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From Our Readers 4.19.2006

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Our Readers Write
High Taxes Make School Support Tough
To The Editor:
Voters went to the polls April 18 to vote on local school budgets. It has become harder and harder to support our school boards as Democrats in Trenton continue to raise taxes.
Under Democrat Jim McGreevey state property tax relief decreased dramatically. As McGreevey handed out jobs and contracts to political cronies, school aid, in the form of local property tax relief, all but disappeared. And taxes of all kinds went up.
At the end of his caretaker-term, Democrat Acting Gov. Richard Codey took $2 million out of a fund that is supposed to be used “to meet any condition of emergency or necessity” and gave it away to civic groups and colleges with which he is associated. Could your school use $2 million in free cash?
Last year, Democrat candidate Jon Corzine said, “vote for me and I promise to give you property tax relief.” In other words, he promised to send our own money back to us to offset what we have to pay to run our schools.
Now, Corzine, instead of pursuing deep cuts in our bloated state government, is taking back his promise to provide property tax relief. Instead, he has proposed record state spending and wants to raise taxes on everything from bottled water to landscaping. And once again, our school boards are bearing the brunt of the anti-tax outrage.
This is wrong. Our outrage needs to be focused on Corzine and the Democrat politicians who support his desire to keep the state government as a political swine trough.
Democrats have controlled both houses of the legislature and the governor’s mansion for years now. And all we have seen are rising taxes.
In the future, we should support responsible school boards and save our “no” votes for Corzine and those politicians that don’t stand up and publicly denounce his wasteful spending and broken promises.
MICHAEL J. DONOHUE
South Dennis
Ask Iraqis
Sentiments
On Staying
To The Editor:
Admittedly, at my advanced age of 80, I have become more opinionated. And, being a Democrat, more and more disenchanted with this Republican administration.
 I cannot recall a more unqualified individual than our current president. I am going to make a suggestion that may take our country and our service people out of Iraq. I also filled out a response to a questionnaire and in it suggested that we (our government) ask the Iraqi people to vote as to whether they would want our troops to stay, leave or stay until a definite date and then leave.
 This way, we will know with certitude how they feel about our effectiveness in their country.
 They may want us to stay or they may want us to leave, but at least we will know how they feel about us being there, and when our troops can come home.
 We owe it to our brave troops and to the American people.
 I would also like an investigation on how much money Halliburton, subsidiaries have gotten, and what they have accomplished in over three years.
 OLGA DANILUK RABIOLO
 West Cape May
 
Enjoys Herald Podcast
To The Editor:
As a primary resident of northern New Jersey and a condo owner in Wildwood for the past seven years, I have relied on the Cape May County Herald for local Cape May County news.
I really enjoy the recent addition of the podcasts.  I find them to be enjoyable, informative and professionally done.
MIKE REVESZ
North Arlington
 
Our Readers Write
Framing, Blocks, ‘Bam’ a Condo
To The Editor:
I’m an outsider, but one who has been visiting the Wildwoods since 1962.  I have been following the condominium code fiasco via the newspapers.
As has been said, if it weren’t so serious, it would be funny.
I listened to your April 6 Podcast this week, and I must commend you for it.  It is much better to hear something than to read it and assume it is correct.
Greed: The desire to acquire more than one needs or deserves. I just thought I would throw that definition in, as it certainly pertains to many of the causes of the problem.
I can’t fault anyone for selling their property to a developer and making a bundle if they can. If someone is willing to pay exorbitant amounts to acquire something, so be it.
However, these condos are going up so fast, no one is watching the store. I’ve watched them being built, and it seems to me that the storage shed in my back yard is constructed with more care and concern and stability than what I have observed being done in the Wildwoods.  Maybe it just seems that way.
Wood framing on top of concrete block, vinyl windows and doors, probably middle of the line embellishments and appliances inside, neutral colored siding, a small garage, no property to speak of, a cute white picket fence, and “bam” you’ve got a condo that has no outward character and looks just like all of the other condos in town, if not just like another housing project building from the 50’s.
Sell it to someone willing to pay $300,000 or more and the developer, architect, etc., as well as the city coffers, will all make money.  (See:  Greed.)  The new owner has two, maybe three walls to call his own.  What a bargain.
Meanwhile, the plans were all approved before construction by the powers that be, weren’t they? The builder follows the plans, doesn’t he?  Nothing would have been approved if it hadn’t gone through the proper channels, would it?
How can anyone with at least an eighth grade education then not see who is to blame for the incorrect construction of these condos?  It certainly isn’t the owner who should foot the bill.
Mayor William Henfey, in your Podcast, certainly showed why he is a politician. When asked who he thought was to blame, he said he didn’t have all the evidence to make a decision, so he didn’t want to place the blame on anyone.  What backbone. 
All the evidence that I have is what I read and what I know has been done, and it is enough to at least relieve the owners, who were cited, of any wrong doing or liability in this affair.  Look at who approved the plans, inspected the buildings, and said okay at the time. Start there. It wouldn’t be the JCOW would it?
By the way, my storage shed can be had for only $250,000 if any of you savvy condo buyers want it for a rental unit. (See:  Greed.) It can be moved easily and placed on concrete blocks and fitted with the same amenities as condos have.  It might be a little larger, however.
 
