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Democrats: Kudos to Council, But Leave Trust Fund Alone

The Democratic candidates for Moorestown council give credit to the current council for bonding the Wesley Bishop project, and ask that they fund it without using Open Space dollars.

To the editor:

We are thrilled that the Moorestown council has reversed course, and is now supporting on funding the field improvements at .  In our letter, we advocated paying for this project through the fiscally responsible process of bonding, and not by taking the entire amount from the Open Space Trust Fund. Last night, the by approving, on first reading, the bond ordinance.

The community has come together admirably and found significant sources of alternative funding, including sponsorships, which will significantly reduce the burden on the taxpayers. We applaud this action.

The funding for the debt service of the bond still remains to be determined, and the Newcomer, Sattinger and Hines team does not support the use of the Open Space Trust for this debt service. The fund is needed for open space acquisition, and has already been stressed by costs of routine maintenance and will also be needed for dam repairs. Moorestown council, we ask that you fund this debt service through general funds, and leave our Open Space Trust Fund intact.

Greg Newcomer, Brian Sattinger and Mark Hines
Democratic candidates for Moorestown council

______________________

Got something to say? Email letters to the editor to rob.scott@patch.com.

Rob Scott (Editor) August 21, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Ed, You keep asking for Mark to admit to being a liar, but I'm confused as to what you think he's lying about. What Mark has said all along, as far as I can remember, is that he believes the Trust Fund is intended for acquisition and maintenance of previously acquired open space. Even if the judge ultimately rules differently, that doesn't make Mark a liar, because he's simply stated what he believes. I'm sincerely not taking up a dog in this fight; I'm just interested in accuracy.
Rob Scott (Editor) August 21, 2012 at 01:43 PM
mtwnres, I'm not sure if it's what you're suggesting, but there's no evidence to suggest the Democratic candidates were involved in the STEM lawsuit, or in council members Jordan and Chiacchio's decision to go along with bonding.
Alan Shueber August 21, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Moorestown, if these three guys win in November, we are gluttons for punishment. Don't yousee that if they win there will be more and more fights between our councilpersons? I want a council that can work together and not fight and bicker all the time. Voting Democrat this year is just voting for more fighting and more headaches for our town.
Ed Nice August 21, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Rob for someone without a dog in the fight you come to Hines rescue a lot. Here are some samples of things Hines wrote. Not lies??? It would be nice if you would correct all the inaccurate statements that get posted if that is what you believe. “We want to stop council from using Open Space funds and we would like them to rescind the April 11 decision,” said Hines. “Open Space funds are for a very specific purpose, not artificial turf and scoreboards.” Mark Hines 8:23 am on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 Kevin - the 2007 referendum stated it as "recreation and conservation". To me, that is clear: recreation that promotes, or at least does not interfere with conservation. The phrase is specific. It does not say "recreation or conservation". That strongly implies that they are tied together. Synthetic fields do not generate oxygen or consume carbon dioxide. While real vegetation manages extreme heat, synthetic fields are heat sinks. Synthetic fields will be disposed of in landfills within 10 years. Paved parking lots do not manage storm water run-off, as natural, fallow fields would. Instead, they divert storm water into storm sewers and quickly into streams, adding to flooding and water pollution. The other amenities, such as scoreboards, grandstands, lights, also do not contribute to conservation, but at least they probably leave a minimal footprint.
Ed Nice August 21, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Mark Hines 3:26 pm on Thursday, August 4, 2011 I hate rain on this parade, but the Philadelphia Inquirer article is about Green Acres funding (a state program), which specifically allows funding for active recreation. The state statutes are different for Municipal Open Space funds and New Jersey Green Acres. The enabling statute for Municipal Open Space Funds do not allow active recreation. Pete has posted the OS statute repeatedly. "The enabling statute for Municipal Open Space Funds do not allow active recreation." And what did the Judge say about that????????
Ed Nice August 21, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Hines doesnt even support work on the dams!!! Mark Hines, co-founder of Moorestown Save Our Space (SOS), told council that most voters want this fund used only for the acquisition of open space, not score boards or mowing land. “Although Strawbridge Lake needs repairs,” said Hines, “this is not what the fund was raised for. We should not be borrowing from it.” Agreeing with Hines, Monique Begg indicated this fund should only be used to preserve open space in Moorestown and asked council to reconsider proceeding with the project. Let us all know when he wants to admit he was wrong and apologize
Bill August 21, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Rob - "no evidence to suggest the Democratic candidates were involved in the STEM lawsuit" His wife is just on the steering committee for STEM. and this from the STEM site: "Through its support for the Moorestown Open Space Advisory Committee, STEM helps to prioritize properties for preservation and acquisition," You're right, Mark Hines probably had nothing to do with it. What was I thinking. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"
