Monday, October 27, 2008
Part 2; Tom Pullion's Dismal Nine Year Economic Record for Edgewater Park
Tom Pullion was first elected to office in Nov. 1998 and started his service as our Committeeman in 1999. Tom's platform was the redevelopment of Edgewater Park's Rt 130 corridor for tax ratables and restarting the stalled Silver Park residential development.
Tom Pullion also pledged to see that no additional high density housing (apts., condos & townhouses) would be approved by the Township, as long as he was serving on Committee. Tom Pullion also supported the proposed Open Space Tax for preserving the remaining open space in Edgewater Park. Tom Pullion later turned his back on this, by voting not to use the Open Space Tax to preserve the remaining open space in Edgewater Park but to use it on field maintenance instead. Tom Pullion has pushed for the residential development on the properties slated in the Open Space Plan for preservation.
Tom Pullion's first term of office (2000-2002) record;
1. Tom pushed the Planning Board (was a member), to fast track the approvals for Phase 2 & 3 of Silver Park West. This fast tracking required the Planning Board to issue numerous variances and changes due to the Developer not building the project according the the approved site plans. These and many other inspection items, are the cause of the many issues in litigation between the builder, the township and the Silver Park West Homeowners Association. Our taxes are still paying (check the Edgewater Park Meeting Agendas for this year) the legal cost for Tom Pullion's pushing to fast track this project.
2. The Dunken Donuts, and Super Wawa were built during Tom's first term.
3. The Burlington Coat Factory received their 30 Year Tax Abatement deal from the 2001 Township Committee, that has proven to be a bad deal for Edgewater Park. The proof that this was a bad deal are the statements made by Tom, in answer to the many criticisms of this tax abatement. Tom said (in his 2002 campaign) that the municipal taxes would be lowered because of this deal and that we would see the positive effects very soon. It is six years since his 2002 promise. We are also waiting for the two Pad sites owned by the Coat Factory on each side of the Rt 130 entrance to be developed. The only so called benefit to Edgewater Park is the increased COA obligation due to the number of employees working at the Coat Factory. The additional ancillary support businesses that were to be generated because of the Coat Factory have not materialized.
4. The Open Space properties were identified that the Township Committee wanted to preserve as part of our Open Space Plan that was adopted by Tom and Committee.
Tom Pullion's second term of office (2003-2005) record;
1. Tom objected (2004) to working with the Burlington County Freeholders with their (the County) efforts to redevelop the Rt. 130 Corridor. The results of this decision are very apparent, just look across the highway to Willingboro, or ride north to Burlington Twp or south to Delran and Cinniminison to see the difference.
2. Tom was behind the hiring of Management and Government Resources, Inc. for $30,000 to market the Edgewater Park Rt. 130 Corridor, instead of using the Burlington County Economic Development Office (free) as Willingboro and other towns did. The $30,ooo fee cost one cent per $100 dollars of assessment on our local tax rate. Now what business did this contract bring ? None what so ever. Instead M.G.R., Inc. pushed the committee to change the zoning to allow for the building of condos, apartments and townhouse along Rt 130 as well as the areas adjacent to the rail line.
3. Tom Pullion and Committee signed an agreement of sale for the township owned property (Old Drive Inn) without getting any appraisals, to establish the value of this property. Tom knew that the buyer planned to build multifamily senior housing with some affordable units on. Thank god the deal fell apart! but beware Tom Pullion and Committee are still trying to push this residential idea for the Rt. 130 property. Did you ever sell property and not get a appraisal to establish the value for it from your broker? Well Tom Pullion and Committee did.
4. Tom Pullion and Committee turned down a NJ Green Acre Grant that would have covered the cost of several parcels of open space land that the Township purchased and planed to pay for with this grant. Tom Pullion and Committee rejected this grant because as Tom Pullion said, the public use of the open space properties would have to be open for anyone. This rejection has required Edgewater Park to borrow the money to pay for these properties instead of the grant. This has reduced our borrowed money (Municipal Bonds) that we could have used for additional street paving projects. Not now, just ask. The township can issue more bonds, but this would increase the outstanding loans (Bonds & Notes) requiring much more of the township budget to be dedicated to principal and interest payments and not for municipal services.
Tom's third term of office (2005-2008) record;
1. Tom Pullion pushed to change the Master Plan (Just upgraded) to allow high density multi-family housing on Rt. 130 along with commercial instead of the Master Plan's just commercial development.
2. Tom Pullion along with Committee and the Administrator are pushing the Sewerage Authority to pay for sewer lines to be installed in areas of town that lack them now, with the sewer rate (tax) payers paying for this cost, not the developers. This has never been done by the Sewerage Authority for any of the developments previously built in Edgewater Park. Tom wants this to be done now for the developer who has received approvals to build a shopping center next to the RV Dealership as well as Perkins Lane so that residential developers will build houses on the tree farms.
3. Tom Pullion voted for a tax abatement ordinance for developers, and this was passed in September 2008.
4. Tom Pullion voted with the Mayor and Committee to evict the Sewerage Authority costing the tax payers an additional 1/2 cent on the property tax increase.
5. Tom Pullion voted, to not use the Open Space Tax colected to purchase the last remaining farms, thereby ignoring the voters who overwhelming approved this tax in 2000, to be used for that purpose.
If you want to see what Tom Pullion has accomplished with his nine years as a Mayor and Township Committeeman in attracting good ratables and the economic development of our town, just ride up and down Rt. 130 and compare the Edgewater Park section to the other towns along Rt. 130.
You have, or will receive, several election mailers from Tom Pullion and his friends, asking for your vote on November 4th, to support Tom and to keep his development progress going, and he will tell you again, how his plan will lower your taxes. Are you going to beleive Tom Pullion again?
Just look at Tom Pullion's past dismal nine year record to see what you can expect for the next three years if Tom is re-elected.
Don't take my word on Tom's record, just take a ride on Rt. 130 and look at what other towns have accomplished with the Burlington County Freeholder's help. A picture is worth a thousand words.
The Edgewater Park Reporter