22 December 2007

Factually Speaking

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!


  1. Clearly Greg

    Someone’s stolen your mind!

    Moving passed that point, you are correct, Commissioner van Lier along with Commissioner Jensen and Commissioner Ostergren allowed their personal views to get in the way of the facts. Many times when Township Committee Member Carl Suraci would come to the microphone to tell Commissioner Jensen or Commissioner van Lier they were misconstruing the situation, at least one of them would say they fully disagreed with Committeeman Suraci. For example: Commissioner Jensen (who was NEVER a committeeperson) told Committeeman Suraci the committee members are over worked. Committeeman Suraci told Commissioner Jensen he wasn’t over worked, but Commissioner Jensen said he disagreed with Committeeman Suraci! WOW, talk about taking liberties! Commissioner Jensen, Never a Committeeman, telling a standing Committeeman he’s wrong about his own workload as a Committeeman!

    In Addition, the CSC kept insisting the liaisons were replaced each year and that is simply NOT a fact. In actuality a citizen had to stand up at the microphone and tell the CSC how our government works, at least in terms of how often the liaisons change, to get the CSC to amendment it’s “Fact Sheet” that was hanging on the wall.

    Frankly, it was at about that point I stopped paying attention to the CSC. It was clear to me that given the make-up of the commission there were already three votes sitting on the dais they were hell bent on changing our government. Just as hell bent, it turns out, as RALG was on not changing our government.

    Looking back the only difference I really see between the CSC and RALG, is no one from RALG is accusing any of the CSC members of any improprieties, unlike Mr. van Lier who now wants us to look passed all his, Mr. Jensen’s and Mr. Ostergren’s improprieties as Commissioners, while Mr. van Lier turns around and crucifies anyone who dare voted NO and worse is actually trying to say an entire town was brainwashed into voting NO! Oh and of course, RALG, didn’t cost me any tax money, unlike the CSC did!

    I’ve been thinking about marketing a tee-shirt for Hillsborough residents this summer. It will say: I Voted NO, And I Damn Proud Of It! Maybe all 4600 of us NO voters can lead the Memorial Day or 4th of July parade in our - I Voted NO, And I’m Damn Proud Of It – Tee Shirts! What do you think?

  2. Mr. Gillette, I must take serious issue with a number of yours statements and claims here because they are completely false in most cases, or have been actually fabricated in others. I wasn't following your blog and so had no idea of this incorrect information until now - but better late than never!

    1. At least we agree that the Charter Study Commission provided truthful, factual and useful information. It has been falsely claimed that myself and other members of that important commission were predisposed and not open minded. This factual agreement that the Commission was open, factual and provided useful information helps undo the harm of these false accusations.

    2. You make the claim that you were only leaning toward keeping the current form of government but we know for a fact that you clearly said you had concluded at the very start of the CSC that you firmly believed we did not need to change the form of government! In fact, you had an exchange in another forum where you argued that it was OKAY for you to have already made up your mind, that it was okay to come to a conclusion despite no facts yet. You argued that you did NOT need to have an open mind on this!!! Do I have to copy and paste portions of that exchange for you to admit this?

    3. You have completely misunderstood the critical issue regarding my anger relative to how our voters were treated - or you know what you're talking about and choose to distort it!

    These are the clear facts that tell us with no shadow of doubt that our own elected officials and the political party in power in Hillsborough coordinated a massive campaign of voter fraud by lying to and scaring the voters of Hillsborough! When the voters of Hillsborough entered the voting booth, over 85% of them only had information that arrived in their mailboxes created by the elected officials and their political cronies. That literature was TOTALLY incorrect about all of the critical issues that you have agreed was "truthful, factual, and useful" as researched by the CSC.

    Sadly, while the CSC held meetings and arrived at universally-agreed conclusions in a public forum, their effort was only availabel to those who looked for it or read scant articles in the newspapers. Factually that means only about 5% to 10% AT BEST of the voters saw this critical information.

    The egregious behavior of our own elected officials who lied to the voters, who manipulated the voters in a most despicable manner, is what I have and what I will continue to present to the public.

    Your complete distortion of the most important issues here belies a hidden agenda or else a total inability to understand the what is truly factual and what is not. Virtually none of your interpretation of the issues has been presented in your post factually. If you think otherwise, feel free to detail it in response.

    At the bottom of your blog post you state "and that's a fact" but we now know that nearly NONE of your facts are truly facts but are incorrect assertions, fabricated positions and conclusions that have nothing to do with the facts!

  3. Your post here Mr. Gillette is so disturbing that I must point out one very clear and perhaps most important issue of all.

    The Republican Party of Hillsborough, the group that supported your candidacy for Board of Education and also gave you a political appointment to a township commission, has been fighting any change of government for the last three years. Your comments on Change of Government are nearly IDENTICAL with their comments and claims - most of which are totally inaccurate and most likely more closely labeled as LIES than mere misinformation.

