As 2013 begins, we should reflect on what happened during the past year. Progress made, along with the accomplishments and disappointments. The economy was tough for most of the people we know and our hopes and dreams were somewhat restrained by the needs of those around us and our attempts to help when and wherever possible. We were reminded that hope and faith in a better tomorrow was what kept some of our neighbors going. And without real hope for improvement the road forward is very difficult if not impossible.
During the storm, which was going to flood Hightstown out of existence once and for all, we learned that better preparation and some luck are all that we needed to stay dry and intact. While the power went out in some parts of Hightstown, neighbors ran cables from their generators to help one another. In some respects, the storm brought neighbors together, and that is usually very good as long as they are not gathering to burn down the townhall or your home.
We came together several times to show through a fair, parade or other events that community spirit is high and pride in Hightstown remains strong.
What also happened is a list of failures and lost opportunities, which we need to reflect on. The Borough Hall Complex remains empty with no public timetable released for rebuilding. All major commercial property development plans and approvals are still among the missing. Some demand discussions on the “Vision for Hightstown” while we fail to take action for another year on the REALITIES of Hightstown.
The Bridge Project went from Community Involvement at $75,000.00 to a need for taxpayer infusion of an additional $150,000.00. We have bonded another million or so this year and still have the outstanding bonds for the hurricane, which have not been paid off by the insurance company or FEMA. We have an administration, which is proud that it has stalled the council from any meaningful action to improve Hightstown for yet another year.
As residents, taxpayers and concerned citizens, our wish for 2013 should be that during the January 7 Reorganization Meeting the council presents or declares a formal 2013 Action Plan for Hightstown along with a timetable for implementation which must be kept. Have each member declare their support or opposition to the plan. They should also publicly resolve to reject calls that previously side tracked their plans while continuing to remain open to constructive public comment.
In 2012 the council’s opponents wrongly accused it of both secrete meetings and of wasting time with public meetings concerning the Borough Hall Complex. In 2013 the council should dedicate itself to tangible results and not just redoubling its efforts. Hightstown should not go another year without solid progress and results. You cannot improve Hightstown without a real plan. Keep Hope Alive.
I have always supported public plans and open government. I have also openly
opposed the Mayor and Borough Administrator as obstructionists dedicated to the destruction of Hightstown. Let them prove me wrong through their actions in 2013 and I will applaud them publicly.