Dear Editor:

On October 24, 2011, I attended the Meet the Candidates Forum in Middletown.  It was the first political meeting for Middletown candidates that I have ever attended. Quite frankly, up until now I was not really interested in the local political parties. I went to the meeting because I care about my taxes and the way our money is being spent in Middletown.

At the forum, I learned the Republican leadership cut our budget from 65 to 61 million. I learned that our 70 million in debt, which the Democrats are trying to make an issue, actually includes 62 million in bonded capital improvements and open space preservation. I learned that not only is this level of debt common for municipalities, but we are well below our debt cap. We apparently pay .93 percent on this debt, and Middletown has a top rating from Moody's.

I was hoping the Democrats would impress me. When pressed on the debt figures, Ms. Fowler, who is running for the Township Committee, said she did not know about it because she was "not a politician." Why, then, should we put her on the Committee? Simply because she is a Democrat and they should have a turn?

Mr. Grenefage says there should be at least 2 Committee members from each party on our Township Committee. Why? To continue the petty partisan bickering I saw that night? To give them a stage for their personal agendas?

Richard Morrill, the Independent, was no better than the Democrats.  He is confrontational and combative. It is about him, and the axe he has to grind towards the Republicans.  He would be a disaster on the Committee. The fact is the Republicans have been effective in Middletown. Both of their candidates seemed focused and knowledgeable on the issues at the forum.  It was no contest that night, and it shouldn't be on November 8th, either.

Steve Monaghan
Middletown, NJ