    Let's look at your very last statement in this post. You write "The voters said no to a "more complex. larger government".

    And that's a fact!"

    This is the precise mechanism of disingenuous comment and perhaps outright intentional fabrication that I have been detailing in numerous letters to the editor in the Hillsborough Beacon!

    How so you might ask?

    You have summarized the election response of the voters as having said NO to a larger and more complex government! You cannot be further from the truth!

    While only a tiny percentage of voters saw Charter Study meetings on Channel 25 and less than 10% read brief updates in the Beacon, it is a sad fact that out of a town of approx 38,000 people, less than 30 copies of the Charter Study Commission final report were handed out!

    This tells us that the voters did NOT have this critical information to make thier votes count.

    What did the voters get? From our own elected officials, people who swore an oath to serve the people of Hillsborough and who all are obligated to uphold a Duty of Trust as elected officials - the voters received glaringly scary lies claiming that the change of government would raise taxes and represents the largest form of government possible - a more complicated form.

    Larger - more complex and much more expensive!

    You have supported these claims - which in total isolation from the context of the huge volume of testimony and research completed by the CSC, appears logical. What you are in fact doing is totally misinforming the public - perhaps intentionally due to your conflicts of interest.

    The CSC detailed their conclusions and findings in a very comprehensive report. The recommendation to change to a Mayor-Council form of government was not done frivolously nor without manifold and compelling reasons.

    Yes, the CSC was honest in pointing out the government would be a LITTLE more complex but that in so doing, there would be MUCH more accountability to the People, less opportunity for corruption, and would provide a MUCH more efficient form of government.

    Regarding cost, the CSC was also honest in showing the potential costs to change the government but they compared that to the facts available from many other towns that showed any costs associated with the change in government would be offset by lower costs in the long-run from having a more efficient and more responsible government.

    Therefore your dishonest claim that voters said No to a larger - more complex form is totally inaccurate! 80% to 90% of the voters only knew of the LIES form our elected officials and their political pals that said this would be a more expensive and larger government!

  4. If anyone requests it, I will show ALL of 08844's comments to be totally meritless and an act of desperate fabrication. This has been the history of posts from 08844 to date!

  5. Mr. van Lier, perhaps I did not make myself clear many months ago in that "other forum". Let me try again.

    In that other forum, you were very adamant about not wanting citizens to form any opinion about the government forms until the CSC had presented its research. That is certainly a valid viewpoint, and i respect it. But I felt that in reality people were already forming their opinions, and in fact, this is what normal humans do all the time. No one reserves judgement to the very end - not even trial jurors or judges! We begin forming our opinions, and then let them be shaped along the way when new information comes in.

    I was hoping by my statements about this in the other forum to get people who already had started to form their opinions to be more interested in the process - by telling them it was o.k. to have an opinion and that they should now use that as the jumping off point to attending meetings and learn more.

    I believe what I said last year was that interested people should come to the CSC meetings and "help shape the recommendation" with their input. Of course inherent in that is the idea that once people are coming to the meetings, the CSC will also be "shaping" their opinions!

    I apologize if I did not accurately convey this last year.

    On your last point - I realize that the campaign tools used by RALG were very powerful. But I would like to ask you directly now that I have your attention. Could a knowlegeable person, someone who knew the facts and was not swayed by RALG, conscientiuously have voted against change?

  6. Since you totally avoided discussing or refuting my numerous other points, I shall assume that my comments were on-point and factual - perhaps indisputable.

    To your only worthwhile comment here - "On your last point - I realize that the campaign tools used by RALG were very powerful. But I would like to ask you directly now that I have your attention. Could a knowlegeable person, someone who knew the facts and was not swayed by RALG, conscientiuously have voted against change?"

    Your summation that RALG's campaign was powerful, not dishonest and part of a massive campaign to manipulate and scare the voters, is completely supportive of everything I've stated to this point. It is hard for me to debate or discuss anything with someone who does not fully accept that RALG's information was so distorted, inaccurate and misleading that it can only be concluded that their work was intentional to commit voter fraud.

    Could an intelligent voter conciously vote against the change of government question? Of course, otherwise there would be no reason to actually have the vote! All we would need is a debate and to declare the winner of same debate.

    However, if the voters had the preponderance of information and data, unbiased information from experts in the field and from other towns that have gone through this as was obtained and publicly discussed with the public, it seems unlikely that the voters would have voted No. The case for change is compelling, so much so, that this is why RALG and the Hillsborough Republican Party chose to publish "their findings" without benefit of public discussion, public feedback and honest vetting of their information and conclusions.

    RALG's so-called leaders were so interested in this process that they did not attend a single Charter Study meeting nor did they even attempt to contact any of the CSC members (except political puppet Gloria McCauley) when they did their due diligence and research!!!

