Tag Archive: Farmland Preservation

Andrew Lucas, Rob Clifton, Club Monmouth & $1.2 Million of Taxpayer Funds

Once upon a time Andrew Lucas, R, the Mayor of Manalapan, acquired controlling interest in a failed real estate development company. The company had one valuable asset – a farm in Manalapan located next door to Mr. Lucas’.

John Kennedy famously, said “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” George H. W. Bush, like many Republicans of his generation, often spoke of “Service.” President Kennedy was eloquent, but it seems to me that he and the first President Bush were talking about the same thing.  

I’m Shocked, Shocked, David Frum is Voting Republican,

David Frum, the former Bush Speechwriter who was fired from the American Enterprise Institute for criticizing the Republican Party, offered a commentary on NPR’s “Marletplace,” on 10/27.

Click Here

Frum stated:

“I know, I know, I know! There’s Christine O’Donnell, Rand Paul and Sharron Angle. Never mind Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Fox News. There’s the crazy guy in Texas who says that revolution is “on the table.” And anyway, what kind of fiscally conservative party campaigns on a pledge to protect Medicare exactly as it is? … “Yet I will, nevertheless, be voting the straight Republican ticket on Nov. 2 …

Unlike Frum, I am voting a straight Democratic ticket. I know that:

  • Joe Miller handcuffed a reporter who asked a question he didn’t like,

  • Carl Paladino exercises his right to free speech and transmit racist jokes and pornographic e-mails,

  • Christine O’Donnell doesn’t understand that the phrase “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” establishes a separation of church and state,

  • Sharron Angle believes in “Second Amendment remedies” to election results and

  • Rand Paul appears to condone violence and intimidation –

and that’s part of it.

Poll shows the public favors Open Space (for now)

Today, an environmental coalition group called Keep It Green released (PDF) their new poll (PDF) that shows voters support the proposed ballot initiative to borrow $600 million to fund Open Space:

  • After hearing the draft ballot language, the ballot was supported 59%-33% with 8% undecided.  

  • Asked whether their state legislator should put the measure on the ballot, 80% said “yes” or “probably yes,” and 17% were against.

  • Asked about their level of concern for the economy, 89% said it was an “extremely” or “very” serious problem.

  • The favorable-unfavorable for the Green Acres Program is 59%-7%, Farmland Preservation Program is 49%-5%, and the New Jersey Historic Trust is 39%-5%.

  • Told the cost impact of the ballot is (on average) $16/household, support rises to 67%.

    Obviously these are great numbers, much better than the Governor’s, so it’s no wonder the group released their poll. I hope the program passes. Still, I don’t think passage of this ballot measure is by any means assured. Internal polls should always be viewed with a little skepticism, and the sample is just 600 likely voters. Even here at Blue Jersey, many are concerned about debt, and while there was a question about the economy, there wasn’t one on debt.  

    But most of all, I remember how well the stem cell initiative was polling in October 2007:

    A Rutgers-Eagleton poll finds that by a 56%-37% margin, likely voters would support a $450 million bond referendum question to fund stem cell research.

    But on election day, the stem cell initiative was defeated, and Juan Melli warned:

    This vote was a warning shot from the voters, and perhaps a sign of things to come. They weren’t ready this time to abandon the Democrats, but they know something is very wrong with the budget and they’re tired of gimmicks and further debt.

    The public will be divided between their desire to protect the environment and their worry that the government is mismanaged. The Keep It Green folks had better just be starting their campaign.

  • The Official Warren and Salem Counties Rule Thread

    The Warren Reporter boasts that Warren County is the king of farmland preservation:

    Most farms, most acres preserved, most municipalities involved — however you measure it, Warren County was tops in New Jersey last year in farmland preservation.

    My Salem County follows:

    Those 32 Warren farms comprised 2,119 acres of the 12,405 acres protected in New Jersey last year. That’s also the most acres preserved in any single county last year, with Salem County following with 2,105 acres preserved and Sussex next with 1,635 acres.

    So, this is the official thread for Tandalayo Scheisskopf and Hopeful to boast and the rest of you to take it. Maybe you can win a corruption contest.  

