Borden, Colombi ‘surprised’ by letter

By TISH COLOMBI AND ED BORDEN

We read with interest the letter of our colleague, Jeff Kasko, that appeared in a recent issue of The Haddonfield Sun: “Bancroft plan wasn’t best for our town.”

This was the first time we had seen the letter, and we were surprised, to say the least, by much of its contents.

Those reading the letter could easily have gotten the impression that Commissioner Kasko not only had reservations about the redevelopment plan that the Board of Commissioners sent to the Planning Board, but that he did not support it. “At Commissioners meetings, Planning Board meetings, residents’ house meetings, town organization meetings, and personal meetings with residents over the past several months, it became very clear to me that the redevelopment proposal forwarded to the Planning Board for consideration just wasn’t the best plan for our town,” he wrote.

In fact, Commissioner Kasko supported the redevelopment proposal 100 percent. On two occasions this past spring during work sessions, Commissioner Kasko was asked directly by Commissioner Borden whether he had the necessary time and details to make an informed decision, and whether he supported the plan. On both occasions, Commissioner Kasko confirmed that he was satisfied with the information he had received and that he had no additional questions. And he pledged to support the plan publicly. (Our planners, legal counsel, borough administrator and borough clerk were all present on both occasions when those questions were asked and answered.)

Subsequently, the three commissioners agreed — unanimously — to advance the plan, to support it, and to advocate for it. Accordingly, we sent it to the Planning Board for review.

No one disputes the right of each commissioner, and each citizen, to disagree about the merits of a particular proposal or plan or even to change his or her mind. In fact, we invite such vigorous discussion and reflection. But the community deserves candor from its public servants and is entitled to have confidence that they will stand by their word. The community’s ability to work through the process productively and to come to informed decisions is not helped by the publication of revisionary history.

Tish Colombi is mayor of Haddonfield and Ed Borden is a borough commissioner.