NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

East meets West
Judge clears Haddon Twp. mayor in free speech suit/ See Cleary's comment at the bottom of article

Thumbs up; Thumbs down


by William E. Cleary

Thumbs_up_two_3 Congratulations to former Gloucester City Police Chief Ted Howarth on being named the Lions/Rotary Clubs Citizen of the Year. For his entire adult life Ted has always been a civic minded person who has given his time to so many projects and organizations it would be impossible to mention them all. The honor of naming Ted, Citizens of the Year, is long overdue.

According to newspaper reports all schools in Cinnaminson and Gloucester City will be Thumbs_down_8 closed today Monday, December 11, as will the Burlington County Institute of Technology, said Steve Wollmer, a spokesman for the New Jersey Education Association. Scattered teachers from other schools are expected to take part in the rally, Wollmer said, adding the event is being sponsored by the NJEA and unions that represent state employees.The rally comes as Gov. Jon S. Corzine and state lawmakers grapple with proposals for lower property taxes, including pension reforms. However Corzine said any cutbacks in benefits for union employees would have to be negotiated at the bargaining table. So why are the unions demonstrating now when it might not even be necessary? Why did these few schools feel compel to force their individual districts to close their doors for the day?  Some districts didn't send any teachers to the event while others only sent a few so schools could stay open.How about the parents who both need to work. With schools closed they had to run around and find a sitter. Or stay home from work. If the teachers and other unions think they are going to win any support for their cause from state residents they are going about it in the wrong way.

The news coming out of Trenton is that legislators are going to give New Jersey residents a 20 Thumbs_down_9 percent cutback in their taxes. (I’ll believe that when I see it).The money supposedly will come from half of the one cent increase in the state sales tax that went to effect last summer. In case you need a reminder, the tax went from 6 percent to 7 percent to keep the state operating. We had to shut down the casinos and stop selling lottery tickets until the measure was past. And it has been said the other monies would come from the annual rebate checks that are given to homeowners each year. In other words the state will fund this proposal from the monies they collect from you and I in taxes then give it back to us under the guise of tax reform. So far there is no mention about cutting back legislators payroll or reducing the state work force. No wonder the public has loss faith in our government.  Be it Democrat or Republican, they promise us the moon and end up doing nothing.

Thumbs_up_two_4 Thumbs up to Jacks Bar and Grill, Broadway and Market Streets, Gloucester City for the improvements they have made to their building.

Installing new windows have done wonders for the property. Before it looked like a bunker.

Brooklawn Police Officer John Gundle deserves a big thank you for going above the call of duty in his Thumbs_up_two_5 effort to make an arrest in August. He was recently honored for his heroics with a commendation from the Brooklawn Mayor and council.

The broken down vehicles that are blight on the St. John Street neighborhood are still parked along Thumbs_down_10 the side of home on that street. The problem was brought to the attention of the Gloucester City Housing Code Enforcement Office in August. Recently that office was contacted and the response by a spokesman was that they were aware of the problem and are working on it. How long does it take to get rid of two junk cars? If the property owner won’t remove the vehicles than the City should and add the bill to the individuals’ taxes. The office is also being criticized by a resident who wants to comply with the citation he received but is unable to get the necessary permit to erect a storage shed issued because of unspecified reasons. Read more

Thumbs up to the owners of a local eatery in Westville who recently filed a lawsuit seeking to Thumbs_up_two_6 prevent an area along Big Timber Creek from being designated a redevelopment zone.

Opponents of the proposed redevelopment, which has both residential and retail components, have organized protest rallies and endorsed council candidates who opposed the use of eminent domain, but this is the first time the issue has made it to the courts.

Louis and Dolores Achilles, co-owners of Grabbe's Seafood Restaurant, seek to nullify the Westville Land Use Board's vote on Oct. 11 that declared the area in need of redevelopment.