    To a furtherance of fact . . .

    Despite the vast majority of towns like Hillsborough that went through the CSC process and changed to Mayor-Council,and

    - despite the vast majority of conclusions from other towns like ours that similarly found the current Township form of govt deficient relative to the newer, more efficient forms of government like Mayor-Council, and

    - despite the fact not one town has EVER found the Mayor-Council form so incredibly expensive and overwhelmingly large and complex that after the many towns that switched to Mayor-Council, NONE have even tried to switch back to Township form,

    yes, intelligent voters could ignore all of that and vote No! However, the chances of a preponderance of voters voting NO would have been greatly reduced IF the voters had all of the facts!!!

    Finally, we'll never know what the vote would have been if the voters ahd all of teh pertinent facts because yourself and the Hillsborough political powers-that-be only gave out the one-sided portion of the entire story - only that which supported your personal or political agendas.

  7. Mr. van Lier, please don't conclude that my unwillingness to engage you in every point you try to make means that you have "won" that point. The truth is that I am uncomfortable with the idea that I must answer you on YOUR agenda. I will do no such thing.

    Furthermore, I find your comments to be extremely rude and presumpotuous - I have NO personal or political agenda, only a desire to serve my community. I strongly resent any allegation to the contrary.

    I have strong views about our form of government - I grew up in a TC town in Monmouth County that is STILL a TC town today. I believe that this form of government can work, and work well. I will not make any apologies for this, or for the fact that my views were similar to those of the people opposing change in Hillsborough.

  8. Mr. Gillette, while you can surely "claim" that you are honest and open minded and that you have no personal or political agenda, I have proven that you indeed have a hidden agenda and that agenda is identical to the people who gave you a political appointment and who supported your bid to get elected to the Board of Education.

    You may take issue with anything I write, that is your privilege. But I also have a privilege and my desire is to challenge people who lie and those who support or aid and abet the liars.

    Here once again, as in other attempts to hold an adult and intelligent discussion, you totally refuse to respond to points I raise - but you thereafter try to claim my points are invalid without having even responded to them!? This is utterly frustrating and is a sure sign of disingenuous behavior on your part.

    I will simplify so that anyone reading this will see more clearly whether you agree or disagree with critical issues.

    1. You wrote a post about the change of government issue and I responded with a long list of facts. Were any of my facts incorrect? If you believe they were, then please respond with WHY you think so in order to allow the readers here to make up their own minds.

    I want our fellow residents to know The TRUTH MR. Gillette - ALL the facts and not just the ones YOU choose to write about!

    2. You claim your mind was open on the question of change of government yet you very clearly argued previously that you had a closed mind and that was okay (?) to do so, at the very start of the proceedings. True of False? I can and will copy and paste your responses if your memory is poor!

    3. In my response to your post, I clearly showed where your entire premise was invalid. Yes or No?

    4. Yes or No - 80% to 90% of the voters received lies and misinformation from RALG, yourself and the Hillsborough Republican Party while only 10% to 20% at most knew the real facts!

    5. Can you support your own statement that the voters voted against a larger and more complex government when I proved beyond any shadow of doubt that the voters had no idea that the Charter Study Commission had obtained considerable testimony and research that leads an educated person to conclude something totally opposite to what RALG, yourself and the local GOP shoved down our throats?

    Finally Mr. Gillette, you make yet another false claim - you claim that my comments are rude and presumptuous. The truth is that my comments are not merely logical, but are filled with detailed explanation and facts. If you are proven to have lied or to have supported those who lie, it is not me who is rude to tell the truth, but you for not telling the truth!

    Therefore - people are reading this even if very few, and they will make up their own minds about these issues. If you do not prove your points, if you continue to ignore logical and respectful argument, then they are left with one simple conclusion - that you are indeed guilty of lying and at best, supporting those who lied. By failing to rebut any of this, you are proving my points whether you like it or not. By your further attempts to claim I am being rude when all I've done is to state the Truth - then you are compounding your lies and intentionally misleading statements with more and more deception.

    Finally, your weak adherence to a claim that the Topwnship form is still viable and perhaps worth keeping because you lived in another town with such government is scary. If that is the basis of your entire vote, I feel sorry for you! You attended many CSC meetings where a plethora of facts and discussion were applied to this question, including comparisons to other towns, expert and unbiased testimony, and much much more. There is a stack of compelling reasons to change our government, and if nothing else shows this clearly, everyone should know that each and every CSC member voted YES to change the form of government AWAY from Township form - including the GOP puppet Gloria McCauley!!! The only question was, what form should we move to!!!

    Yet here you try to offer yourself as the expert and ignore ALL of these critical pieces of information.

    I know the facts and I know you cannot refute virtually anything I've written which is why you choose to ignore these facts and claims.

