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Municipal website must be more informative

Typing Letter to the Editor for the Opinion page.

Nothing changes in Upper Freehold Township. When I ran for a seat on the Township Committee last year (2017 and lost), one of my issues was that the township website is not updated and is a passive website.

Hence, residents do not know what the committee does, or plans to do, until after it is done. For example, in the March 28 Examiner, there was a front page article which stated that at the March 1 committee meeting, the committee passed an ordinance banning the production, harvesting and sale of marijuana.

The website agenda for the March 1 meeting was posted on Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 27) for that Thursday (March 1) meeting and made no mention of any proposed ordinance dealing with pot. As of this date, no ordinance is listed in the Ordinances Pending Codification. Looking at the website calendar, it is blank for every calendar month from January 2018 to date.

Meanwhile, without giving residents any clear notice of their chance to speak about the proposed ordinance, the committee unilaterally banned any medical marijuana facility from the township. The committee ignored, or was not able to be informed by residents, that the six existing medical marijuana “farms”/dispensaries have produced hundreds of 24/7 well-paying jobs, have had no robberies, break-ins, or acts of violence committed against the patients or the facilities.

Furthermore, the “farms”/dispensaries are small enough to be located in such “farming” communities as Cranbury, Woodbridge and Montclair.

Upper Freehold Township residents have a right to be informed about township actions
and pending actions. The township website is a passive website. When anything on it is
updated or changes, residents do not know about it unless they check the website.

The website should be modernized, made more interactive, and allow residents to submit their email addresses to the township and receive automatic notifications describing updates and changes. This would allow residents to be aware of issues coming before the Township Committee and prepare to attend the meetings.

Elliot Wiesner
Upper Freehold Township

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