Ed Nice August 21, 2012 at 02:09 PM
One of my favorites from Hines wife....Is it a legal fact yet???? The Mayor states that the Moorestown Open Space Trust Fund “clearly implies a variety of permitted uses” (including the K.I.D.S. initiative). This legal interpretation was made by the township solicitor. It is a legal opinion and not legal fact. Legal fact is established by a court of law. Because a significant number of Moorestown voters disagree with this legal opinion, they are not “misrepresenting the facts.” They simply disagree with the legal opinion formulated to justify Council’s action. The interpretative statement on the 2007 ballot referendum, which was the guiding interpretation for voters, gives a different interpretation.
The Situation August 21, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Oops. I forgot Curly, knew he'd be along soon enough.
Rob Scott (Editor) August 21, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Ed, I don't want to get too deep into this debate with you, but it doesn't seem to me I've "come to Hines rescue a lot." But you're welcome to prove otherwise. Also, I'm afraid I still fail to see, based on your sampling of quotes, where Mark "lied." He's stated his opinion on the record a number of times and, while you may disagree with him and Judge Bookbinder may have a different interpretation of the law as well, that doesn't make Mark's comments "lies." That's all I'm saying.
Bill August 21, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Ed- well apparently Hines has flipped on the Strawbridge Dam work. From this opinion: "The fund is needed for open space acquisition, and has already been stressed by costs of routine maintenance and will also be needed for Strawbridge Lake dam repairs"
Remember November August 21, 2012 at 02:28 PM
We will remember on November 6th that the Democrats are a party that refuse to compromise. How will that work out for you at the polls? Not well, I'm willing to guess. Your voters will leave you in droves, choosing to instead back one of the two alternatives to your narrow agenda. You stand against real progress yet you want to have control? No, my friends, not this year. This year, the people will remember what your party has done to our nation, and you will see losses up and down the ballot.
Ed Nice August 21, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Rob if what he says or writes is not true that makes it a lie! Instead of you protecting him why isnt he on here explaining his "opinions" then? He should also tell everyone if he is behind the lawsuit too you know the one where the judge said his "opinions" are WRONG!!
Rob Scott (Editor) August 21, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Ed, I'm not protecting him. I just want people to be accountable for the words they use and the accusations they make. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the definition of "lie," which according to dictionary.com is "a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive." Unless you can prove Mark made these statements intentionally to deceive people. Then I stand corrected.
Ed Nice August 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM
OK Rob if you say so! When Hines says OS funds are for a very specific purpose which did not include recreation and we all know that is not true was that meant to intentionally deceive or was it written in error? Was this post from last week an opinion or statement of fact? Ann DiBlasio 10:27 am on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 Paying down a debt service is specifically not an allowed use of Open Space monies.
Confusion August 21, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Im confused again. why is patch defending hines when patch sat by for months while button and testa, and recently chiachio, got pounded.
Rob Scott (Editor) August 21, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Confusion, It comes down to a couple things. One, all those people are elected officials, and part of being an elected official is accepting that you'll be subjected to attacks. So I feel less of an obligation to leap to their defense, so to speak. Mark Hines, while running for public office, is still a private citizen. However, to my second point, I'm not really defending Mark, per se. Though I understand that's how it's coming off. Really, I'm objecting to the inappropriate use of the word "lie." I'll admit, I do sometimes pick and choose my battles. But not intentionally; it's just random. Most of the time, I'm just playing devil's advocate.
Observer August 21, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Oh, Democrats. It's like you WANT to lose this election. Couldn't you be grown-ups for one day instead of being petulant children who whine when things aren't perfect? Couldn't you leave it at "thanks for compromising"? You are what is wrong with politics. I had higher hopes for you.
Riddle Me This August 21, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Riddle me this Mr Patch, even though Hines is running for council AGAIN, even though he created a group that was very public in its abuse of council, even though he is either directly or indirectly part of a group suing the town, he is not to be confronted about his position? does that mean that we can confront any of the 9 foks running for council on the patch until you approve our comments? is that censorship?
MtownLifer August 21, 2012 at 05:57 PM
I have been quiet for a long time, actually believing I probably wouldn't post here again. I had enough of Ed Nice calling other folks who blog here "Liars". If those others misspoke, or changed their comments or position they are liars? I would be willing to bet that if I had the time to research the hundreds of Mr. Nice's blogs, I could find a misstatement or a distortion, or an exageration. I guess that would make him a Liar. I wouldn't lecture him Rob. I would flag any of his posts where he calls someone else a liar without absolute proof. The man needs a lesson in civility.
