Holmdel government limits public’s right to speak

Eric Sucar
As parents, teachers and concerned citizens fill up the municipal courtroom in Red Bank, parent Wayne Woolley speaks to the council as part of a rally held on January 13. People voiced their opposition to the enrollment expansion of a Red Bank Charter School to the Red Bank council members.

At the Jan. 3 Holmdel Township Reorganization Meeting, our municipal government accomplished two “important” tasks. The first was to swear in the new mayor, Township Committee members and the various committee appointees. The other task was to place a three-minute time limit on statements made by residents during the public portion of future meetings.

It is disturbing that the new Township Committee felt the pressing need to limit resident participation in their local government as one of their first official acts of the year.

There have been countless instances when the Holmdel municipal leaders have learned from insights and research presented to them by the public and altered their policies based on these comments. That is the basis of good, sound government and something to which all open societies aspire. By limiting public input, the Township Committee is closing itself off to other opinions besides those of the five men on the dais when deciding policies that affect all Holmdel residents.

Abraham Lincoln stated that government was “of the people, by the people” and most notably “for the people.” This action by the Holmdel Township Committee members during their initial meeting of 2017 is not “for the people” of Holmdel. Rather, it is to enable the Township Committee members to limit our participation in deciding what we think is best for our families and our community. This cannot and should not be tolerated.

Scott Goldstein
Citizens for Informed Land Use