I work and live in Wayne and have attended the Planning Board meeting of Aug. 12, was present for some of the Town Council Meeting on Aug. 21 and also attended the Aug. 26 Planning Board Meeting. I arrived late to the Town Council Meeting but in time to here the Mayor’s rebuttal to the resident’s comments on the Redevelopment Plan presented at the Planning Board Meeting by Mr. Szabo. I am familiar with the resident’s speeches and have heard their objections.
I was a bit taken back by the tone of the mayor’s response. He chided the audience for being disingenuous and he was obviously vexed by their comments. I hope that our Council’s tone is a bit more neighborly than the mayor’s. We the residents of this town may lack political or oratory skills but we are informed and concerned. Perhaps more informed than they would like us to be. We are parents, homeowners, business owners and professionals trying to save our suburban town. Speaking to us in a condescending manner is counterproductive. In these forums we are equals working together towards a common goal to manage our limited resources in the most efficient manner.
Having said that let me thank Mr. Szabo and his staff for their work on the presentation and for a possible solution to our ratable problem. I do not agree with either the assumption, that Wayne is not a viable community for commercial or industrial businesses to settle nor the conclusion that mixed use zoned properties are our best option; however, I am open to listening further. It was unfortunate to hear the mayor again call us names like “fear mongers” while he and Mr. Szabo engaged in this “infomercial” like dialog between each other. The second presentation was devoid of any new information and was a reaction to concerns brought by his constituents.
Imagine a town planner not understanding when a property becomes a negative ratable or a breakeven point? Who’s being disingenuous now? I look forward to the open meeting of the Planning Board and the upcoming Town Council Meetings.
If we cannot determine what the third round of COAH will bring us in the way of new regulations we should tread lightly on making any changes to our Master Plan. We should move cautiously until we know exactly how COAH will affect our town. We are moving too rapidly on projects that could have long lasting effects; turning our suburban town into an urban community.