Wantage officials should be careful about endorsing resolutions

06 Mar 2020 | 12:18

    While it is common for the public to approach local elected officials to request written endorsement or support on certain issues, public suggestions that do become municipal resolutions are not usually political or divisive in nature but rather foster awareness or express support for things of benefit to and in the best interest of the entire community or at least a majority of its residents. Youth, veterans, animal rights, historic acknowledgement, health, and education initiatives are a few that come to mind. The reasons behind the Second Amendment resolution adopted by the Wantage Mayor and Committee on Feb. 27 and before any public comment was taken are not akin to any of these.

    Elected officials have a duty to carefully choose resolutions they adopt so as not to jeopardize the peace of mind, safety, well-being, and harmony of all of their constituents as well as a duty to not encourage or participate in meaningless rhetoric or enact symbolic policy to pacify a small special interest group.

    There was no need for our Wantage elected officials to rubber-stamp the very same resolution the Sussex County Freeholders adopted on February 18th, misspellings, hypotheticals, cherry-picked legal decision wording and all.

    In 2010, Wantage residents asked our elected officials to not pass an ordinance that favored a small special interest group, but they did. On December 26, 2019 and at three subsequent meetings, Wantage residents asked our current elected officials (two of whom who were on that Committee of 10 years ago) to not to adopt this resolution. Not even one Wantage resident showed up at any of those four meetings to speak in favor of the resolution, not until last week, after it was adopted, and all of those who did were not even Wantage residents. “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

    Karen Merrit

    Wantage