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Letter: Council Members 'Doing What Is Right' for Lenola

Town council is striving to bring Lenola residents into the fold in a number of ways, council Republicans write in their latest letter to the editor.

To the editor:

On Monday night, the Republicans of Moorestown Town Council reaffirmed their commitment to the revitalization and inclusion of the Lenola section of town.

At the meeting, Councilwoman Victoria Napolitano announced she will be leading the formation of a Lenola Advisory Commission. The commission, to be chaired by lifelong Lenola resident Jamie Boren, will gather together leaders from throughout the western portion of town to review, analyze, find solutions, and make recommendations to council on the issues and problems facing Lenola residents.

“As a resident of Lenola, I’m proud to announce that we are taking this step forward for the citizens of western Moorestown,” Napolitano stated. “During the campaign last year, Phil Garwood and I heard time and time again from Lenola residents that they felt ignored and passed over by their elected officials. After speaking with Mayor Stacey Jordan and Deputy Mayor Chris Chiacchio, it’s clear all four of us agree it’s time for that feeling to end.”

The commission will take shape in the coming weeks, but Napolitano and Boren made clear they are working to ensure that the individuals involved are able to offer a fresh perspective as to how Lenola can be improved.

“The commission will evaluate the issues facing this portion of town with both people who have lived in town for years, as well as younger people who have a vested interest in seeing Lenola’s rebirth as a vibrant community,” Boren said.

In addition, Councilman Garwood recommended that some future Moorestown council meetings be held at the Lenola Fire Hall to allow the voice of the Lenola citizen to be heard. The Lenola Fire House was already chosen by town council as the site for the reorganization meeting earlier this year.

“I think while the new town hall is under construction, this is a logical move that makes perfect sense,” Garwood stated. “Until we have a central location, there’s no reason why we as council members shouldn’t make ourselves accessible to all the residents of our town by holding meetings in various locations.”

“As I said when I was seeking this office, what’s good for Main Street is good for Lenola,” Napolitano added. “But the actions taken by council are about more than just fulfilling a campaign promise. This is about doing what is right.”

Mayor Stacey Jordan, Deputy Mayor Chris Chiacchio
Councilman Phil Garwood, Councilwoman Victoria Napolitano
Moorestown Council Republicans

_________________________

Got something to say? Submit letters to the editor to rob.scott@patch.com and include your name and address.

