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In Your Opinion: Prasad And Danielsen Must Resign

By Mayor Chris Kelly, Somerset.

As Mayor of Franklin Township, and fully understanding and appreciating the seriousness of what I am doing, I Chris Kelly, am officially calling for the immediate resignation of Councilman at Large Rajiv Prasad, as well as the Franklin Township Democrat Municipal Chair Joseph Danielsen.

Councilman Prasad should resign for the following reasons:

  1. Councilman Prasad used his position and influence as Councilman to compel a Franklin Township Advisory Commission to stifle a grass roots movement’s legitimate opposition and Facebook page devoted to over development in the Township by labeling the movement and residents associated with it as racist. Councilman Prasad suggested that the Township Attorney be consulted “to see if there is any legal action that needs to be taken in the matter.” Elected officials should listen to their constituents and not label them as racist, or propose legal action when they voice their opinions regarding a legitimate issue. This is a democracy not a dictatorship.
  2. These abhorrent allegations of racism leveled at this grassroots movement and the residents involved are outrageous and outright fabrications. This was said solely for the purpose of political cover from self-described “fallout” that the council is getting from their decision to press ahead with the development of Catalpa Park against many residents wishes. He used these baseless accusations of racism to silence opposition and to stifle the vocal opposition which got uncomfortable for him.
  3. At the August 11 Council meeting when directly confronted by residents regarding his accusations Councilman Prasad mislead the public, by stating that he said no such thing. By doing so he violated the public trust and proved to the residents of Franklin that he is not fit to serve on council.
  4. He said that ”I do not have to apologize to anyone, their postings speak for themselves. If anyone needs to apologize it is the page creator and his followers for their hateful derogatory postings” This kind of talk over false accusations is not worthy of a Councilman and thus he should resign.

FT Municipal Chairman Danielsen should resign as the Franklin Municipal Democrat Chairman for the following reasons:

  1. He has blurred the lines between his role as Assemblyman and Municipal Chairman and this is not fair the residents of Franklin deserve better.
  2. Chairman Danielsen has a conflict of interest. In his role as Assemblyman he accepted $4700 in donations from CME Associates which is the engineering firm commissioned with designing the highly controversial Catalpa Park in Franklin Park.
  3. He forced his political influence into a non-partisan Franklin Township Advisory Commission. He influenced them to change a resolution that they voted on and passed unanimously. The resolution was to denounce a grass roots effort to stop the overdevelopment of Franklin, specifically of Catalpa Park. Chairman Danielsen pressured the commission to ignore their unanimous resolution for the purpose of stopping further discussion on the controversial park development. In his words, this is for political advantage of his council candidates running for office. It is also to stifle public’s ability to redress their government peacefully, as well as to help keep the donations he received from the park engineer out of the public eye.
  4. Chairman Danielsen has shown that he cannot separate his roles or responsibilities as Assemblyman and Franklin Township Democrat Municipal Chairman. His decision to push the development of Catalpa Park, designed by his financial donors is at best, inappropriate and will cost Franklin millions of dollars need to be investigated.

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