Turbine Applicant Wants To Move On

Rob Burke wants he and the township to 'put the litigation behind us.' Town approved a settlement agreement with Burke recently but it is unknown if Burke has agreed to the terms of the agreement.

Rob Burke hopes that the ongoing litigation between himself and the township is done.

Burke applied to install a wind turbine at his business, , in 2007, but the township denied the application.

The matter has been tied up in litigation for years.

“I hope we’re able to put the litigation behind us,” Burke recently said. He would not discuss the terms of the agreement. He declined further comment.

The council approved a settlement with Burke recently, but it is unknown if Burke has accepted the terms of the settlement or not.

The Planning Board denied Burke’s application in 2008, citing a lack of expert testimony and noise concerns.

State Superior Court Judge Donald Volkert overturned the board’s denial in 2010. 

The Planning Board in November 2011. The approval was part of the settlement agreement.

Federal district court Judge Joseph Dixon ordered the matter and agreement sealed.

Township officials, citing Dixon’s order, have also declined to comment.

The wind turbine would not be the only sustainable-energy apparatus on the property. There are solar panels on the roof and the car wash uses a water recycling system.

Burke opened a community garden on the property. He’s also raising chickens and selling fresh eggs to customers and residents. He’s donating the proceeds to local flood victims.

Mayor Chris Vergano and Conncilwoman Lonni Miller Ryan attended the opening of the garden.

“I took it as a very positive signal that they wanted to turn a page in our relationship and move forward and not backward, as I do,” Burke said.

Burke was also looking to in legal fees he claims he is owed.

Burke said in August of 2011 that he was “confident that I’ll get back every penny of what I am owed.”

