Meeting to discuss affordable housing Obligations and effects

Yesterday’s APP article by Alesha Bord-Williams

MANALAPAN — Area legislators and the League of Municipalities will hold a public forum on the township’s affordable housing obligation and its possible effects 7 p.m., Tuesday at town hall, Route 522.

Sen. Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, all R-Monmouth, will host the forum. Also in attendance will be representatives of the League of Municipalities, under which more than 200 towns have joined in a lawsuit appealing the state’s Council on Affordable Housing regulations, League Executive Director William Dressel said. A second forum will be held in Red Bank in October.

“We believe the regulations are based on faulty data,” Dressel said. “And from bad data comes bad numbers.”

The league in its appellate court complaint charges COAH regulations force development on land set aside for open space and will cram housing into built-out towns, Dressel said. New regulations also would ban municipalities’ ability to
transfer requirements to other towns through regional contribution agreements, or RCAs.

“After closer examination of their analysis, it appears they calculated such things as golf courses, backs of yards, recreational areas, median strips and highways and baseball fields,” Dressel said. “Also, we don’t believe there’s enough money (through developer’s fees) to be able to provide affordable housing, which we believe is going to increase taxes for towns generally to build the number of units that are being called for.”

Manalapan Mayor Michelle Roth said her municipality is experiencing similar problems with the state, which has calculated the township’s housing obligation by counting parks, preserved farmland and grass medians as buildable land.

“Therefore the numbers for Manalapan Township were extraordinarily high and not reflective of reality,” Roth said.

According to Beck spokesman Tom Fitzsimmons, Manalapan will be required to build 1,179 units. Beck said Red Bank will be required to build 672 units “for a 1.8-square-mile town of, maybe, 12,000 people…obviously it doesn’t make a lot of
sense.”

“These are all issues we’re going to explore a great deal on Tuesday because we believe people need to be educated about the impacts this new law and the regulations will have on each and every community in the state of New Jersey,”
Beck said.

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Public discussion on Corzine’s asset monetization plan

The Freehold Township Committee along with Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlan invite the public to join a discussion regarding Governor Corzine’s Asset Monetization Plan.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008
7:30 p.m.
Freehold Township Senior Center
116 Jackson Mill Road
Freehold, NJ 07728

Kudo’s for Mike Doherty: GOP Assembly Members to Hold Public Meetings on Gov’s 800% Toll Hike Plan

It’s folks like Mike Doherty who inspire me to want to run for office. Thanks for hearing our voices Mike!

Millenium Radio

“Is this really the voice of the people of New Jersey or is this an orchestrated effort to put up the appearance that people are agreeing with this?” asks Assemblyman Mike Doherty. Doherty and his Republican Assembly colleagues, Rick Merkt and Caroline Casagrande says they will head a Republican task force that will hold a series of town meetings throughout New Jersey to seek public input on Governor Corzine’s massive 800% toll hike proposal.

Doherty says, “I am not at all confident that the town meetings being conducted by the Governor are an accurate representation of the public’s concerns on these matters.” He adds, “The Governor’s town hall meetings, in many instances, they’re hand-picking who they want in the crowd.”

The meetings will take place in several locations around the state between now and March and will be open to all members of the public. The schedule is expected to be announced shortly. No advance registration will be required.

“Based on the contact I’ve had with constituents, I can guarantee that there is a lot more anger about this issue than has been on display at the Governor’s town meetings,” says Merkt. He adds, “We want to make sure that all taxpayers have an opportunity to express their views in an open, public forum.”

Explaining his town hall meetings, Corzine says, “There is no restriction on what anybody can ask. There is no picking who is going to get the mic(rophone).” He adds, “People stand up, they can ask whatever they want and we try to respond.”