    It does not make me rude - only intolerant of liars and people who hold opinions with no support whatsoever to show how a reasonable person could form such opinion. If you can't support your opinion Mr. Gillette, I strongly suggest that you stop forming opinions until you have gained enough solid information to do so intelligently.

    My prediction is that you will not respond to any of the points or facts I've included, that you will instead wave your hand and make more baseless accusations without any logical discourse, and that you continue to call me names that are inappropriate since they are baseless, and all the while you will be proving that everything I've stated is in fact, 100% accurate.

  9. If anyone believes that the fact that I grew up in a town with a township committee form of government was the only reason, or even a minor reason for my "no" vote, then they have not read a word that I have written on this subject. I mention the places I have lived, including my 15 years in Hillsborough, to illustrate without any doubt whatsoever, that my good experiences living in these towns with the township committee government (a government form that was created in its American form by MY ancestors 475 yerars ago!) predates any so-called "political appointments".

    I have written 20 blog posts on the topic of the CSC. I made no opinionated posts until AFTER the last public hearing. I have responded to almost all of the comments to those posts.

    In short, I have written thousands of words on this topic, and I am loath to repeat all of my positions here for the benefit of one crusader.

    Rest assured, however, that all of the comments to these many blogs will remain here, visible to the public, so that they may decide for themselves about the change in government question, and the character and integrity of all of the particpants, including me.

    This of course is in sharp contrast to what happened here


    where all comments have been removed!

  10. It is quite the worthless exercise to even try to discuss anything with you Mr. Gillette because you refuse to debate and offer a back and forth that will lead to a higher-quality decision.

    You see, in a debate, you or I make statements and the other responds to the points and issues raised therein. By this process of discovering the facts and opinions and viewpoints of both sides, everyone can determine for themselves the most important facts.

    But with you, it's never a back and forth! You refuse to address anything I've stated, even when I've shown without question, that you are incorrect. Instead, you change the subject.

    Example - you wish to rely upon the fact that the Township form of govt is 200 years old, and that your ancesters used a similar form over 475 yrs ago???!!! That's your entire or primary reason??? Sad.

    Actually let's use your very own example - in the colonies, the fledgling Americans used a simple Town Committee form of govt. And when the Constitutional Convention convened to make the U.S. Constitution official a little over 200 yrs ago, what did they do?

    They had originally intended to ratify the existing government structure that gave all power to the Congress. But something interesting happened! They started to think about and to discuss how to make it better!

    They thought about separating the powers into executive, legislative and judicial functions for manifold reasons! This Separation of Powers they decided wisely, provides an inherent system of checks and balances.

    The wisdom of the Founding Fathers is reflected not just in the federal govt structure, but in the structure of every state in the U.S., and it is the very same reasoning used by the vast majority of towns that switched to a new form of govt here in NJ, to select Mayor-Council.

    Thank goodness the Founding Fathers did not think like you but instead decided to make the govt better versus merely keeping it because it was there already!

    Your incredibly nasty, disingeuous and utterly revolting comment at the end of your post, about comments removed from my old Courier-News blog, shows exactly the low level of discourse you choose to employ. You are very well aware that not one single new blog post was published by me after the Courier-News decided they wanted to go in a different direction. The blog you point to has been an empty vessel with only the posts and no comments for roughly a year, ever since it was terminated. Therefore, your claim that removing the comments was anything more than a complete termination of the blog effort written by me, or that readers should believe I don't allow comments, is disgusting and vile in its intent and design.

    If I did not wish to invite comment, then why am I writing letters with my name assigned to them in the Hillsborough Beacon every other week and then responding to every single nasty and libelous claim that is written in response???

    Your accusations are vacuous, unsupported and frankly immoral. But I didn't think you would respond any other way once I pointed out the undeniable facts that you have supported virtually every lie the politicians made on the change of govt issue and that you have a severe conflict of interest in this precise area.

    Stick to meaningless fluff and history of Hillsborough Mr. Gillette. Even if you lie about that, it won't hurt the taxpayers and voters of Hillsborough like your erroneous support of a dishonest campaign has already done.

  11. I stand by the many words I have already written on this subject.

  12. Mr. Gillette - you cannot honestly make the claim that you stand by your many words already printed! I have revealed much if not most of your prior writing to be filled with inconsistencies, inaccuracies and most likely outright lies. IF you were standing by your words then you would provide a modicum at least of support to show that you are able to "stand by" your words!

    However, you abjectly refuse to support your many claims, most of which I've shown to be totally meritless.

    At best, you stood by doing nothing while the taxpayers were being lied to by our own elected officials in a massive campaign of voter fraud! In my opinion, the facts lead to a less-friendly conclusion, that you helped your political pals in their disreputable efforts. That also explains why you choose to avoid any detailed discussion of the facts of the issues here.

    The readers can only be left with one conclusion.