I continue now with my comments on the Letters to the Editor of the Hillsborough Beacon from December 20.
Commission presented truthful information - Glenn van Lier, Commissioner, Hillsborough Charter Study Commission. Mr. van Lier writes about the campaign against government change. He believes that the Charter Study Commission provided truthful, factual, and useful information during their study. I agree. Before the charter study, I did not know about all of the different forms of government that were available to Hillsborough. And while I admit that I was predisposed to keeping our current township committee form - because I could not see any major flaws in it - my mind was definitely open to finding a better government for Hillsborough if one existed. I could not have been confident in my final decision to vote no if not for the information provided by the Charter Study Commission. Thank you Glenn, Chris, George, Gloria, and Bill!
Here is where Mr. van Lier and I apparently disagree. He seems to believe that a rational person knowing all of the facts about the Mayor-Council form of government as presented by the CSC could not have possibly, conscientiously voted no. He believes the only way a person could vote no is by listening to the well-financed "lies" of Residents Against Larger Government. This is an incorrect notion.
Although the CSC presented many facts about the TC and MC forms of government, the conclusions they reached from those facts were in many cases merely opinions or judgements. For instance, Mr. van Lier stated many times during the study that the system whereby township committee members acted as liaisons to the various departments was "confusing". The testimony of our township committee members was that it was not confusing at all! The department heads report to the administrator. The liaisons are in place so that the township committee members can confer with each other - so that all five can be kept abreast of what is happening in the departments, without having to be on top of each one on a daily basis.
Liaisons are just one example. Township Committee Member Carl Suraci came to the microphone on more than one occasion at a CSC meeting to question whether certain facts about the TC form of government should be placed with the strengths or the weaknesses. In fact, the CSC acknowledged this uncertainty by placing "annual elections" on both lists!
What Mr. van Lier describes in his letter as lies are really only different conclusions. One of the RALG lies - the Beacon recommendation - was no lie at all. The Hillsborough Beacon editor said that there was no overwhelming need for change, and from that he concluded that we should vote yes. The RALG concluded that we should vote no.
In essence, the CSC did exactly what they should have done - lay out the facts and let the people decide. The voters said no to a "more complex. larger government".
And that's a fact!