Opinion contributed by Carole Balmer |
The October 11, TRT article “Holmdel Mayor Critelli Denies Conflict of Interest” quoted Holmdel’s Mayor eliminating himself from potential conflict of interest in Holmdel’s Council On Affordable Housing (COAH) state mandated numbers. Mayor Critelli stated he “extinguished any conflict that could have been arisen from having an interest in the property moving forward.”
COAH negotiations with the township, developers and courts have long been ongoing before Mayor Critelli’s denial and during Mayor Critelli’s term on the committee. The Mayor’s stated 2016 divestiture on properties that were strong contenders for COAH township designation and the BUYER of his property being his “former” business partner appears to me to be too little too late.
Designated COAH housing properties have a very high anticipated investment return as the building density per lot size vastly increases in order for the builder to reap a significant profit margin thus escalating the incentive to build.
Especially disconcerting is the insider information on the Mayor’s once vested interest in pending designated COAH property was apparently known by other members of the Township Committee but not disclosed to the public Nor was the Mayor publicly asked to step down on COAH decisions by any Township Committee member from the behind closed doors’ years of negotiations deciding upon properties eligible for COAH development.
It was nonpartisan independent unaffiliated aspiring 2018 Holmdel Committee candidate Lea Shave bringing all this insider trading to light through her diligent and time consuming research that obtained the facts the PUBLIC should have been readily made aware of by sitting elected officials.
Apparently Holmdel’s Township Committee has a hard time divesting from their party affiliation and breaking free of their partisan brotherhood to openly represent the people first and foremost in Holmdel.
Thank you Lea Shave.
This letter was first published in the Oct. 18-24, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
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