Dear Editor:

            The voters of Atlantic Highlands asked for and got a referendum passed which, for one penny, would allow the town to preserve and acquire open space. However, the Mayor and rubber stamp Council of Atlantic Highlands decided in its last meeting to repeal that law in the next council meeting(s). The move by the Council is said to be for the purpose of reducing the tax rate by that one penny from a budget already out of control for a number of other reasons. Is one penny from a tax rate in 2010 of $2.32 (and going up in a few months) really worth compromising our need to preserve and acquire open space (particularly water front property)? Neighboring towns with a lower tax rate (such as Fair Haven's tax rate of $2.24), have an abundance of open space for the use and recreation of the citizens of their town, creating significant appeal for their town throughout Monmouth County. And other towns don't have a beautiful harbor which could be improved using open space initiatives to make it a much better revenue producer for the town, and thereby reduce taxes by a lot more than one penny. Something is very wrong with this picture, and I would give another penny just to know what they are really thinking!

Paul Cavise
Atlantic Highlands