Desmond states his case for Republican primary election

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:38

I would like to thank all of you who have been so supportive of my need to resign from the Vernon Town Council last September to care for my father who was terminally ill. Now, with that sobering experience behind me, I ask you to return me to the Council so I can introduce a business approach in town hall and cut wasteful spending. To do so will require experience and a history of results. I am the candidate that provides both. I have served five years as the council liaison to the Township Board of Education, Board of Seniors, Board of Recreation and the Township Bike Path Committee. I was successful getting the completion of major traffic improvements to the problem intersection at the Route 517/ Vernon Crossing Road (Rt. 644) intersection. I served with Mayor Ira Weiner to negotiate the successful sale of public land to the state to enable us to build a recreation and leisure complex on Maple Grange Road. We began construction in 2005, and amidst cynicism from many that we would meet the construction schedule I had promised, I delivered those facilities on time and on budget. Today, Maple Grange Community Park serves all Vernon residents. It is a facility that offers a “sense of place” and a centralized location for our community to come together. Maple Grange won the 2007 Sussex County Beautification Award from the county Planning Commission. As a member of Vernon’s Town Council I led the fight against my fellow council members approving a referendum adding .02 cents of tax per $100 of our property valuation to pay for Vernon’s Open Spaces and Recreation plans, making the case that 70 percent of Vernon is already preserved and Vernon has a million dollars of already collected unused open space funds. In November 2007, voters sided with me in overwhelmingly defeating the Council’s proposed open space tax. In 2008, I voted against the municipal budget due to the manager’s failure to remove wasteful spending, including hiring additional personnel during a Council-imposed hiring freeze, this after the Manager eliminated jobs that directly impact daily customer service to Vernon residents. The township continues wasteful spending in 2009. If elected I would eliminate the spending of a quarter of a million taxpayer dollars annually on consultants. I would eliminate non-essential municipal positions which do not directly impact customer service-quality of life to Vernon residents. However Vernon Police, DPW and Emergency Services would be exempt from this. I would handle township legal matters working at a fixed cost structure and eliminate the structure of our current attorney’s contract. Lastly, I would eliminate all non-essential capital spending when the debt service cannot be funded through a dedicated revenue source. Neil Desmond Vernon