In Your Opinion: Disband ‘Peace And Nonviolence’ Monument Park Ad-Hoc Committee

By Bill Connell, Somerset.

An ad-hoc committee is formed by a council or a school board usually to speed up a process, to come to a faster conclusion, or get to the bottom of something quickly.,  It is sanctioned by the governing body but it is more like a club, not an official committee.  It sorts through all the permutations and presents the governing body as a whole, with the best ideas to vote on.

The “Peace and Nonviolence” monument park ad hoc committee did not operate that way. It overplayed its authority to justify one outcome.

For transparency, this author does not see the need for statues, but that is not the point here. The key point is Township Councilman Rajiv Prasad ordered the statues before anything formal was presented to council. The ad-hoc committee was used to make the process catch up to his inappropriate action, not to truly vet all ideas. Council voted on something without full knowledge of how mishandled the committee was. Maybe they did and voted anyway.

I think the current ad-hoc committee should be disbanded. Councilman Prasad already ordered statues so has a vested interest in one outcome. Councilman James Vassanella, whose 7-minute back-pedal made him look like he had a bomb strapped to his chest, like he was going to get blown up if he didn’t vote on it, and Councilman Wright had his giant rubber-stamp … Saying “SURE”. This committee should be disbanded and a new committee created.  Instead of making it better, this ad-hoc has just exasperated the problem.

It may be time for Ron Jordon and the township Democratic Committee to speak up and say this is not a good look for us.  Even better, Councilwoman Shanel Robinson, who is trying to export herself, could discuss when honesty is more important than votes, instead of second-guessing an issue in late November like she did last year regarding the Police Chief replacement.  That would be refreshing.


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