On balance, Tuesday evening’s Township Committee meeting was quiet. The main reason it was so quiet was that none of the Committee members or Township Administrator Doug Cramer or Township Attorney Peter Lange announced that the hearing on the Township’s plan to dissolve the Fire District was adjourned again. The hearing on October 8, 2014 was cancelled. The new hearing date is Wednesday, November 12, 2014, before the State Local Finance Board in Trenton. The time will be announced by the LFB. This is the second consecutive postponement.
[EDITORIAL COMMENT] The Committee routinely announces the times and dates of parades, commemorations and other important events around town, as they should. Yet, the Committee didn’t bother to announce the new hearing date to dissolve the Fire District after it was rescheduled the first time or the second time. They said nothing even though the dissolution is one of most important township issues in a decade. It’s clear that the Township Committee thinks it’s a good idea to dissolve the Fire District. And maybe Committee members think that not announcing the hearing date will increase their chances of success. But really, this is just about them doing their job. Part of the Committee’s job is to inform the public about the important events going on about town. If the Committee thinks it’s important to tell residents when the parades are, they surely know that it’s important to tell residents when the State hearing to dissolve the Fire District is scheduled. Committee members should be big enough and responsible enough to do their job, notwithstanding how they think the matter should be decided.
Also at the meeting, Tabernacle firefighter Ian McDowel pointedly commented that there continues to be a significant decrease in the number of responding firefighters because of the Committee’s decision to dissolve the Fire District. The Township has been warned, over the last year, that they were playing with fire if they dissolved the District. The Committee has doggedly ignored this concern. Listen to Ian McDowel’s statement to the Committee.