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What Would You Improve in Moorestown: Mayor Answers 2013 Wish List

We asked the question, you answered it, and Mayor Stacey Jordan weighed in on some of readers' suggested improvements for the township in 2013.

At the beginning of the month, we asked readers "What would you improve in Moorestown in 2013?"

A number of you shared some ideas in the comments section, and rather than just let those great ideas go to waste, we tracked down Mayor Stacey Jordan for a quick Q&A on some of your suggestions. Here's what she had to say.

How can the township make planning and zoning more “user-friendly” for businesses who want to come to town? One reader called it “an expensive process,” with a lot of paperwork, that discouraged potential businesses from coming here.
I totally relate to those frustrations because I have businesses in other towns and I experience the same exact frustrations, the same problems. So I don’t think it’s unique to our town. It’s the process. What we need to do is be a little more customer service-friendly. It’s difficult for people to navigate that.

Would a possible way to make things more user friendly be to allow businesses to apply for the things they need online?
That’s something we can go definitely go towards, and I think that’d be helpful. But the real major crux of it is people-to-people dealings. It’s a retail business; you have to be customer-friendly, and it just doesn’t become paperwork and you stamp it and send it on its way. It’s got to be a little bit more involved with almost guiding people through it. Instead of saying, “Here’s all your paperwork, go ahead,” helping them get through that whole process.

Does the township have any plans to crack down on code violators, i.e. “people who treat their yards like a private junkyard”? Does the township need to do anything to improve its code enforcement?
We do a pretty good job with code enforcement. I know there are some properties that people don’t like, and they have to make sure those are brought to our attention, because I think there’ll be times where we don’t always get everything. I know the process is they go out, and if they see a violation, they send a letter, and then the violator has a specific amount of time to take care of their issue. And if it’s not taken care of, it’s taken to court. And I think that’s where a lot of the problems occur. The courts don’t always move at the speed that we’d like to see them move. We’re pretty aggressive, and if there’s anything that people see, or they don’t think is being handled in a timely manner, call. Let us know. We’re not everywhere all the time. We need people to help us out.

What about rentals and absentee landlords? Are those concerns, and if so, how can they be addressed?
I haven’t heard too many things about absentee landlords. People have not come to me with those specific concerns, and if there are (those problems), I would love to hear them, so that I could point them in the right direction. Most people take care of their properties, most people take pride in what they have.

What about Lenola? How can the township focus on improving that section of town? Are there any specific plans you can mention?
Victoria being on council is going to be tremendous. Lenola has always been a part of town I’ve always enjoyed. A lot of it comes down to some of the landlords, or some of the businesses and owners there to review things … and I think once that happens, other businesses, other property owners, start to take pride in what they have. That’s a concern EDAC (Economic Development Advisory Committee) has had—they want to make sure Lenola’s not forgotten. I have great friends there, wonderful people that live there. And I definitely want to make the people there feel like we’re not forgetting them, that we’re really doing stuff. Maybe every once in a while meeting with the West End Task Force—maybe having them once or twice a year get together with council members, just to kind of go over any concerns they have. I want to know what’s being done right so we can continue it, or if there’s something we need to tweak, let’s take a look at what that is.

Do you have resolutions, things that you’d like to achieve this year, as a council member?
I want to continue to make sure the town hall municipal complex is moving ahead on schedule, and would love to have it under budget, if not on budget. And just making sure we continue to take care of our town and maintain it. 