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

A. from Wayne July 27, 2012 at 10:11 PM
"Burke said in August of 2011 that he was “confident that I’ll get back every penny of what I am owed.” What he is owed? What about the money the Township of Wayne wasted because of his arrogance? He owes the residents of Wayne.
Rob Burke July 27, 2012 at 10:35 PM
I won't take the bait and respond in a way that viollates a court ordered seal regarding this matter. Neither will I sit idly by while you post behind your keyboard anonymously and call me names. The truth may be difficult for you to handle, but I have never been accused of doing anything in violation of any law throughout this entire controversy. If you would explain how "the Township of Wayne wasted money because of my arrogance" I would be happy to respond. Be specific. How did "my arrogance" cause the Township of Wayne "to waste money"?
Bill July 27, 2012 at 10:39 PM
A. from Wayne, I noticed that this is your very first posting. Could it be that the name really suits you?
Justice July 27, 2012 at 10:43 PM
The money that the Township of Wayne wasted (to use A. from Wayne's words) was due to it's own council's arrogance. If anything, Rob has aided in the removal of the blinders that many people in this town have had as regards to the council and the incestuous relationships that exist at 475 Valley Rd. The residents of Wayne owe Rob for raising their self esteem and individuality in the opposition of the tyranny that has existed in this town for decades. Too bad the FBI left behind so many after it took Messercola.
Rob Burke July 27, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Thanks for your post, Justice. I'm the first to admit that I am far from perfect. But Dan Hubbard reported, accurately, that extended invitations to the Mayor (and to the entire Council, the Town Clerk & Asm. Rumana) to join me for the ribbon cutting of my Victory Garden and Learning Center. That gesture was me communicating a desire to look forward together with the Mayor & Council and to work collaboratively to better the community. Happily, Councilwoman Ryan dropped by for a visit and Mayor Vergano accepted my invitation and cut the green ribbon. Since then, I've also accumulated several hundred dollars to donate toward flood relief. I remain hopeful that the other folks on the Council decide to turn the page, too. Still not sure how "my arrogance" made the "Township of Wayne waste money."
Rob Burke July 27, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Could be Alan Bess, remember him?
Bill July 28, 2012 at 12:11 AM
The "expert"???? Interesting
Rob Burke July 28, 2012 at 12:13 AM
A. from Wayne July 28, 2012 at 02:07 AM
What a pathetic rebuttal! I have nothing to do with nor do I know anyone even remotely connected with town governance. Your long-winded replies simply bolster my argument. Your queries as to my identity are pointless. I simply made an observation, as a long time Wayne resident and taxpayer, about your fallacious battle over a wind-turbine in a semi-residential area. Add paranoia and obsessive compulsiveness to my estimate of your posture. Case closed. Respond if you like, I do not intend to post or even glance at this particular post again.
Rob Burke July 28, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Methinks you doth protesteth too much. My post was not a rebuttal. I asked you a question: Please specify "my arrogance" that forced "the Township of Wayne to waste money." And what's a "fallacious battle," anyhow? As for your identity, well, I can call you Al, to quote Paul Simon.
leanbean July 28, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Rob, Why did the judge seal the agreement? I'm thinking Wayne doesn't want the taxpayers to know what they cost us with the settlement. Congrats on your victory.
Rob Burke July 28, 2012 at 10:53 AM
I'm still working on 'why did the chicken cross the road?' Speaking of which, I need an illustrator for the t shirt design. Any ideas?
stewart resmer July 28, 2012 at 11:35 AM
I am sure that is was not Mr Burke who demanded and got a gag order from the judge in this court case. I suppose that he was forced to accept it in his own self interest having expended over three hundred thousand of dollars of his owm money to prosecute it to begin with. The individuals most responsible for this serendipity are every member of the current council. those who voted for them and enable them. Perhaps it is time for a recall referendum, including a vote to make the elections non partisan and to also deconstruct the ward system as well.
jay1296 July 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Congrats to you Rob! I'm sure the property taxes you pay will cover the cost of what the town wasted money on! Cause we all sure do get taxed enough in this town.
Rob Burke July 28, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Jay: My taxes have skyrocketed 50% in 6 years, spiking to more than $36,000 from $24,000. And as a business, I receive NO SERVICES for these taxes -- and I also pay for more permits every year than I can count on 2 hands. They add up to another several thousand dollars a year. I even had to get a Food Establishment License for $50/year because I sell chewing gum and M&Ms!!! You are right on the money to focus on taxes. The approach by the Town, the BOE & the County should be the same: Since we won't raise taxes, we need to cut services. What services are we going to cut so taxes stay the same or, dare I say it, go down????
stewart resmer July 29, 2012 at 01:41 PM
you havent worked in over 30 years and dont pat taxes A from Wayne, and you have a whopping tax lien dont you Roland?
Rex miatke July 29, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Rob says "I receive NO SERVICES for these taxes ". Question if your car wash catches on fire who would come to put it out??? If someone has a heart attack waiting for their oil to be changed who would respond. If someone broke into your chicken coop and stole your chickens who would respond. My point is you do get services for the taxes you pay as a business.
Rob Burke July 29, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Well, Rex, let me first say that I do appreciate the fact that you sign your name to your posts now. For all those years where you were attacking me under the alias 'Simple', you were little more than a politically motivated hate mongerer. You're still mostly wrong about the services I don't receive. Fire? Not funded by tax dollars -- its volunteer. Same with the First Aid Squad. Yes, Wayne spends tons of money on the equipment, but the labor costs are all voluntary. And I do respect and appreciate their service. Many of them are loyal customers of mine. But these minor discrepancies on the core issue -- businesses don't receive services -- misses the point. Businesses are ratables. That's because they pay way more into the pot as compared to what they receive in services. Homes are not ratables -- they cost way more in services than the taxes they pay. One large difference is the cost of schools -- businesses don't send kids to the local schools, but they sure pay for them. And speaking of schools, why did Wayne BOE just woo a special ed teacher from another district with a 60%/$30,000 raise???? Surely that wasn't necessary. And its a lot of money. And the "step" she was on in her old district is irrelevant -- districts hire & pay based on a negotiation. Anyway, I digress...
Rex miatke July 30, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Are the police volunteer??
Daniel Hubbard (Editor) July 30, 2012 at 07:53 PM
No, Rex, they are not.
Rob Burke July 30, 2012 at 08:08 PM
LOL! Thanks for answering Rex, Dan. I'm glad that's the only thing Rex had follow up comments to from my post about businesses being ratables. Rex obviously doesn't deny his posts under the alias 'Simple.' I've saved quite a few of them. There were some doozies. I would think that as the circulation manager for The Record, Rex would have been more responsible with his public commentary.


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