Letter to the Editor: Public Input Denied

To the Editor:

I would like to thank The SandPaper for writing the article “Board Majority Greenlights December Referendum to Rehab LBI School,” which was released online before this print edition. It is a very accurate, although fragmentary, article about the Sept. 17 board of education meeting. (Editor’s Note: See full story inside.)

I also want to thank the minority board members who attempted to include the public in the decision of the school consolidation. They should be applauded for their sense of fair play. The three to four public meetings that they offered to conduct regarding this drastic step would have been beneficial to the residents of LBI who had no idea that this referendum was being resurrected at the last minute.

Public meetings would have given the majority members a chance to prove that public opinion is important. It saddens me that the public will not have an opportunity to attend those meetings and ask questions.

Alternatively, the board president, along with the board’s majority members, allowed the failed motion from the Aug. 28 meeting to be revived. Instead of listening to the advice given by the board’s attorney, the vote was taken anyway without even giving the residents who were present a chance to ask questions much less voice their opinions. By allowing the previously defeated motion to be placed on the agenda at the last minute, the board president and the majority board members proved that public opinion does not matter to them and neither do their tax dollars.

We cannot allow this behavior to continue. We need change and we need it now. It is our time to take a stand and it now appears that our only way to do this is at the polls. I would like to remind the township residents that I am running for the Long Beach Township seat on the board. I am ready to protect our right to be heard, to develop a financially feasible master plan for our district, and most importantly to do what is in the best interest of the children of the Long Beach Island Consolidated School District.

Brielle Hoffacker, Long Beach Township

Reposted from The Sandpaper