Bill August 21, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Rob - He's running for council. He's just as open to scrutiny at this point as anyone else.
Jeff B. August 21, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I have a new idea for a referendum. If you lose 2 elections in town (like Hines and Satinger are about to), can we vote that they dont get to run again?
Yah Mo B There August 21, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Ok people aren't liars here, there are just a heck of a lot of misinformed posts then. Ed's vocal but brings facts. There are many who spout opinions here as if they are facts. That distorts the discussion. We can all be adults and disagree, but when you say things that are blatantly wrong or worse, put your OPINION out as a fact you need to held accountable.
John K August 22, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Thank you Rob Scott for trying to do exercise some very gentle control over the content of the Patch comments board. I hope I'm not seeing the start of the same kind of toxic name-calling, back-biting, and blowhard posting that characterized the liquor license debate a year ago. It's bad enough to be subjected to the PAC-funded garbage that we see being thrown around in the national campaign. I sure hope that we can be spared from that level of discourse in the remaining months leading up to what will be an interesting and important race for Moorestown town council. ALL the candidates who are running--Democrats, Republicans, and Independents--are decent individuals willing to make a considerable personal sacrifice to serve our community, and they deserve to be treated that way! It particularly irks me that almost everyone posting on this site hide behind alias IDs and pseudonyms, refusing to identify themselves and take responsibility for the accusations and character assassinations they make. Newspapers never allow anonymity in letters-to-the-editor they publish. I would encourage more readers to take adavantage of clicking on the "Flag as inappropriate" button if you see something that goes beyond expressing a point of view to take an "ad hominum" cheap shot at one of the candidates. Moorestown deserves better from its citizenry. Please step up to the plate and tell us who you are when you post your opinions! John Khanlian
John K August 22, 2012 at 03:30 PM
As for Greg Newcomer's recent Patch letter expressing his support for renovations to fix up the rec center, I see absolutely NO significance to the fact that the letter was signed by him and not all 3 Democrat candidates. Each town council candidate brings his/her unique background and expertise to the campaign. In Greg's case, he has more experience than practically anyone in town working on recreation programs and so is probably the best, most qualified and credible person to make the case for funding needed improvements to the rec center building. I'm pretty sure that the other Democratic candidates are also sympathetic with and supportive of this issue. I see much too much of the strict enforcement of party discipline, especially in Congress--where everyone in one party votes in lockstep and spouts the exact same talking points. All that does is lead to deadlock and a paralysis of government. I'm glad to see people running for office who each have their own skills set and experience working with different causes (including open space preservation) that are important to the quality of life in Moorestown.
kristen babcock August 22, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Well said John K.! So nice to hear some sane comments for a change :)
Bette Sanders August 24, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Thanx John! Well said!
Joe Johnson August 25, 2012 at 04:49 PM
So who jumped to defend the Democrats.... John K, a registered Democrat who is on the Moorestown Democrats Committee, District 16 (according to their website).... Kristen Babcock, a vocal Democrat who is one of the few business owners to put Democrat signs out every year... And the Newcomer Sattinger Hines campaign's own treasurer, Bette Sanders (also a member of the Democrat committee, District 11). Yeah, theres an independent voter bloc defending the Democrats right there......
John K August 25, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Joe, I'm not exactly sure what point you're trying to make by your "detective work". Certainly I hope you're not implying that membership or involvement in a particular party precludes an individual from commenting on the general state of political discourse or arguing that town council candidates of all persuasions are deserving of respect. At least I give you credit for, like us, identifying yourself by attaching your name to your comments, rather than hiding behind an anonymous pseudonym as many who post on The Patch seem determined to do.
Bette Sanders August 26, 2012 at 12:16 AM
And soooooo.... what? Is there a point floating around somewhere that you are trying to make?? Am I not allowed to speak??? Do I not have the right to express my opinion??? Who are you?? Is that your real name??? The last time that I checked, you were not my "sugar daddy" paying my bills!!! Do you run this website??? Are you the only one that gets the opportunity to express an opinion? No defense is needed on our side for anything!! What I am trying to figure out is why folks are too "scared" to stand up and address their potential constituents in a debate?! What is up with that? If you are the one with the plan, you should be able to articulate and answer questions with ease! Whoever wins, you need to stand up and answer to the taxpayers of Moorestown in an ADULT discussion. My church has offered to host this event!!

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