This letter to the editor was submitted to The Sun from Mt. Laurel resident Barbara Blonsky:
This letter is in response to one submitted last week by Larry Colangelo.
I feel what he has written misrepresents what is actually happening in our town.
The idea to move elections to a nonpartisan method was a suggestion brought up for the first time at a town council meeting on March 11.
Suddenly, the Republican members of town council became interested in writing a referendum and argued that they need to hear from all the constituents in Mt. Laurel hoping to push through this change.
There was no outcry from the public for this switch.
Republicans have served as the majority on our town council for 34 years.
They have always happily identified as Republican and have taken money from registered Republicans as well as the state Republican Party.
What changed that would suddenly move them to want to reject their affiliation?
The change is because of the growth, organization, and renewed commitment of the Mt. Laurel Democratic Party.
Yes, reaction to Donald Trump and the National Party has unleashed a “blue wave.”
But, awareness has grown in every Burlington County town about the stranglehold Republicans have held on most of our political offices.
People and policies are now under the microscope. Residents are recognizing and supporting change. People are interested in becoming involved in local government.
The Republicans on council have no desire to change their party affiliation.
They have not suggested for one minute that they would no longer be Republican.
Although it has been claimed that they could not take money from the state Republican Party in a nonpartisan election they can still have donors set up PACs that would hide party affiliation but provide the funds needed for an election.
Nonpartisan in this case means hidden and secret.
Party affiliation would still exist.
And it is precisely because of the desire for secrecy that members of the community have been voicing objections.
The Republican members of the Mt. Laurel Town Council have demonstrated an insincerity, hypocrisy and mendacity that should not be tolerated.
It is important that this truth be told.