Wednesday, October 30, 2019

ONLY WE CAN CHANGE THINGS

As we've said before, Love Lindenwold is a Community Advocacy organization looking out for the greater good and future of Lindenwold. We are not a political entity nor do we provide a political voice. We would be naive though, to not recognize the ongoing impact that politics and politicians have on our community. 

Some comments were recently made on one of Facebook posts that we feel deserve a deeper dive. While it's true that property values are up more than 30% in Lindenwold over the last two years, the same can be said for all of Camden County. 


In Lindenwold specifically, the property value increase is most likely as a result of the hard work of Codes Enforcement Supervisor, Wayne Hans, who with his team, has reassembled their operation, quickly finding more than 6,000 non-compliant properties in just the last two years. Thank you Wayne! 

Remember, it was Councilman Strippoli's dismantling of our Codes Department through Patterson v Strippoli that insisted on upholding a level of Community Standard at one house, on one end of Elm Avenue, that is still not upheld on the other - or throughout the rest of the community. This cost us millions in marketshare and $110,000 in settlement. http://bit.ly/36cmg12

And lest we forget that Mayor Roach's idea of Codes and Community Standards involves using his position of power to illegally park a 30-foot RV on the sidewalk and then convincing both the Codes and Police Departments to look the other way. It seems whether or not you're allowed to park on the sidewalk continues to be an issue of who you are and/or where you live. If there is any question, try walking, or better yet maneuver a wheelchair, up or down the sidewalks of West Park Ave in the evening. https://6abc.cm/2Wqk4yw



Beyond property values, there is a whole host of metrics that attribute to the viability of a community. When New Jersey Monthly Magazine, for example, compiles its bi-annual list of the Best Towns to Live in New Jersey, it examines 10 different qualifiers including average residential tax bill; change in average property tax bill; effective property tax rate; median home-sales price; change in median home-sales price; average days homes were on the market; total crime rate; violent-crime rate; ranking in New Jersey Monthly’s Top Public High Schools chart; and a lifestyle factor that considers the number of acute-care hospitals and live performing-arts theaters within 10 miles of the municipality’s main zip code, number of restaurants within two miles of the municipality’s main zip code, and average commute time for those working away from home.

According to their research, in 2015 Lindenwold came in at 454. In 2017, we fell to 502 and in 2019 we dropped again to 509. To illustrate that a little clearer, we're not fighting for first, second or third. Not even 100th, 200th or 300th. Where 1st is best, Lindenwold's current ranking is 509th and falling on a list that ends at 513. When looking at this more comprehensive picture, it certainly doesn't appear that Lindenwold is headed in the right direction.


Then, because it's election season, we'd be remiss to not mention the democratic process. We have been contacted by a number of business owners who report wanting to post campaign signs but won't out of fear that Borough officials will then give them trouble when trying to renew their licensing. Multiple Borough employees, both past and present, have reported that their voting records were used against them - being openly called out for not voting for the incumbents. And we've spoken with members of the fire department who've stated that if they don't vote for those in power, they won't get support for their new fire hall come the new year. Just to be clear voter intimidation is illegal. http://bit.ly/2WksDdS

That may have something to do with why, as tenured incumbents, our local leaders are running on a campaign slogan of 'Vote Blue, No Matter Who.' Is this really the most effective way to elect leaders who will improve our community?

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