Anna Jenkins February 13, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Following up on campaign promises? What a novel idea! Thank you to Phil and Victoria, you are doing Lenola proud with your actions! You are people of your word!
eeeeeee eeeeeeeeeee Lewith February 13, 2013 at 12:21 PM
I'd be curious to hear from a resident of Lenola. Is there a "Voice of Lenola?" If so, what are the common concerns, needs? Why can't they be expressed now? Is there something stopping a resident of Lenola from going to a Council meeting at the HS which is, in fact, right in the middle of our town? Just curious and all for making sure EVERYONE in town has a chance to be heard but this letter seems to suggest that Lenola has not had an equal opportunity to express its "voice" in the past and doesn't offer any evidence to back this up. I've been to many Council meetings over the past several years and, if anything, I think Lenola residents are as much or more present than residents of other parts of our town.
Jessica Kirk February 13, 2013 at 12:32 PM
The point is making us actually a part of this town. They are showing us, at long last, that our Township Council cares about us. It's been a long time. We do go to other meetings, and guess what? We get ignored. Our problems don't get fixed as fast as other parts of town, if at all. Thank you, Council, we appreciate what you are doing for us!
Frank Donatto February 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM
Thank you for giving us a voice that we so desperately need on Council. Please do what you are promising you will do. Thank you.
smitty February 13, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Nice job, Rs - claim a victory as the new heroes of Lenola and immediately cast off your D Council member. What a pathetic maneuver! No agenda, eh? Actions will speak louder than words. Improvements where needed in town are good. And how are you paying for them again? Oh, that's right, you have booze money that you can use up. Woe is us.....
Donna Morgan February 13, 2013 at 02:52 PM
We speak, but we haven't been heard! Many people in the past pretend to care about us until we vote, then forget all about us! I really thought that the Democrats would do something for us a decade ago, but they didnt. Then I held out hope the Republicans would do something for us, but they didnt. This is bigger for those of us in Lenola than you could ever know!
Donna Morgan February 13, 2013 at 02:53 PM
THANK YOU!!!!!
Observer February 13, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Looks like someone is a bitter Democrat. They are doing what is right for Lenola - and from what I hear, they are going to push for changes through state and county grants and through donations. But before that, they are gathering info and getting feedback from residents of Lenola as to what exactly needs to be done.
Linda Maahs Klatt February 13, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Dear poison pen: the residents of Lenola have expressed their concerns with council for many years. It got to the point of "what's the point." because no one on council would do anything for the Western part of this township. My father was on council for 24 years, serving as mayor for 11 1/2 years. I remember the fight that went on when it was suggested that the playing fields be made useable. That was pretty much the only time Lenola was included in different projects that were put into place. Please ask some residents if they feel a part of this township and you will be jokingly told "we are not west moorestown, we are east maple shade". Nothing personal about maple shade, they do a wonderful job for their ENTIRE township, not just sections of it. I find it interesting that you are not willing to identify yourself but feel free to comment on things of which you know nothing.
Carole Hess February 13, 2013 at 03:04 PM
I grew up in Lenola. My house was the first one in Moorestown due to the mile marker at the left side of the driveway, but Lenola was always my home and first love. I always thought of it as Moorestown, but resented being called "the wrong side of the tracks".. Lenola people ARE Moorestown people!
:) February 13, 2013 at 03:09 PM
if your father was on council, how did lenola get ignored.
nancy newcomer February 13, 2013 at 03:17 PM
I commend Moorestown Town Council for this initiative but am amazed that the issue has been politicized. Our Mayor pledged at the town reorganization meeting that Town Council would address town issues in bipartisan fashion, without regard to "D's and R's", i.e. Democrats and Republicans. This Letter to the Editor shouts otherwise and does not include our Democratic Town Council member who was present at Monday night's meeting and supported the idea. A simple report on the establishment of the taskforce would have sufficed, without the self-congratulations.
eeeeeee eeeeeeeeeee Lewith February 13, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Linda - Why so defensive? The point of my post was to do exactly as you suggest - ask Lenola residents to explain. I think it should be clear from my post that I don't know anything about the situation. So far, all I've seen in response are comments that suggest you are not heard and/or you are ignored. No one has offered a specific example of a problem or issue the Lenola residents want addressed. I really do want to know. If the projects are worthwhile, we should all be supportive.
Ashley Langhoff February 13, 2013 at 04:22 PM
But the Lenola Commission was an initiative by Councilwoman Napolitano, and the move to have meetings in Lenola was Councilman Garwood's idea. Hence, it was a move by the Republicans, right? Just as Councilman Newcomer has pushed to take credit for the Residents Presentations thing, they are just taking credit for what they pushed for.
Ashley Langhoff February 13, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Bravo, guys! This is fantastic news and it's long over due for Lenola! You're the best!
HouseWine February 13, 2013 at 04:35 PM
If Mr. Newcomer wants to get credit for what the Republicans are doing, I would expect that he would never do anything or announce anything without the Republicans getting the credit as well going forward, even if it was his own idea. Because that's what you are saying here. That the ideas of Mrs. Napolitano and Mr. Garwood should somehow give the credit to the man who ran against them.
Travis Woods February 13, 2013 at 04:59 PM
I'm assuming you are a relative of Councilman Newcomer (please correct me if I'm wrong), and I'll be honest, there's something bluntly offensive about politicians families fighting their battles for them. He's a big boy, if he has a problem, he should say it. It's unbecoming of a political family to weigh in on something this petty. If the Republicans did something disgraceful, sure, condemn them, but to weigh in on this just looks sad. Just my two cents. (And by the way, I voted for Greg Newcomer, along with Phil Garwood and Victoria Napolitano. So I'm not a Newcomer hater).
Amy Tozzi February 13, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Just make sure the changes made in Lenola are tax neutral and you guys have my support! We gotta do better there, and as long as it doesn't put any more tax dollars into the projects, this is something our town can really rally behind
Amy Tozzi February 13, 2013 at 05:07 PM
It's not political, YOU are politicizing it with your comments.
Watchdog February 13, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Republicans of Moorestown Town Council - The first line of your open letter "reaffirms your commitment to the revitalization and inclusion of the Lenola section of town." That's great but why does this need to be said? Shouldn't this be assumed and expected? Will you also be issuing letters to reaffirm your commitments to the Collins Park, Main Street, and Stanwick Glen sections of town? If we've neglected Lenola, shame on us! And I would think this would be at least a little embarrassing to our Mayor and Deputy Mayor as they certainly could have called attention to this over the past two years. You may want to check your party affiliation as this tactic of dividing communities into special interest groups is right out of the Democratic play book. All five members of Council represent all 20,000+ residents of this town. We charge you with making decisions that are in the best interest of our entire community. With respect to Lenola, if there are needs for that part of town, they should be considered and weighed against the needs in other parts of town. It would be disappointing and divisive if each section of town needed to form an advisory group and create their own "lobby."
Gateway February 13, 2013 at 05:24 PM
can you provide dtails of what you want done. maybe we can all rally around it if we know what you are complaining about
Soccer Mom February 13, 2013 at 05:40 PM
As someone who lives in Laurel Creek, I'm willing to be honest and say that I know tons of people who are nasty about Lenola. They aren't treated like part of our town, and I have to say it broke my heart to hear my own kids call that area "where the poor people live" when we went to McDonald's. Even if I corrected them, I hate that this is the opinion they absorbed from the people in our town. It's not right, it's not fair, and I commend Victoria and Phil for trying to make this better. It was neglected, and even if it was an innocent oversight, it isn't right. The problem is, we've continued to make other areas of town better while Lenola has stayed the same (and in some places, gotten worse). When we get our new gorgeous turf fields, they won't be. When we got new Christmas decorations, they didn't. This is the right step for them to take, and even if it took too long to get here, it's the right path for us to take.
We are the 20 Percent February 13, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Easy for you to say. Bet you don't live in Lenola. Bet you don't come to Lenola unless you crave McDonald's. Elitist.
Gateway February 13, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Occupy Lenola! We can set up camp at the pocket park !
Up Yours Watch Dog February 13, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Of the sections of town you mention which would you say needs the most attention right now? Which of those sections has a business district that has been ignored for the past 30 years? Damn you Councilman Victoria for using your status to try and make your neighborhood better. Damn you Councilman Garwood for keeping a campaign promise while Collins Park heads the way of Camden. Damn our mayor and deputy mayor for being saddled with the PEP BOYS for 2 years that were more interested getting turf fields than doing anything else in town. Maybe that's too harsh they did fix that stone shed on Westfield with the stupid roof for $40,000. I have a christmas card to prove it. If you don't have the votes you can't affect change. My suspicion is you are more pissed that the newbies in power are getting better press than the newcomers in power.
Bookworm Gal February 13, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Nancy, I don't think you're right on this one...... They deserve some self-congratulations, this is impressive
Bob Grant February 13, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Thank you, Victoria and Phil, this is great for our end of town and we appreciate what you are doing.

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