Living on island
comes with a cost
Many are complaining about the flood-insurance costs of living on the barrier islands, which are subject to major storms and flooding. But it's their choice. If you want to live there, you have to pay for it. I think the barrier islands are a nice place to visit, but I sure wouldn't want to live there.
Egg Harbor Township
Thanks for supporting
the 'Battle by the Bay'
The "Battle by the Bay" at Atlantic City High School turned 20 years old this year. Since its inception, players, coaches, students and the community have come together the first weekend in February. We never imagined it would last 20 years.
What stands out the most is the Atlantic City High School vs. Pleasantville High School match-up. These teams have been the highlight. The idea was to bring two towns together in the spirit of community and competition in sport.
The "Battle by the Bay" has sustained itself only through the continued support of the Atlantic City Board of Education and our many sponsors and the community. The financial support of our sponsors has allowed us to provide more than $100,000 in scholarships to deserving Atlantic City and Pleasantville high school students. We would like to thank all who continue to support this rewarding community event.
Battle by the Bay
Chiarello: Critic unfair
on Richland Village
Leave it to the writer of the April 11 letter, "Taxpayers bear costs of BVT properties," to take the difficult financial times our western Atlantic County towns face and craft them into her own personal political witch hunt against my leadership.
I feel the pain that every mayor must face when businesses can't be found to help local taxpayers and ailing economies. The letter writer attacked Buena Vista's efforts to revitalize a half-mile stretch of U.S. Route 40 that we call Richland Village. We have invested many grant dollars, economic-development funds and some bond money to improve a deteriorated area. The township owns nine buildings in Richland Village; five are rented at fair prices for our area - and no, we don't pay their utility bills. Our bond debt will be done in 2019.
Last December, then Mayor Sue Barber's administration foolishly sold three properties in Richland Village, which resulted in a $200,000 loss for taxpayers.
Our towns and their elected officials must make every attempt to improve our communities and economies. If we do nothing, we get blamed for the results, and if we do something, we get blamed by misinformed people like the writer of the April 11 letter.
Buena Vista Township
Let's not jump into
county tax assessing
Some state legislators and Atlantic County officials have heard that Gloucester County supposedly saved some $2.3 million using countywide tax assessors, and they want to do the same in Atlantic County. As an Atlantic County taxpayer, I would love to see these savings - if only it were true.
As an experienced Atlantic County municipal assessor, I doubt the savings add up. We should look before we leap into county assessing.
The $2.3 million "savings" claimed in the Gloucester County experiment are unverified. Are they real or hypothetical, realized over one year or 10? Could this just be a shell game?
Assessing Atlantic City casinos isn't like assessing homes in Mays Landing. Atlantic City spends far more assessing its casinos and pays far more for its tax appeals. Under county assessing, higher Atlantic City costs would just be passed along to the county taxpayers, and municipalities would no longer have assessors who really know the lay of their land.
County assessors may be new to New Jersey, but not to Florida and New York. Comparable counties in Florida pay more than $15 more per assessment than Atlantic County pays. And after municipalities in Nassau County, N.Y., tried county assessors, they are now longing for a return to their municipal assessors.
JEFFREY R. HESLEY
on helping veterans
Regarding the April 6 story, "Millions of Afghans vote":
After 15 years of war, billions of our dollars spent and thousands of war casualties, the people of Afghanistan came out to vote.
Here in the United States, after 15 years of war, billions of dollars spent and thousands of war casualties, veterans can't get sufficient medical treatment and many can't even get food stamps. But in some states, our politicians are doing everything they can to disrupt our voting process, which can prevent many veterans from voting.
What's wrong with this picture?
Some politicians beat their chests about our brave men and women in the service of our country then turn around and deny these same service people easy access to voting. Hypocrites.
marijuana in N.J.
Well, here's a good reason for not legalizing marijuana.
An Arizona woman left the home of some friends after smoking the weed. She forgot she put her 5-week-old infant strapped in its baby seat on top of her car. The child was found at an intersection in good condition.
OK, you might say, at least she secured the baby. She pleaded guilty to child abuse and was given three months in jail, but she won't have to serve if she successfully completes probation.
So, come on, folks. Let's storm Trenton and get that marijuana legalized.
If anyone has ever been to Amsterdam and seen those poor souls in a park so spaced out, it breaks your heart to see them, young and old. Think about it, folks.
Government officials who never were in education yell "Reform!" Some do-gooder Hollywood types make some charter-school/school-choice feel-good movies where moms and children win. "Yeah!" Fox News and its friends keep saying, "American public education is failing, and it's the teachers' and the unions' fault!" Our governor calls us "thugs," and right-wing reformers mandate new teacher evaluations, new text books and curriculum, and new state tests that gather all of the students personal info into the cloud for future use, while cutting educational funding.
Next, the students fail; the union gets busted; the real teachers quit; the parents complain - and then they put their kids in private or charter schools.
The 1 percent get richer and have more minions to work and shop at Walmart. God bless America.
MARY FLATH CAIRNS