Tag Archive: Washington Township

“If it Bleeds, it Leads”

That old newspaper adage is exemplified by the South Jersey Times, which picked its top stories of 2012:

  • Woodstown woman dies of heart attack after burglary

  • Camden woman high on ‘wet’ decapitates son

  • Autumn Pasquale’s Murder

  • Crash kills Washington Township teen

  • Millville police officer killed in accident

  • Super derecho storm, death at Parvin State Park

  • Paulsboro train derailment

  • Woman attacks worker over 7-11 sausages

  • Kid forced to eat trash-picked bagel

  • Glass flows like lava at plant explosion

  • Woodstown woman dies of heart attack after burglary

  • Camden woman high on ‘wet’ decapitates son

That publication should be ashamed of itself by sensationalizing tragedy while ignoring some of the positive events in South Jersey:

  • The several non-profits and individuals in Camden working to make the city safer and better, including former Governor and South Jersey’s own Jim Florio celebrating the opening of affordable housing in the city.

  • The election of not one, but two Democrats to the Burlington County Board of Freeholders despite the injection of funds from Sheldon Adelson

  • The ascent of a new, young political star in Assemblyman Troy Singleton

  • The first class of physicians at Cooper Medical School

  • The saving of Rutgers Camden (despite the Governor)

  • South Jersey’s Senator Sweeney’s about-face on marriage equality, and his leadership in getting the bill passed (vetoed by the Governor)

  • Assemblyman Herb Conaway’s leadership in working to establish ubiquitous affordable health care across the state (vetoed by the Governor)

  • Senator Diane Allen’s leadership in combating teacher-on-student bullying.

  • Former Blue Jersey writer and Cherry Hill resident Jay Lassiter’s quest to implement the medical marijuana law despite the Governor’s ceaseless obstructions.

Washington Twp (Gloucester County) Mayoral Debate

Promoted by Rosi

In addition to the very important NJ State Legislature and County Freeholder elections on Tuesday, Washington Township, Gloucester County, will be holding a Mayoral election.

(Disclosure: I have the unique distinction of having lived in two of the five(?) Washington Townships in New Jersey)

Notwithstanding the unfortunate headline juxtaposition on the front page of the Washington Township Times: For the benefit of Washington Twp residents, there will be a debate between Mayoral hopefuls Kevin Murphy (R) and Barbara Wallace (D), in the Washington Twp Municipal Building on Egg Harbor Road, Tuesday, November 1, at 7:00pm.

The one-hour debate will be held in the main council meeting room of the municipal building on Egg Harbor Road. The candidates will each respond to 10 questions – eight of which will come from the public, but not the audience. Murphy said they’ve established an email address – wtmayoraldebate11@gmail.com – where they’re asking the residents to submit questions. The questions must include the resident’s name, address and phone number in order to be considered.

 

See you there, and don't forget to VOTE on Tuesday, November 8.

Have You Written to Your Elected Officials Lately?

Well, glad to see Gov. Christie's getting some mileage out of his self-serving videos at taxpayer expense. – promoted by Rosi

Have You Written to Your Elected Officials Lately? I have.

Recently I wrote to the triumvirate who represent my Legislative District, #4: Senator Fred Madden (D), Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D), Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco Jr (R), along with Washington Twp Mayor Matthew Lyons (D). The subject was the growing number of once-thriving, now vacant, retail properties in the Township (which will be a topic for a future diary).

I received two responses: one from Mayor Lyons, who thanked me for my concerns and suggested that I attend the next planning meeting . The other was from Assemblyman DiCicco, the sole Republican Legislator in my District, who expressed that he shared my concerns, and included the usual Republican boilerplate about making NJ more business-friendly. I believe he was sincere. I am disappointed by the silence form the two Democrats who represent my District, especially Mr. Moriarty, who is a Township resident and former mayor. At least Mr. DiCicco had the decency to respond. Perhaps he is the only one who realizes that he is up for re-election this year, and re-election is not a given.

I also wrote to the Governors office, one sentence:

“When can we expect the Governor to unveil his 2012 budget proposal?”

his reply below

Cartographic Conundrums

CNN Money recently released its Best Places to Live list for 2008, and nine New Jersey communities made the top 100.

Check out the page for 58th ranked Washington Township, specifically the two maps:

Catch the discrepancy? The bigger map shows the Washington Township in Bergen County, while the smaller map shows the Washington Township in Gloucester County. The difference? A two hour drive on the Turnpike and the Parkway.

CNN’s mistake is somewhat understandable. Until Mercer County’s smallest township changed its name to Robbinsville in January, New Jersey was home to six Washington Townships. You can still find a Washington Township on a map of Bergen, Burlington, Gloucester, Morris or Warren County. In Warren County, the Washington Township surrounds a Washington Borough.