Lenola Rules January 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM
Did we miss something? Is there a "west Moorestown task force" currently? There hasn't been one since 2005. Bit we'd help give a number of addresses where there potentially are violations, with cars on front lawn, campers, the guy with 5000 golf balls for sale on the front lawn, etc
Marvin G January 22, 2013 at 12:57 PM
What is the difference with west moorestown and lenola and moorestown? I drive down Camden ave alli seen are unkept yards and businesses. It's a total lie that they enforce anything. Just look around.
Lenola Rules January 22, 2013 at 01:16 PM
Marvin you got it right. West Moorestown begins around Flynn or colonial ridge area and Camden, Westbrook area west. Lenola begins just before Moorestown Woods Apts on Camden,, the other side of tracks on new Albany west , A group of residents needs to make a list of "potential" violations. Whether it being cars, campers parked on front lawns, merchandise like 5000 golf balls on front lawn, pods on front lawns, As for businesses, some on council in 2007 and other folks claimed to think that a visionary plan or whatever and rezoning a "Lenola Town Center" would take care of that blight in Lenola, but very little has happened or will happen some believe. It appears it was more of a front to get the residents to believe that something would happen and didn't. If fact if some recall the residents didn't want anything rezoned, they just wanted Lenola "cleaned up" and people to follow the rules and the town to enforce them.
Accountability January 22, 2013 at 01:22 PM
is it me or do the answers to the questions in the article sound like a long time resident and council member in her third year or someone new to town and new to council?
Tom January 22, 2013 at 01:23 PM
LR, you confused me. Lenola begins before 'Moorestown Woods'. Wouldn't they be 'Lenola' woods then? What town did the residents want the rules follwed from; Lenola or Moorestown?
Lenola Rules January 22, 2013 at 01:28 PM
That's why it was called the west Moorestown task force not the Lenola task force.
Marvin G January 22, 2013 at 01:45 PM
why make residents make a violator list when we have a mayor and officlals to do it? do there damn jobs!
Ace January 22, 2013 at 01:56 PM
I'm a bit surprised at the silence from the Mayor and apparently from residents about the open space fund. Are going to continue to have flame wars about appropriate use of the fund, or will Council consider an amendment that clarifies the more narrow use of the funds that many of us felt should be the case? I just cringe every time I drive by Wesley Bishop and see $1.2 million in taxpayer dollars going towards extravagent re-surfacing of a childrens' athletic field--all on borrowed money.
Accountability January 22, 2013 at 02:02 PM
what a shame it is that the day after celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King and the day after rejoicing about four more years of national leadership that acutally cares about the people, we get our mayor telling us it is our job to figure out who is violating ordinances. what ashame
Ed Nice January 22, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Hey Ace how much did Mayor Jordan spend of our tax money to build town hall all on borrowed money? Does town hall help kids in any way? Let me know when the Open Space and Rec issue is hot again so I can remind everyone of the facts!
M'town Truth January 22, 2013 at 03:02 PM
Mayor Jordan gave a bunch of non-answers. Typical for a politician. Ideas for making the area around the intersection of Camden Avenue & Lenola Road should include planting trees. One of the things that gives "Moorestown Proper" (as some think of it) its feeling of history and beauty is the tree-lined streets. There are no trees at all at that intersection, much less large, mature trees. It can't "feel" like the rest of Moorestown unless it begins to look more like the rest of Moorestown. The township plants trees along other streets - why not along Camden Avenue & Lenola Road? I agree that yards need to be cleaned up, and businesses that are eyesores should be forced to fence in the offending sites. If the township can't or won't do it, maybe lawsuits from neighbors will? These violations do decrease the value of surrounding properties, so there is a valid case for lawsuits.
Rob Scott (Editor) January 22, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Ace, Just to clarify, the mayor was only answering questions provided by readers in the "What Would You Improve in Moorestown in 2013?" piece we ran at the beginning of the year. No one mentioned the Open Space Fund—though if I were a betting man, I'd guess that issue will rear its head at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Lenola Rules January 22, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Some of the intersection issues are that a number of the roads in Lenola that "we see" are county roads.
Bill January 22, 2013 at 06:42 PM
MLK - A philander, plagiarist, & substance abuser, under a veil of respectability. Give that man a holiday.
Lynda Calderone January 22, 2013 at 10:06 PM
The Mayor should look to cleaning up the MTPS administration. Our taxes are ridiculously high, and the school seems overcrowded and directed to pushing all attention only on athletes or high level scholars, while other kids are left in the dust. There is far too much administration and not enough focus on students. The money spent on lawyer fees for crony attorneys to defend bad decisions of the Board is way too high for a town this size and many of those situations could have been settled by open communication with parents. The MTPS thinks and acts as though it is above scrutiny, when it should invite scrutiny and look to ways to improve. I moved here for the school district, but I will be leaving because the taxes do not warrant what I received in the bargain.
Fresh Start January 24, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Just got my reassessment. Nice job Button, Gallo, Testa, Jordan, Chiacchio and Carew. My value dropped and yet my taxes are going up almost 15%. You bungled that. So much for tax neutral. Vote the remaining bums out. They can't get the job done.
Joiner Fee January 24, 2013 at 01:23 AM
Lets all go to the Lenola fire hall and fight this. If the mall can appeal their taxes year after year, then it's time we stand up and appeal these appraisal guys. People are penalized for not doing any improvements? Really?
Saul January 24, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Did everyone get there letter today? My taxes went down big. Thanks Mayor Jordan!
Archie Bunker January 24, 2013 at 02:23 AM
Saul, Are you kidding me, my house was assessed for 100,000 less than 2012 and my taxes went up 1100. How does that work????? Woohoo thanks Moorestown
Saul January 24, 2013 at 03:09 AM
I thought the goal of the update was to lower everyones values. It sounds like your reduction wasn't the same as mine and you weren't paying your fair share before. Guess you have to pay my savings. Thank you and Mayor Jordan for lowering my taxes
Archie Bunker January 24, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Not paying my fair share, are you kidding?? It was 2-3 yr old house when the last re assessment was completed. NO upgrades since. I am hoping it was a mistake, will see what the township says
Accountability January 24, 2013 at 01:19 PM
apparently the mayors new years resolution is to keep town hall on schedule. hey patch how is that going so far? is there a schedule for the job that maybe you can post online to keep us up to date on the mayors goal?
Saul January 24, 2013 at 01:48 PM
I don't see how you were you paying your fair share before if your bill went up after the update? You were underpaying and I was overpaying. Now we are back to fair.
Fresh Start January 24, 2013 at 01:57 PM
So since YOUR tax bill went down, you are fully certain that the process was done correctly. Tell that to the thousands who will now pay hundreds and thousands more per year. Remember, this is the firm that did it in 2007 as well.
Saul January 24, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Was it done wrong last time when my bill went up? I don't know. I wasn't happy about it and now it appears that it has been corrected. Is there anything specific you think was done wrong? The letter said you could challenge it so do it. What else can be done if they need the money.
Bewildered January 24, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Can someone please explain to me how my property value went from $630k to $570k but yet my taxes went UP $800??????
Tom January 24, 2013 at 02:14 PM
My letter came also and it is very confusing as to what has occured. There is no communication from the township or Mayor as was promised and instead of anyone reporting on this, we have stories about the size of Subway sandwiches. What can the Mayor do to improve Moorestown - start with learning how to communicate with your customers. This is what happens when you elect the least qualified people.
Archie Bunker January 24, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Saul Your kidding again, I had a 3 yr old brand new home when re- eval happened. I could not believe the township was using 90% of the original value to base my previous taxes against. In addition, if you had a older home you enjoyed low taxes for a excessive period of time. ( you made out) The bottom line: It seems to reason if my assessment decreased during this last inspection, I should expect a decrease in my property taxes. Ill see what they say
Saul January 24, 2013 at 07:10 PM
What do you want me to tell you? Go find out what happened. If you didn't like your assessment last time, you should have appealed. I thought everyone's values went down and based on your logic everyone's taxes should have gone down too. Let everyone know what you find out.

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