Letter to the Editor: Change needed in Voorhees Township

Resident hopes for change that allows for community to directly vote for Mayor

Wake up citizens of Voorhees Twp. Our prestigious “Address to Success” community is asleep! Yes, we have excellent school systems, and this writer is an alumnus of Eastern Class of ‘85. For the last 23 years, Voorhees Township has been my home and I have watched every year as our taxes continue to rise to the point where we basically pay over $14,000-plus a year in taxes! About $1,200 per month just to get my trash removed every week.

I recently visited a gorgeous town called Carmel, Indiana.   Homes double my house size only pay $4,000 a year in taxes! Carmel High School looks like a large University.  Their football stadium on Friday night was full to capacity and had more people than most medium sized universities!

Carmel, Indiana is consistently rated as one of the top 10 places to live and raise a family! Visiting there, you are struck by the foresight of the town’s planners and founding fathers!  You feel the community spirit. It is a lot of professionals and 35 to 45-year-olds who are raising families in very nice homes and very nice school systems, yet they only pay $4,000 a year in taxes for a 5,000 square foot home on a quarter acre which used to be a farm field!

Why can’t we achieve that as a community? Why are we in New Jersey one of the highest taxed states in the country paying more than triple the amount of taxes that Carmel, Indiana citizens are paying? Perhaps they are using their tax money smarter than we are in Voorhees! Voorhees Township is one of eight towns in all of New Jersey where you cannot vote for the Mayor directly, as council appoints the Mayor!

How can there be any accountability when you cannot vote the Mayor out if he/she is not doing a good job? It is time that Voorhees passed an amendment to our town’s constitution that would have allow citizens of Voorhees to vote directly for the Mayor. That way their achievements and or failures can truly be addressed for them by the citizens of Voorhees Township.

If you research, this a few years back, Toms River also had such a form of local government and in the early 2000’s they changed it as there was no accountability! Wake up citizens of Voorhees! Our Mayor has been Mayor way too long!

-Michael Norbury