October 19, 2015
CFR wrote on October 2, 2015
Please see our Candidate Questionnaire on the attached pages. We will take your responses and publish them word-for-word in a newsletter and on Facebook prior to the election. If you chose not to reply, we will indicate as such.
If you would like to submit your replies to our email address, please do so. Otherwise, regular mail is acceptable.
Please answer the questions from the perspective of an elected Township Committee member. Please keep your responses as concise as possible and limit them to 250 words each. Deadline for receipt of your response will be 10/16/15.
Citizens for Readington
Scott Scammell did not reply. Liz Duffy and Ben Smith replied with the following statements:
CFR: What is your position of existing zoning and the Readington Township Master Plan with regards to future development (commercial and/or residential)?
Liz Duffy and Ben Smith: As longtime members of the Planning Board, we have helped shape the current zoning and Master Plan, which have been very effective in attracting good quality ratables while preserving open space and farmland, thereby holding taxes down while preserving our quality of life. We are against chasing low quality ratables that will bring traffic and no good jobs, and reduce our quality of life. We are for standing strong behind our excellent zoning and Master Plan.
CFR: What is your position of the town's current Affordable Housing obligations?
Liz Duffy and Ben Smith: The Township's future affordable housing obligations are yet to be determined. However, Readington has always been compliant with its affordable housing obligations, and has done so by seeking creative ways to satisfy our obligations without having to allow developers to dictate the solution. We will work with our planners to continue to meet our obligations with creative solutions that benefit Readington, not affordable housing developers.
CFR: What is your position of the current zoning at Solberg Airport (airport and surrounding land)?
Liz Duffy and Ben Smith:We are in favor of maintaining Solberg Airport as a general aviation airport. Currently, the airport operates on a roughly 110+/- acre parcel of land surrounded by approximately 600 +/- acres of land zoned Agricultural Residential, which is farmland assessed. We are in favor of maintaining the current zoning on both parcels, which would allow for safety improvements at the airport, and would prevent runway expansion.
CFR: What is your position on a potential appeal of Judge Armstrong's decision regarding Solberg Airport?
Liz Duffy and Ben Smith:The order drafted by Judge Armstrong (signed by Judge Ciccone following his retirement) must be appealed because the Judge went far beyond the question before him and gave the Solbergs the right to, "improve, modernize, and expand the Property for airport and aviation enterprise purposes, including but not limited to, construction or improvement of airport facilities and infrastructure including runways, taxiways. hangars, administration buildings, lighting, navigational aids, weather reporting equipment, and other facilities ancillary to airport use". The question of whether the Solbergs have the right to expand the airport was not before Judge Armstrong and was not part of the trial. Had Judge Armstrong not gone so far beyond the issues before him, an appeal may have been a closer call. However, this order cannot be allowed to stand and must be appealed.
CFR: What would be your priorities in your first 100 days in office if elected?
Liz Duffy and Ben Smith:The most pressing issues facing the Township are the future of the Merck site, the Township's future affordable housing obligations and how best to meet them, the appeal of Judge Armstrong/Ciccone's order in the Solberg Aviation case, and working with local business people to revitalize downtown Whitehouse Station.