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Voice of the People, March 28, 2021

Voice of the People, March 28, 2021

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Pinelands killing towns

Regarding the recent article, “The Pineland Squeeze — state is not paying Pinelands municipalities all the money due to them”:

The precarious financial positions of many of the municipalities within the pinelands jurisdiction, including Maurice River Township, can to a great extent be laid at the feet of politicians who lack the will to demand that the Garden State Preservation Act be fully funded as originally mandated. As current Mayor Ken Whildin (I’m a former mayor) correctly stated, the state’s shortfall of $122,548 this year will adversely affect its budget in that this decrease represents a tax increase in 4 cents per hundred dollars unless this loss can be offset by some other means. Which I’m sure it will, but this constant yearly “Rob Peter to Pay Paul” scenario advanced by the state of New Jersey has to end. Dozens of pinelands municipalities are in the same boat.

An alternative at worst, or a complement at best, would have state representatives champion legislation that would mandate that once a municipality, any municipality, achieves a threshold of X% of tax exempt lands, whether held by the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection or preservation organizations, any further land acquisitions must pay full taxes on the full amount assessed. After all, if they have the money to buy the land in the first place, they should have the money to pay taxes yearly on it. Once any property is exempt, it is off the tax rolls forever.

I have just finished reading a book about ghost towns in southern New Jersey. There will be more unless something is done quickly to restore the Garden State Preservation Fund fully, provide for tax payments on future acquisitions by tax-exempt entities and reel in the Pinelands Commission’s draconian mandates against new development.

J. Roy Oliver

Maurice River Township

Obey mask rules

What does it mean when folks wear no mask or wear them improperly? Maybe it’s time to remember childhood. We were given rules to follow. Look both ways before you cross the street. We didn’t just look to the left. It made sense to be careful. Say please and thank you. If you received a vaccine, did you thank the vaccinator?

There is a basic human need to be decent. I don’t get it. I think acting like an adult may be just too difficult for so many. Everyone needs to grow up.

Joan Mahon

Villas

Don’t avoid J&J vaccine

I am a lifelong Catholic, 16 years of Catholic education including four years at Marquette University. The Jesuits there taught me to question authority and confront it when it is wrong.

I find it sanctimonious that the Catholic hierarchy is urging their congregations to avoid Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine if possible. The hierarchy sees ethical concerns in the manufacture of the vaccine using a cell line from a fetus aborted in 1985.

They didn’t suggest, in response to the horrors of the sex scandal, that congregants find another church without such ethical issues.

Just as some bad priests should not define the whole of Catholicism, this vaccine with some ethical issues should not be thrown aside. All vaccines are needed during this global pandemic.

Elizabeth Doran

Absecon

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