Vineland money grab
unfair to utility users
Robbing Peter to pay Paul. That is what Vineland's government did when it took $434,850 from the Landis Sewerage Authority to help balance the city budget. This means the 13,000 customers of the LSA are subsidizing the city budget. And it looks like more increases in the sewerage rate will be forthcoming.
As a customer of the LSA, I feel it is not fair for customers to be forced to pay for the operation of city government. All the other taxpayers in the city that don't use LSA service are getting away with fiscal murder.
New Jersey law allows city government to raid the coffers of the LSA up to a maximum of 5 percent of the authority's annual budget adjusted for debt service. I don't mind paying a fair and reasonable amount of money for the service that is provided by the LSA. But I do not like the fact that I have to pay an increase just so the money can be taken by the city government.
In the past 20 years, the authority has never before given city government money to balance the budget, according to LSA Executive Director Dennis Palmer. But Mayor Ruben Bermudez and his administration have made the LSA contribute almost a half a million dollars.
DAVID M. LEVIN
on mayor is worthless
I recently received a package in the mail about recalling the mayor of Ventnor.
Dear Miss, Mrs., Mr., or Ms. or any other anonymous title you care to call yourself: Do you realize that by not owning your thoughts and opinions, you diminish your credibility to a level of nonexistence?
I do not agree with everything our mayor did or does, but, hey, I don't agree with everything I have done. Elected officials should be given at least the first term to put forth their policies and agendas. When the term is over, that is the time to debate an official's actions. We should let this process run its course and make any decisions at the next election.
These are my thoughts and opinions. I hope I am giving them the credibility yours lack by signing my name.
Gas pipeline battle
is just heating up
Some modern-day Paul Reveres led the charge in Pemberton last week to alert the public to a possible loss of a precious resource - our Pinelands.
More than 60 protesters filled every available seat, waiting to comment on the Pinelands Commission giving South Jersey Gas a waiver to violate the commission's own rules, which were designed to stop just such projects as the natural gas pipeline to the B.L. England generating station in Upper Township.
Speaker after speaker voiced their objections to the plan to run a 24-inch pipeline through the Pinelands, directly over an aquifer that supplies water to most of South Jersey.
The proposal is in direct violation of the Pinelands' Comprehensive Management Plan.
The battle over the pipeline - and with it the battle to stop the B.L. England plant from becoming a 24/7, 365-day-a-year power plant - is just beginning to heat up. This is part of a larger fight against fracking and climate change, and for the protection of our national and state parks.
This isn't just about the profits of corporations. It is about the future direction of our society and our values as a nation.
JOEL S. FOGEL
Galloway Twp. needs
more police officers
Regarding the July 26 story, "As crime drops in cities, it rises in Galloway":
Crime is rising in Galloway Township because there are not enough police officers on the streets.
The township government has received concessions from police officers to help save money. Officers willingly gave up monetary benefits to avoid layoffs that would cut services. Nonetheless, the Republican-controlled administration laid off officers and didn't fill retiring officers' positions. Police are still being asked - and are willing - to step up patrols to protect the citizens of Galloway.
The article states "from 2010 to 2012, Galloway has seen calls for police service increase 32 percent from 29,950 to 39,602." Add the fact that the force has been reduced from 60 officers to 49, and it is plain that the Police Department is understaffed and overworked.
Meanwhile, surrounding towns are hiring officers. Galloway has not been able to do the same because of the financial mismanagement of the current and past Republican- controlled administrations. The money that is being wasted on lawsuits could be used to protect the community. Galloway needs to stop sacrificing safety to save money and look for other means, such as bringing in more businesses and ratables.
Cliff Sudler is a Democratic council candidate in Galloway Township.