I am Steve Boracchia and I felt compelled to respond after Fred’s letter yesterday.
Sadly, the latest round of false accusations and make-believe issues put forth by our opponents exemplifies the need for a change. In addition to false statements, the sense of entitlement underlying yesterday’s letter demonstrates why entrenched politicians are never good for our town. It seems they feel the qualifications for holding any elected office in town is living in the community 30 years or more. Based on that qualification, 90% of our townspeople should never dare to enter public service.
Why do they feel entitled to libel two of the only newcomers to the process in years, whom they don’t really know well? Such actions show us how out they feel about newer residents and how out of touch they are. The emotions are running high.
Fortunately, the facts can dispel the emotional mis-statements. In the last six years Lou and Jake have voted to raise your property taxes 83% and 100% of the time respectively. In fact, at the last budget meeting I witnessed their eagerness to vote for a property tax increase. Neither man asked a question about the budget, nor why we needed to raise taxes, or what could be cut? Neither asked about the families or seniors who were struggling to pay them. No, instead they chose to argue with those who were questioning the need to raise taxes and then summarily voted to increase them. This is to say nothing about the high water and sewer bills we all get to see quarterly.
This weekend was the Halloween parade. We saw lots of happy kids having a great time. We also saw kids who have a slim chance of affording to move back to the town they grew up in once they finish high school or college. We have to stop the constant escalation in property tax especially when county republicans lowered them this year. We won’t see the benefit though as ours are going up again. You will get your new tax bill in the spring, after the election.
One has to wonder why they would make up an issue like selling the marina. For the record, no one has ever suggested selling the marina. It is a stupid idea. It was however brought up at Council by one of the Democrats a few years ago and since Lou and Jake are now aligned with the Democrats you have to wonder if this is something they secretly planned to do. Or perhaps it’s an attempt to take our minds off of the terrible job they have done with the marina, where revenues have been decreasing and boat slips have gone empty.
The crew at the marina does a good job running it, but Lou’s leadership on the Council is missing when it comes to managing it. Leadership requires vision and the ability to carry out your vision. Why has the marina never been actively marketed? I lived in a small town in Florida (Fernandina Beach) that could be a sister town to Atlantic Highlands. It had a small downtown with lots of restaurants and businesses on the main street. At the end of the street was a marina very similar to ours. They promoted their town and held many events that offset taxes. For example, a yearly shrimp festival brought thousands of people to the town in one weekend. They also hosted large fishing tournaments that brought people in from several states. A boat show was planned when I left as well. The money spent there helped the businesses downtown and also helped defray taxes. Our marina is probably making half of what it should make. This is not my opinion, but that of many others who understand how to manage a marina.
Our opponent’s motto is “hands off our harbor” and that is the problem - their hands have been off the harbor too long and they need to be replaced. If they were doing their job the marina revenue would not be underperforming and they would not have had to raise your property taxes so many times in the past six years.
What is really sad to me is I like Fred. I would see him at our American Legion meetings and often in town during the 11 years I have lived here. He lives down the street from me. Fred knows who I am and even said hello to me Saturday morning. He could have easily walked up and asked me “Do you guys really intend to sell the harbor?” He would’ve had his answer instantly: “NO”.
There is no one to blame for creating the mess we currently have in our politics but our opponents. They put their personal egos and dislike for other members on the Council above their town last year when they sent out that tasteless letter and now moved to eliminate the democratic slate so democrat voters have no democrats to pick from Tuesday in order to ensure their success.
Our opponents simply don’t have the vision to see what their reckless actions are doing to our community.
Lastly, we are all neighbors and should treat each other accordingly, with respect. The Naval Academy reinforced the importance of telling the truth. I wish others did so when running for office.
Sue and I are committed to stopping the ever increasing taxes and righting this ship November 8th. We need balance on the council. If you agree that we are right for Atlantic Highlands, please vote for us.