    News Roundup and Open Thread for Wednesday, June 13, 2007

  • As you’ved seen reported in multiple sources and Blue Jersey, the governor and Democratic leaders have reached “broad agreement on the framework” of the budget.  Read through to the end of the New York Times article, where some of the confusion after the Star-Ledger broke the story online is explained.
  • There will be a referendum to borrow money to fund stem-cell research.
  • A deal has also been reached on the Garden State Preservation Trust Fund:

    Under the deal, voters would be asked this fall to approve a $200 million bond issue that would keep the Garden State Preservation Trust running through July 2010.

    That borrowing could be paid off quickly if Corzine secures a big pot of money through a sale or lease of state assets, said Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex), who would be a prime sponsor of the bill.

    I can’t help but wonder though if voters will like seeing both of these borrowing measures in November.

  • There’s some criticism of how the Monmouth County freeholders left a controversial hire off their public agenda “by mistake.” Critics argue the Open Public Meetings Act needs to be strengthened.  The Asbury Park Press talks to the other job applicant the freeholders said did not exist. 
  • Joe Kyrillos has published an Op-Ed calling for Republicans not to switch to a winner-take-all primary.  As he notes, it’s a plot by the Giuliani campaign to ensure victory without campaigning here:

    Last month, the campaign told the National Journal that holding a winner-take-all primary in New Jersey “will free up (Giuliani) to spend time and resources elsewhere that he would have had to devote to winning each of the Garden State’s 13 congressional districts.” The Giuliani campaign understands that its candidate has a natural early advantage because New Jersey is, in a sense, the candidate’s second home state.

  • The Jersey Journal has the Hoboken runoff results, and it should remind you that your vote matters in local elections:

    In the Fourth Ward, Dawn Zimmer is holding onto a seven-vote lead vs. City Councilman Christopher Campos — 870 to 863 — so it will come down to about 70 provisional ballots.

  • The Courier-Post is looking for community bloggers in Gloucester, Burlington and Camden counties.
  • As is usual in these situations, Bally’s has filed complaints about the recent unionization election.
  • A judge ruled that Ocean City cannot set up their own clean elections fund, since there is no state law authorizing it.
  • There’s talk of major development near the Trenton train station.

    This is an Open Thread, so fire away!

  • Farmland Preservation this November

    Growing up on Long Island, I’ll admit we all thought calling New Jersey “The Garden State” was some kind of joke.  The joke was on me, though, and now that I live in Salem County I know that this really is beautiful country.  The Philadelphia suburbs, however, are rolling over Gloucester County and will soon lead to massive development here. 

    The people of Salem County approved a 2 cent property tax increase in 2002 which was used to borrow 9 million dollars to preserve farmland.  The state has made an even bigger committment to farmland preservation, and indeed the New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture says our state leads the nation in the percentage of preserved farmland.  The state has a guide to how the program works.

    Over 20,000 acres have already been protected, but there is more than could be done.  Salem County now has the opportunity to act!  Today’s Sunbeam reports that the Democratic controlled Board of Freeholders unanimously approved putting another 2 cent increase before the voters in the fall :

    The current 2-cent tax generates $800,000 a year, Public Information Officer and Human Resource Manager, Robin Weinstein said.

    He said the 2-cent tax was approved in 2002, went into affect in 2003 and in 2005 the county bonded $9 million to use for farmland preservation.

    The $800,000 each year pays for the bond, Weinstein said.

    “The $9 million is almost depleted because of our aggressive efforts with preservation,” Weinstein said.

    If county residents approve the 4-cent tax, the county has the possibility to bond another $9 million for preservation, Weinstein said.

    I support this effort.  Farmland preservation needs to happen now based on what I see driving north, and with what still are low long-term interest rates available the bond option seems favorable.  Our local economy depends on farming.  While free-market Republican-type economists would probably prefer a world of “free” trade where America’s farms, like our factories, go out of business, I can’t imagine that is a wise long-term course for our national security.  Fresh food tastes better and is healthier anyway.  An extra 40 dollars a year on a $200,000 house is a small price to pay.