Let the People Vote!
It was reported in this week's Downbeach Current that Margate clerk Tom Hiltner had confirmed over 400 registered voters signatures had been certified on the petition handed in a few weeks ago by a local Margate Citizens group, asking that a referendum be held in regards to the Fire House renovation issue now raging in Margate. It's still however, not clear whether Margate is going to allow this vote to go forward after City Solicitor Mary Siracusa ruled that she believes Margate is exempt from holding such a referendum, on this type of issue, according to State law. The Citizens group's lawyers have disputed this ruling and I'm assuming a judge will end up deciding this issue before any vote is scheduled.
I believe the faction of Margate's authorities trying to stop this election on legalistic grounds is making a very bad mistake. When this many voters want a vote you have a vote. Let the people decide this issue is my belief. Yes, we have a representative democracy, not a direct democracy some will argue and the Commissioners have already decided, but NJ law allows for referendums and every once in a great while situations such as this do arise. Let the people decide this issue. I believe the Commission should come together and support this referendum no matter how they feel about this particular issue. If the Commissioners who voted for this plan have a good case let them convince the rest of us of it and it shall be. If they cannot, then so be it. This is what democracy is all about.