Commentary: No Debt For Non-Essential Services

March 4, 2018
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Opinion by Jerry Buffalino |

The results of the October 2017 Holmdel Recreation Survey showed an overwhelming emphasis on passive recreation (hiking, biking, walking) from more than 70 percent of the respondents. The popularity of passive recreation is not surprising. It’s also positive news because this activity tends to be lower in cost and have the least impact on the environment.

Holmdel needs to restrain itself from spending for recreation services that are already available at the township schools, parks and county parks. Holmdel just approved $40 million for improvements in the schools. This spending will be funded by debt that will be with us for a long time.

Based on the survey, artificial turf fields and lighting are not in the residents’ best interest. It is unnecessary and a bad investment for the town. As the survey indicates, Holmdel taxpayers are highly satisfied with the existing natural turf fields and facilities.

The lighting issue also continues to be a bone of contention with many residents. The beneficiaries are private sports clubs that have no affiliation with the school system and are not entirely composed of Holmdel children. These clubs have greatly benefitted from having the use of excellent sports facilities at Cross Farm for many years at the expense of the Holmdel taxpayers. The residents were assured by the township council at the time the park was announced that there would be no permanent lighting and we continue to hold them accountable to honor this.

Let us not incur additional debt pursing non-essential services.

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Jerry Buffalino

This article was first published in the Mar. 1-8, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.

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