Wednesday, February 3, 2010

NOPE outreach to Former NJ Governor Tom Kean

NOPE legislative liaison Elaine Mann attended a Monmouth University panel discussion on Tuesday featuring former NJ governor Tom Kean and focusing on the "politics of civility" (i.e. the rise in acrimonious politics on state and federal levels) and a decline in "good government."

Elaine informs NOPE supporters that the former governor and Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, in a sidebar discussion, expressed interest in the details of NOPE's objection to proposed civilian housing at NWS Earle and would follow up on our matter, aided by a packet of info Elaine provided. We will follow up with Mr. Kean, considering his expertise on terrorism and the advice he could provide to the community in identifying potential security threats of opening the Colts Neck weapons storage base to civilians later this year.

Separately, last night, Chairman Bill Holobowski briefed Tinton Falls Borough Council on the merits of passing a borough resolution to support S762/A2014 in Trenton, which would require the State Treasurer to conduct a financial assessment of the Laurelwood housing situation before New Jersey's DOT or DEP could issue permits to the Navy and its developer, Laurelwood Homes LLC, for the proposed conversion to civilian occupancy. NOPE is hopeful the Borough Council will approve the resolution at next week's meeting.

The State bill, much like the ongoing GAO study underway on the federal level, is a common-sense approach to studying how much the Department of Navy plan to convert Earle's military housing to civilian use will cost New Jersey taxpayers (NOPE estimates upward of $500 million). And unlike some extremely misleading info being circulated by select NOPE opponents, passage of such a bill would do nothing to sway any decision on the ultimate usage of the 300 Laurelwood homes. For those that still haven't read the government's documentation, the Navy's Final EIS from May 2009 makes abundantly clear that Laurelwood Homes, LLC has complete say over eventual tenants, which will amount to anyone that can cut a $1600-$2200 monthly rent check. So, to reiterate, S762 will do nothing but allow for a very useful study, to the benefit of New Jersey residents, especially in Tinton Falls and Colts Neck, that face a potentially crippling unfunded mandate.

No comments: