Reaction statement from Betsy Driver, published October 10, 2018 – www.tapinto.net/towns/flemington-slash-raritan/articles/flemington-councilperson-betsy-driver-denounces-council-vote-on-developer-agreement
Tuesday night, the Borough Council and Mayor Phil Greiner were presented with the opportunity to heal the bitter divisiveness that is tearing apart our community and unite all of our citizens behind the much-needed revitalization of our historic Main Street and the Union Hotel. Our citizens asked their government to delay the vote to approve the financial agreement with the developer for the Courthouse Square project until key questions and unaddressed concerns about the financial agreement and the project could be answered and satisfied. Everyone who appealed to the Council to delay the vote, including the three Council members who voted for the delay, made clear that their end goal was to be able to support this developer and a version of the proposed project. Instead, the Mayor and his allies dismissed the concerns of the people who will bear the brunt of the financial and quality of life costs of this deal, declined the olive branch extended by the opponents of this project to work together toward a solution, and prematurely approved the financial agreement for this project.
The vote as to whether to delay voting on the financial agreement resulted in an expected 3-3 tie, leaving the Mayor with the power of casting the tie-breaking vote. As the Mayor of Flemington, in the face of such distress among his residents, such division among his community and his equally divided council, it was Mayor Greiner’s duty to put aside partisan politics and vote to delay the vote in the interests of uniting our Borough and healing our community. Instead, he fueled the politicization of a decision that will determine the future of our community for decades to come.
In recent days, at meetings and in letters they have sent out and published, the Mayor and his running mates, Brooke Warden and Marc Hain, express the view that there is no alternative for Flemington but to give the developer everything he wants and that they, as our elected leaders, are simply tired of talking about the project. They are giving the Borough away because they have given up on the Borough. This is not leadership. This is not vision. This is not representing the best interests of the people or the community.
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