MIKE SMALLEY
West Mifflin
Our Readers Write
Private Property’s Endangered
To The Editor:
What ever happened to the “American Dream?”
 You worked hard, saved a down payment, and eventually bought a house on a little plot of land where you had the freedom to plant flowers, vegetables, whatever you chose.
 It was your home. The lawn was green and a patio was where you relaxed and partied with relations and friends. Your mortgage was affordable.
 People now buy expensive plastic houses built on land they do not own, where someone tells then what they can and cannot do with their purchase. On top of the mortgage payment, they pay a $200 per month maintenance fee.
 Have an old pickup truck? Doesn’t fit in. Want a chain link fence, no no.
 How long before July Fourth flags, other small flags, Christmas dŽcor, etc offends someone, and is banned?
 When will parking on the streets be banned so no more parties?
 How long before snow removal, lawn mowing etc is neglected while the maintenance fees increase? What is the landowner sells the land to the highest bidder?
 Now, the Supreme Court rules private property can be taken by bigger pockets. Sandra Day O’Connor said, “Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another party. The specter of condemnation hands over all property.”
 If you cannot own property, protected by the government, and the Senate refuses to push through the Property Rights Protection Act (S-1313) we are no longer a free people with the Constitution and Bill of Rights intact.
 May God help the United States of America and all of us.
 EILEEN TROFI
 Townsend’s Inlet
 
Strides Aside, Rio Grande Needs Attention
To The Editor:
I take this opportunity to thank Mayor Nate Doughty for getting the developer to take down the old coffee shop at Routes 9 and 47. Now, we must have the developer complete the planning board requirements, which gave the project its approval to build Wal-Mart.
It is required that Satt Boulevard must be extended to Route 9, and the installation of a traffic signal at the new intersection. The planning board resolution requires the traffic improvements before any certificate of occupancy can be given.
I was told that they are having discussions with NJDOT for their railroad-crossing permit. I understand that the NJDOT wants the road along Route 9 made three lanes to ease the traffic congestion. It will be interesting to see how Wal-Mart will be able to open by this summer.
We were promised that the disgraceful-looking railroad cars would be gone in a month. A month has gone by, and there has been no movement.
The old Rio Grande school is another eyesore that needs to be taken down.
The old Rio Grande Building Materials site is also a disgrace. These are just a few things that have Rio Grande up in arms with this “Rio Grande make over.”
Can you just imagine what the traffic will be like this summer on a rainy day in the Rio? Just think about next year when we have several hundred more houses built and occupied.
I love Middle Township and have always enjoyed living in Rio Grande with my family. If you live along Route 47 or Route 9, good luck trying to get out into the traffic.
In the 80s, we applied to the NJDOT for traffic improvements in Rio Grande. It was required to have a four-lane Route 47 and at least a three-lane Route 9 for the future.
Over a decade went by before they made their so-called traffic improvement, are we any better? We must stop any more development in Rio Grande until we get our traffic movement corrected.
MIKE VOLL
Rio Grande
(ED. NOTE: The author is a former Middle Township mayor.)

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