Creeley discusses town council’s “transparency problem.”
When Facebook groups are more informative about what’s afoot in Moorestown than our own elected officials, it’s time to face facts: our Town Council has a serious transparency problem.
Take the massive Royal Farms gas station proposed for Route 38 and Church Street. This sprawling eyesore would make traffic at one of our busiest intersections even worse, and it’s directly at odds with Moorestown’s Master Plan. (Route 38 isn’t exactly hurting for gas stations, either.)
Worse still, the Royal Farms would sit smack across from Strawbridge Lake Park. You don’t need to be a civic planner to recognize that putting a seven-pump, all-night gas station across from a beautiful park is a terrible idea.
But has our Town Council informed residents about the proposal? Solicited comment? No.
Or consider the Memorial Field Complex proposal. You may be asking: “The Memorial Field what now?” And that’s exactly the problem. Most residents have no idea that the township is planning sweeping changes to Memorial Field, one of our true gems, in the form of 244 new parking spots, 8 soccer fields and new lighting fixtures.
Despite living right next to the field, my family only found out about the proposal from a concerned neighbor. As another neighbor put it, he has to tell the township if he wants to build on his property. Shouldn’t our council do the same?
The North Church Street plant debacle and the affordable housing saga provide more evidence of the problem. Why are such important decisions being made behind closed doors? When it comes to notice and public comment, Moorestown deserves more than the minimum required by state law.
Good governance demands transparency and dialogue. If our Town Council doesn’t recognize that, it’s time for new council members.