February 4, 2021

A call to “Lower the Temperature”

After hearing “Nothing to Report”

The 2nd most consecutive group of words muttered by the majority of the members of council on any given night are: “Nothing to Report”. The MOST consecutive words used would be: “I’ll make that motion”. And the #1 single word spoken by council members is “YES”. It does not matter what is being put forth for a vote, they just know they are supposed to vote “YES”. That’s it. Don’t question it. Don’t worry how it impacts anything or anyone. Just vote YES. But yeah, lets lower the temperature (48:15).

Apparently there is only one council member who, by his own admission on Nov 23rd at 1:16:45, is able to chime in, ask questions and debate the public. Not to debate the agenda items put up for a council vote. Instead, debate the people questioning the agenda. I’m not sure why there is only one council member who is able to do that, but apparently that is the case. Listen to him in his own words say he has the easiest job on council.

Self Importance

After some recent heated meetings, we are being told that we need to lower the temperature. Basically, Shut up and Obey. How can I say this? Easy. Look at their actions. Listen to their words. We are not allowed to question or disagree with them. They know what is best for us.

Imagine being so self important that you can’t see how or why people are questioning your actions. Should our elected officials be telling us to “Get off our soapboxes” (39:04)? If our views don’t align with their agenda, we are on a soap box.

Should they be insulting us for holding them accountable (44:10) for doing the job we elected them for? Imagine thinking we the people are so stupid we wouldn’t recognize you are insulting us by saying you wouldn’t say something, but actually saying it?! My 11 year old recognized this and was able to articulate the concept. “Dad, by saying you wouldn’t say it…. IS saying it “(45:10). An 11 Year old. This is our council President, casting stones while acting high an mighty behind the da├»s. That aught to lower the temperature…

Here, Pass this…

Voting “YES” to award a lease for township owned property and not knowing how much it was worth is the definition of what we are fed up with. Can they not see that?! How?! Seriously… HOW? Voting YES on a $74,400 (7:35) contract for a “social media consulting company” and not having the answer as to how much the contract is for (22:55) AFTER you already voted in favor, is another recent example.

We are supposed to be ok with this?

There is NEVER a question from ANY of the council members around what is being voted on. Personally, I have not been involved as long as some others, but a person who has been attending meetings for 16 Years seems to only remember 1 time (49:00). I believe he was referring to councilwoman Andrea Stubbs for voting AGAINST the tax increase of nearly 10% tax increase during the COVID-19 pandemic where millions of people are out of work and businesses closed. Some for good.

How are we going to lower the temperature?

If you listen to the words and the examples given by those calling to lower the temperature you will find it is a simple process. We the people just need to fall in line. They like tax abatements. Don’t bring them up and everything will be fine. Orlando won’t go off on you. He said so himself (50:30). If you disagree philosophically, just start agreeing with council, and you will be fine. A sitting member of council used to be on the opposite side and had an R next to his name, but now he aligns with Orlando so everything is fine (49:15). See. Its that easy.

So is that it? All we need to do to “Lower the Temperature” during Gloucester Township Council Meetings is…. just agree with them? I don’t think that is going to work. As a matter of fact, I KNOW it isn’t going to work.

In order for the temperature to actually go down, changes need to be made on council’s side. Unfortunately for them, they have had the chance all along. Fortunately for us this year, we have the opportunity to replace some of them. All they had to do was represent the tax payers of GT. Openly listen to them. Have the discussions they are now calling for. But they didn’t.

It’s kind of hard to do that when you rule with an iron fist limiting public input. Maybe they can start by worrying less about using the time clock and more about having open discussions where we understand why they are unanimously voting YES all the time.

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