Residents need a say in sewer system sales

Sewer systems are essential to the health and well-being of our communities. Residents are the primary investors and users of local water systems. They should, at the very least, have a voice in determining a system’s future.

A proposed bill, S3870/A539, that will be up for vote soon in the New Jersey Legislature would eliminate this voice by removing the need for a public vote on the sale of sewer systems.

Any community interested in selling its water system should examine the pros and cons thoroughly and seek input from all stakeholders — most importantly the community members it serves. If this law is passed, it would allow a sale and deal to be done in private without public consent.

The bill also allows a system to be sold at an inflated price, making a sale even more enticing to a community that may be struggling or facing a shrinking budget. This influx of money may help a municipal budget in the short term, but it will likely hurt community members who will be charged with repaying it through excessive rates on their water bill.

If a sale is fair and right for a municipality, why does it need to be done swiftly and behind closed doors? This is the question every person in New Jersey should be asking their state legislators as they determine if this bill will be passed.

Richard S. Dovey

Egg Harbor City

President, Atlantic County Utilities Authority

Van Drew a true leader

Since Donald Trump was elected president, too many politicians have been hell-bent on trying to force this president from office, rather then do what’s in the best interests of the American people.

Well, Congressman Jeff Van Drew is right for voting against impeachment, that Congress should be addressing issues important to citizens, like allowing citizens who reach 50 years old to sign up for Medicare, and pay for a plan. It was Van Drew who’s had the courage of a true leader that said, “Let the American people impeach Trump if they choose, through the voting process.”

Congressman Van Drew deserves our support since he’s standing up and reminding Congress that they should concentrate on doing their job rather then creating even more division.

David Barsky

Atlantic City

Republicans favor wealthy

President Ronald Reagan is one of the most admired Republicans. One of his principal accomplishments was his tax plan. Although advertised as a tax cut for all, the lion’s share went to the wealthy. When he entered the White House the highest tax rate, applied to the highest taxable incomes, was 70%; when he left office, the rate was 28%. This significantly contributed to the income inequality we talk about today.

What is rarely heard is that the national debt tripled during his administration. When George W. Bush came to the presidency, he inherited President Bill Clinton’s surpluses, but quickly restored the deficits. He reduced the top tax rate applied to the richest Americans by 3%.

He then took us into the Iraq war. How Bush, Dick Cheney and Colin Powell remain respected citizens is beyond my understanding. At this time, we had the rise of the Tea Party. They drove moderate Republicans out of Congress. Then the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United allowed unlimited, anonymous contributions to political campaigns. More power to the rich.

Now we have President Donald Trump. He campaigned on a tax cut for the middle class, but actually passed a huge tax cut that mostly benefited himself and other wealthy Americans. This resulted in a huge deficit, which is not supportable going forward.

Trump is also working hard to take away Congress’s power of oversight and he has installed an attorney general who works to please the president. When will the electorate wake up? Perhaps when the country looks more like Russia, but by then it may be too late.

William J. Owens

Hammonton

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