Mayor’s Message: It’s time to take action

In this week's Mayor's Message, Mayor Louis Manzo urges his residents to demand action from state officials.

I hope you all had a great summer; hard to believe it’s September already. But it’s nice to settle into the regular routine again and enjoy the great weather of September as we transition to Autumn. I love this time of year. As you may recall, earlier this year I wrote extensively about issues being debated in Trenton, as I expected there to be significant action taken (finally) to address the fiscal crisis New Jersey is facing. I provided you with access to data and reports that our elected state representatives are considering, including the Path to Progress Report and the Impediments to Schools Regionalization report in my columns. Both of those reports are still accessible directly on our township website. I did so in hopes of providing you some basis material, since I was also asking you to contact our state representatives demanding that they take action. Now! Before they drive us off the cliff.

I gave you the summer off, but now I’m circling back to remind you that the looming crisis didn’t go away. And in case, you didn’t notice, Trenton is more gridlocked than ever. Trying to attribute blame for this is a waste of time. Murphy, Sweeney, Republicans, Democrats…..who cares, at this point? Millionaires tax, pension reform, cannabis legalization, infrastructure improvements, light rail system, union influences, tax incentive programs, petty politics…….and whatever other “kitchen sink” you want throw in? It appears to be a mess from afar.

Yet I am optimistic. Why? Because I know that under all the headlines, there is real structural reform being discussed in a serious manner, for the first time. And when this logjam gives way, and it will, there is a chance to save our state. If, and only if, our state leaders make the hard choices that need to be made. Hence, I continue to implore you to let your voice be heard by simply contacting your representatives and demanding that they act. Feel free to lobby for or against any particular action you have knowledge about. I leave that to you. But I believe that most of you, probably 80 to 90 percent, don’t have a hardline opinion on the issues being debated, one way or the other. That’s ok. Leave it to our Legislators elected to do that for us. But you can still demand that they do something!

You probably have until the end of the year to be heard, since it’s likely that nothing significant will happen until January. Why? It’s election season with all 80 seats in the General Assembly on the ballot. Ugh! I know, but this is a political reality. Candidates won’t make these hard decisions in these coming months. In fact, they may even pander a bit to groups supporting them. A recent article illustrates what I mean. Just google the author and topic, “Samantha Marcus healthcare clash”. Or click on this direct link:
https://www.nj.com/politics/2019/09/new-njea-backed-teachers-health-care-proposal-stirs-clash-between-powerful-democrats.html

Putting the politics of it aside, the article speaks to some of the numbers on a topic that is central in this debate. What do you think? Tell your state representative…soon.