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Petition Against Borough Hall Bond Ordinance Filed

This petition may stall the bond ordinance that was previously approved to fund the reconstruction Hightstown Borough Hall.

A committee consisting of Steve Misiura, Denny Hansen, Rick Pratt, Fred Montferrat, and Walter Sikorski created a petition for a public referendum on the Hightstown bond ordinance that funds the creation of the new Borough hall. The petition was filed on Wednesday, April 24 with Borough Clerk Debra Sopronyi.

The Hightstown Borough Hall has been uninhabitable since it was damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011. The bond ordinance was approved by Borough Council on April 1.

New Jersey law N.J.S.A. 40:49–27 establishes a right to a public referendum regarding any ordinance authorizing the incurring of an indebtedness, Sopronyi explained. The law states that the petition must be signed by 15 percent of the people who voted in the most recent election for State Assembly, which in Hightstown was the 2011 General Election where 1,063 people voted, Sopronyi said. Therefore, at least 160 people were needed to sign the petition and a total of 355 “uncertified” signatures were on the petition, according to the clerk. Sopronyi has 10 days to verify that all people who signed the petition are indeed certified to vote.

All propositions submitted under N.J.S.A. 40:29-27 shall be voted upon at the next general election held in Hightstown at least 30 days after the petition is filed, unless the governing body calls for a special election, according to N.J.S.A. 40:49-10.

Misura and Montferrat are members of the Hightstown Planning Board, which previously recommended that the Borough Council not rebuild the Borough Hall in its existing location because it is within a flood zone.

Misiura is also a Hightstown Democratic Candidate running this year alongside Hansen. Misiura and Hansen are looking to replace Republican incumbents Selena Bibens and Lynne Woods, who have both shown support of the bond ordinance to rebuild Borough Hall in its current location.

TELL US: What do you think? Do you think that Borough Hall should be rebuilt at the 148 North Main Street location, or should the council look into putting the municipal offices at 415 Main Street, the Lucas property, where the police department is currently residing.

Great Potential May 01, 2013 at 01:18 PM
I think apartments at the Mill is an even better idea! We could call them Windsor Castle South.
Eugene E Sarafin May 01, 2013 at 03:17 PM
The petition created the inertia of new ideas, thoughtfulness, insight, and creativity. It stopped the path to a disaster that only four council member imbeciles could pursue based on a FEMA 2010 flood plain map that stated Borough Hall is in a 500 year flood plain when three major floods have occurred in the past seventy years. Their beliefs counter the facts and they pursue these same falsehoods in decision making as to the location of Borough Hall and the need to rebuild the structure. Better to have the ideas of citizens explored then rely on elected council members who do not want to explore any ideas or alternative.
Jeff Peters May 01, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Those of us who support the petition firmly believe that the Council's plan to rebuild the same facility in the same location will serve as an impediment to new ideas and changes that would help us. Inertia works two ways. There is negative inertia (a boulder has tons of it and it takes a lot of force to dislodge) and there is positive inertia (an avalanche has a ton of that and it is hard to stop). The Borough Hall plan that we are trying to stop would be a boulder which Hightstown doesn't have the power/force to dislodge. We want to avoid dropping that boulder in place so that the avalanche of new ideas and forward-thinking solutions will have a clear path. You can see that there are a lot of us in town who are excited about exploring new approaches to the town's problems. I hope Council sees that as well and can be equally inspired. Yes, this petition freezes things in place until November. That is a small price to pay for opening up flexibility and real solutions to our Borough's challenges. Let's leave the past behind us and focus on the newness of the future.
B.Bennett May 01, 2013 at 09:00 PM
THEN GET SOMETHING DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Eugene E Sarafin May 02, 2013 at 11:43 AM
Amen

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