These council meetings never cease to amaze me. However, I’m not sure what amazes me more. The elitism from Council and the administration. Or by the citizens of Gloucester Township for putting up with it. Tonight’s council meeting was no different. The same few people showed up, asked questions of our local government and were treated like dog $*%!. No surprises.
The council agenda had the passing of the budget listed as a regular agenda item. A pretty important topic the public should be involved in. After all, it is their money the Mayor is budgeting to spend. A citizen asked why it was listed as a regular agenda item. President Mercado did do the right thing and made changes by inserting a Public Hearing that wasn’t on the agenda.
Here’s your Public Hearing
We know President Mercado wants to get out of there as quickly as possible. He governs that clock like that is the only thing of importance. For a public hearing there is no time limit. However, that didn’t stop him from rushing along each speaker and urging them to wrap it up. He went as far as to take a poll to see who wanted to speak on the topic. What happens if something someone else said triggered another resident to want to talk or ask a question? Would they be allowed a turn? I surely hope so, but don’t know for sure. The Time Nazi might not allow such a thing if they hadn’t raised their hand during his polling.
Rather than answering citizen’s questions, council decided to respond in the form of a question, as another resident pointed out. Repeatedly they dodged questions. Would not answer. Answered questions they were not asked. Ultimately, they talked to each speaker with complete disdain, disgust and disrespect.
To be fair, I am generalizing when saying everyone on council when referring to them. Let me be clear. I am referring to Orlando Mercado, Dan Hutchison and sometimes the Business Administrator Tom Cardis. The rest of the elected officials don’t talk. I don’t want to confuse anyone by thinking the others have found their voice. They didn’t. They just sat there waiting to vote yes, like usual.
Council’s “deflector” is clearly Dan Hutchison. He fields questions so well that President Mercado got up and left the meeting during the public hearing knowing in the back of his head, “Dan’s got this” (35:53).
Someone that doesn’t follow these meetings could get really confused when listening to Councilman Hutchison. He speaks as if he is the sole vote. When speaking for the entire body you probably should use the word “we”. But even then, should he be speaking for the entire body? They are elected individually. As pointed out by a resident during the meeting, he said I, I, I, I so much, he was ready to call him captain! (37:00) Parsing words one minute being a lawyer and politician. The next minute he turns into this personality he has created; “Helpful Hutch”. So willing to listen and care so much. It’s nauseating to watch after knowing what else has come out of this man’s mouth.
Definitely some campaigning by Dan going on recently. It is an election year for Hutchison. Because of this, “Helpful Hutch” has been making appearances a little more frequently. It’s a little strange to see. One minute he’s dodging questions but asking questions back. All while accusing a resident of not answering his questions. The next minute he basically admits that the same resident gave him a cheat sheet to review the budget in a somber and sincere sounding tone.
What a politician. And Lawyer. So much smarter than the rest of us. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise. This is coming from the guy who ran and won as a Republican but switched to be one of Mayor Mayer’s flunkies. Fighting to not raise taxes and fighting the Mayor’s tax increases. However, his actions are the opposite. Leave a comment down below if you can tell me how many times while on Council he has voted against the Mayor’s budget.
And the Award goes to…
Playing dumb to the land deal recently has revealed another talent of his. Not only is he a lawyer that can pick and choose his word very carefully. A politician that can avoid any question sent his way. He is apparently a great actor as well. His performance pretending he knows nothing about this and wants to get to the bottom of the shell game has been Oscar worthy. Another one who thinks the public is stupid. Does he not remember we have the minutes from the Housing Authority meeting that shows he was the involved of the first transfer from GTHA to GT during his time as the liaison?
GT Housing Authority -Update
HAHAHA! Update?! Nope. It is as if nothing is going on. Denise Coyne submitted an array of questions (54:10) in advance through the e-gov access system so there was plenty of time to get the answers. Apparently there was time for Mr Carlamere to rehearse NOT saying what the resolution from 1/11/21 clearly states. (54:50) Refusing to say the words “family housing” again. No matter how this question is asked, he refuses to say the word “Family”. What does this tell you? What is the problem with saying it includes affordable family (non-age restricted) housing? Does Mr Carlamere think we are stupid? Or does he think he is just that smart? Either way, it is not a good look.
You tell me. What does that resolution above say? Does B say “Affordable Family Housing”? Is it age restricted? No? Did Mr Calramere note that as an intended use? Did he use the word “Family” even once in his answer (54:50), or did he avoid that word? Can this omission of family housing in his response be defended? I would love to hear someone defend this.
Here is the Deed Restriction that magically disappeared. For the full story on this, be sure to read this article.
The following is the agreement of sale. It clearly states the intended use when Camden County sold it to the GTHA. It also states the reason they are selling it is that Gloucester Township has a significant deficiency in Senior Affordable Housing. The county’s intention is spelled out in the agreement of sale. 300 Senior housing rental units. MINIMUM. We only have 75 on this property.