overwhelmingly supported this fund, with the expectation that it be used for acquiring and preserving open space. Residents want this fund to be available for open space purchases when opportunites are made available.

In just one instance, the prompt acquisition of open space by this trust fund prevented the development of up to 180 dwellings (the acquisition of the 129-acre Benner Farm/Swede Run Fields, which cost the township $3.2 million in 2005). The additional required services and burden on the school system would have made a major impact on our taxpayers.

Using the Trust Fund to purchase open space has kept our taxes low, and has strengthened the financial stability of our town. And consistently we have received significant matching dollars from the state and county on those acquisitions. Using the Trust Fund for open space purchases is the most fiscally responsible use for this fund.

Moorestown Council: We ask that you do not vote to release Trust Fund monies for the athletic field improvements. 

Greg Newcomer, Brian Sattinger, and Mark Hines — Democratic candidates for Moorestown Township Council

Have an opinion? Send letters to the editor to local editor Rob Scott at rob.scott@patch.com. Include your name and address. 

diehardrep May 21, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Ed, No, I am not attending tonights meeting. I gave up on that circus a couple of months ago.Right now, I am too tired to answer all of your other beyond reality points. I mean, get real. We're supposed to contribute personally to building a town hall and library when we are already paying for them with our taxes? Sports fields are different, they are needed, but not required. Being over seventy, I wonder how I ever survived playing stick ball as a kid on parking lots, streets, and back yards without astro turf. God, I loved those days.
Ed Nice May 21, 2012 at 08:23 PM
I was hoping we could finally meet again. LOL!! Your latest is now that Town hall is required but fields are not? Do families move to town for a town hall over fields? I know the schools are number one but come on town hall? If you said a nice downtown pub now you would have something. Were those parking lots paved or gravel???? LOL!!!
diehardrep May 21, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Ed, I guess what one considers a need is dictated by how much one desires it. I wonder what the community as a whole, feels is needed over what is desired, their own Town Hall, and Library, or turf, good playing fields excepted.
Ed Nice May 21, 2012 at 09:12 PM
I guess it comes down to who wants to raise the money to support what they value more. If the sports groups can pay 50% why can't the library or town groups pay the same and lower?? Why do you as a diehard have double standards for your Reps? Even ciacco will probably want 100% LOL!!!
diehardrep May 22, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Ed, Please get real. The residents of just about every town in NJ contribute to their sport programs, both as volunteers, or financially because they understand that sports is not a function of government. Libraries and Town Halls are both a function and responsibility of government. They are supported with taxes out of necessity. How is that a double standard? Where is the ordinance or statute that requires any local government to fund sport programs? Most communities provide the land and basic needs of all recreation activities as a service to its residents, but they are not bound to do so. Every town expects its sports organizations to seek financial donations and volunteer support to round out their needs. It has always been that way. No one in their right mind would refute the efforts, or deny the praise due to those who give to recreation for the sake of our kids. But, don't confuse the necessity of one with the desire to accomplish the other. What do you expect of a responsible government when tough decisions have to be made concerning the need vs the cost of things due to limited resources? And, please don't sell me the crap that using the OS fund doesn't cost anything. Build a ball park in your back yard from your savings account, and tell me it was free.

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