And Washington isn’t the only possible point of place name confusion in the state. New Jersey had two Dovers before one changed its name to Toms River. By my count, fourteen names are still shared by at least two municipalities in at least two different counties:

  • 2 Fairfield Townships

  • 5 Franklin Townships (plus one Franklin Lakes)

  • 3 Greenwich Townships

  • 2 Hamilton Townships

  • 2 Harrisons (one town, one township)

  • 2 Hopewell Townships (plus one Hopewell Boro)

  • 2 Lawrence Townships

  • 2 Mansfield Townships

  • 2 Millstones (one boro, one township)

  • 2 Monroe Townships

  • 2 Ocean Townships (edit: plus one Ocean City)

  • 2 Raritans (one boro, one township)

  • 2 Union Townships (plus one Union City)

  • 5 Washington Townships (plus one Washington Boro)

    Yet New Jersey trails far behind some other states on the ambiguous geography front. Half of Indiana’s 92 counties contain a Washington Township.  

  • Josh Aronovitch: Netroots’er For Mayor

    New Jersey needs more good government progressives like Josh. Promoted from the diaries — Juan

    Josh Aronovitch, running for Mayor of Washington Township (the one in Gloucester County), has a pretty cool diary up right now at Daily Kos about progressive local government. It definitely will give you some good background on Josh, why he’s running for Mayor, and what has driven him into politics.

    They say there is not a Democratic or Republican way to pick up trash.

    However, there IS a progressive way to govern.  It means open honest transparent government.  It means building consensus in the community, not imposing a vision on the town.  It means not kowtowing to a county democratic party that seems to be more about rewarding contributors and amassing power than about doing right by the people.  

    Local government isn’t as sexy as the latest Obama vs Hillary diary, but it is crucial to the future success (or lack thereof) of our experiment in democratic self government.

    Josh is someone I work with, and he’s also someone I support wholeheartedly. So head over to dKos and show some love to someone who’s been a good friend to Blue Jersey and who will make a great Mayor of Washington Township.

    Join the Campaign for Change

    I’ve known Josh since high school so maybe I’m a little biased, but this is a campaign I can really get behind. Promoted from the diaries. — Juan

    The Cliff Notes:

    I’ve been a member of Blue Jersey since the middle of 2006, “de-lurking” in response to Juan’s invitation the day before the 2006 general election.

    Now I’m following Paul Wellstone’s advice that “if you can’t find the right candidate, run yourself,” and running for Mayor of Washington Township.

    I would love your help, financial or otherwise.

    Much more after the jump.

    Moriarty: Pick a job, any job

    But just one. 4th district Republican Assembly candidate Agnes Gardiner is asking current mayor and Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, who voted for legislation banning dual office holding of future elected officials, to choose one of his two elected positions:

    “Since this bill has become law, dual office holders should do the ethical thing and resign one of their elected offices,” said Gardiner, a former Washington Township Councilwoman.  “Dual office holding creates a conflict of interest, and takes time away from both positions.  Paul Moriarty, Assemblyman/Mayor, voted for this legislation so he should have no problem giving one up.”

    They’re both part time jobs, so it’s not really taking time away from one to do the other. But there is a huge conflict of interest, so Moriarty should pick one and avoid the conflict or appearance of conflict.

    There has been some speculation as to whether or not Moriarty would seek re-election as mayor when his seat is up next year, so Gardiner may get her wish.

    Suddenly, Everyone Wants to Ban Pay-to-Play in Washington Twp

    Last week, Washington Township resident Josh Aronovitch submitted about 1,800 petition signatures in order to have a pay-to-play ordinance placed on the November ballot. Washington Township mayor and Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, who in 2005 introduced and passed weaker pay-to-play legislation, criticized the ordinance saying it “does nothing to limit the influence of specific special interest groups”.

    Yesterday the township clerk certified that there were enough signatures for the ordinance to be placed on the November ballot if the council doesn’t enact the ordinance. They are required to consider it at their next meeting.

    Miraculously, after two years of inaction and accepting a flawed pay-to-play law, the council wants to act. Council President Frank Scarpato III:

    “I wouldn’t be surprised if it passes. I’m in favor of the ordinance. I believe in it, I absolutely do.”

    Councilwoman Anita LaPierre:

    “If we can strengthen it, by all means. I feel like the public needs to know that their elected officials are on the up and up and that there is no favoritism.”

    And even Mayor Moriarty:

    Moriarty said his ordinance has worked, and believes Aronovitch’s proposal “does not go far enough in limiting the influence or contributions of special interest groups.”

    “I plan to introduce, along with township council, a pay-to-play ordinance that goes beyond what the petitioners have suggested, and I would expect council to introduce it at the next council meeting,” he said.

    It’s good to see everyone taking action to strengthen the pay-to-play ban in Washington Township, but I’m a bit skeptical of Moriarty’s approach. The timing would suggest that he plans to introduce and pass his own (arguably weaker) legislation while opposing the proposed ordinance so that when voters are presented with the choice on the November ballot, he can urge them to oppose the stronger ordinance by saying that he’s already done something about it.

    But that’s just speculation, and if that’s the plan, I don’t think it will work. Voters will overwhelmingly support the ordinance if it appears on the November ballot. One way or another, Washington Township will get a tougher pay-to-play law.

    This grassroots effort is working exactly as intended. Once there are enough certified signatures for the ordinance to go before the voters, the municipal council is often shamed into action — despite prior fierce opposition — because they know it is what the voters want and will vote for. It’s been done in dozens of municipalities already. To start or join an effort in your town, visit the Citizens’ Campaign.