Carpetbagging defined

Dear Editor:

I read with amusement Eric Conger’s letter in the September 12, 2000 issue. Specifically, his portrayal of my opinions as “crude,” Jeffrey Welz’s comments as “disingenuous,” township employees as “…kiss(ing) the palms of Mayor Turner” and Jeff Fulcher as concerned only with “curry(ing) favor with his employers.”

Amazingly, all of Mr. Conger’s ranting stems from the very liberal, elitist attitude that I addressed that evening at the meeting. How ironic that he would deny the existence of cafe latte sipping know-it-alls, while he goes about proving it with his own letter in his own words. Does he read this stuff before he mails it?

Between not-so-veiled denunciations of our Mayor, our Congressman and just about everyone in the town who doesn’t live up to his lofty sense of civic duty (Read: anti-development), Mr. Conger makes it clear that we’re all guilty of “frustrating complacency and misguided trust.” How disheartening it must have been for him to leave the inspiring activism of the Midwest only to endure the lower classes in the backwater of Hudson County, two self-aggrandizing articles on your newspaper’s front page notwithstanding. (Perhaps Mr. Conger, a clear attention-seeker, is bitter that I was quoted in the New York Times and he was not? He can console himself with the fact that the Weehawken reporter got his first name right).

Gee, Mr. Conger, it’s a wonder you put up with our ignorance. How fortunate we are to have you here the last seven years lecturing us on how to be good citizens. Too bad you weren’t here before 1993 to witness this town’s transformation from a corrupt and semi-bankrupt monarchy under indicted criminal Wally Lindsley to the crown jewel of Hudson County that it is today. You came along for the ride just when the train was moving again. That train picked up speed beginning with the able, caring leadership of Stanley Achene and later under current fiscal guru Mayor Turner, Deputy Mayor Lou Farewell, James Terlizzi and James Marchetti. The foundation for the present stabilization of property taxes, increase in ratables, reduction in the crime rate and the increase in property values was all laid down while you were dreaming of Soap Opera stardom. Maybe you would be better suited to appreciate this transformation if your degree were in economics, not liberal arts.

Your comments concerning your fellow residents are what is misguided. If you find it unbearable to live with the “complacency” of our townsfolk and their elected leaders, perhaps you should consider relocation rather than fight urban sprawl in the most densely populated area of North America. We’ll still keep our ears open for your voice-over in the next commercial for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.

Gary Nicol


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