Getting the Consolidation Study report before April 1

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:07

    As you might remember, back in November 2008 the N.J. Dept. of Community Affairs (DCA) issued a 44-page Report: “Fiscal Aspects of Consolidating Sussex Borough and Wantage Township” to the Joint Municipal Consolidation Study Commission of Sussex Borough and Wantage Township. I did a very intensive review of the DCA’s Report and I believe that I had proven beyond any doubt that the DCA’s report was factually fatally flawed and therefore must be rejected by the Consolidation Study Commission. Obviously, the Consolidation Study Commission refused to reject the factually fatally flawed DCA Report. At the Commission’s meeting on Wednesday, 4 March 2009, the DCA’s consultant, Jack Doyle, was in the very embarrassing position of having to present a revised, and hopefully corrected, version of his report to the Consolidation Study Commission. When I requested a copy of the DCA’s revised report, my request was denied by Earl Snook, the Commission chairman. I was told that I would have to wait until the members of the Commission got to review the revised DCA report and had voted to accept the revised DCA report. I reminded the members of the Commission that I had found that the original DCA report was flawed, not them. Still no copy of the DCA’s revised report was given to me. Thursday morning, March 5, 2009, I placed a call to Marc Pfeiffer, deputy director, Division of Local Government Services, DCA in Trenton and I left a message requesting a copy of the DCA’s revised report. I find nothing in the state statutes that would allow the DCA, or the Consolidation Study Commission, to deny the public’s right of access to the DCA’s revised report. What are they hiding? If this Consolidation Study Commission is going to operate in secret, then I believe that the time has come to totally disband this Consolidation Study Commission. At about 5 p.m. on Friday, March 6, 2009, 1 received a call from Marc Pfeiffer, DCA; a copy of the revised DCA report will be mailed to me from Trenton. Hopefully, based on this, the Commission will now make copies of this revised DCA report available to be public. It appears that the Consolidation Study Commission has basically run out of time. Their next meeting isn’t scheduled until Wednesday, April 1, 2009 (April Fool’s Day, how very fitting) and the Consolidation Study Commission’s “Final Report” is apparently scheduled to be delivered in Trenton on Friday, May 1, 2009. Based on last Wednesday’s meeting, it would appear that the Consolidation Study Commission has several years of work left to do and less than two months left to get it done. William H. Gettler Wantage Township