This letter to the editor was submitted to The Sun from Mt. Laurel resident: Larry Colangelo:
By New Jersey law, Mt. Laurel Township Council may place a referendum on the November general elections ballot allowing the voters to decide if they want municipal elections to be nonpartisan.
The state law requires the change to also move the election to May.
But, state law also allows council to move the election back to November if passed.
Mayor Kurt Folcher, Deputy Mayor Linda Bobo and Councilman Irwin Edelson all support giving the voters this option via referendum.
They are also committed to immediately moving the election back to November if the referendum passes which would mean no change in terms for sitting council members, no change in council election dates and no additional costs for a municipal nonpartisan stand-alone election.
Councilmen Steve Steglik and Kareem Pritchett are opposed to letting the people have the opportunity to vote on the matter.
A core group of Mt. Laurel Democrat Party leaders have fought this idea since it came to the forefront.
They have written letters to the editor, posted on social media and made a mockery of town council meetings. They have attempted to bully and intimidate the Republican council members to stop them from moving forward with this referendum.
Assemblywoman Carol Murphy has introduced specific legislation in the state legislature to make it harder for referendums like these to get on the ballot statewide.
The Democrats have gone to their standard playbook and angrily accused our council members of being racist and sleazy.
They claim that allowing the voters of Mt. Laurel to vote on a referendum to change the elections to nonpartisan is voter suppression, voter disenfranchisement, racist, and costly, which are all ridiculous and false on their face.
They point to the cost of the May elections as a waste of taxpayer dollars.
The elections will not be held in May. The stupid state law requires that language in the referendum.
The majority of council do not want a handful of rabid partisans who chose to attend council meetings or the council to decide this issue. They want the people of Mt. Laurel to decide it.