Common sense was not used in the SMUA litigation

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter to publicly state my support for the actions taken by Mayor Dennis Elwell, the members of the Town Council, SMUA Chairman Michael Altilio and his fellow SMUA board members in settling the protracted SMUA litigation. I have been quietly following the Secaucus Municipality Utilities Authority’s litigation for the past 10 years. This litigation was a direct result of the scandals that beset this agency over a decade ago. Over the course of the last 10 years, the town has expended nearly $4,000,000 in legal fees and countless man hours in the pursuit of ending this legal quagmire. While the town may have secured some small victories during the course of this costly legal struggle, the prospects for winning this case were not good.

I believe that “common sense” is the best quality that any local official can possess. The problem with “common sense” is that it is sometimes very uncommon. Unfortunately, it does not appear that a great deal of common sense was exercised in the SMUA litigation. It is difficult to understand how people with common sense could support paying legal fees in the amount of $4,000,000. The proposed settlement finally brings closure to this sad chapter in Secaucus history and ends the legal vampire that has been draining our tax coffers.

It is refreshing to see an administration that exercises good judgment based upon common sense and fiscal responsibility. It also appears that the structure of the settlement will result in a minimal impact on the taxpayers of Secaucus.

We are a proud and decent community comprised of residents and taxpayers that expect to be treated fairly by our elected officials. Our town has always provided excellent services to its residents. Our school system, recreational facilities and programs, programs for the elderly and public works functions are all first-class. The town has been able to provide high level services, while maintaining fair and stable property taxes. The SMUA settlement will allow our local officials to focus their attentions on the many important issues that our town is currently faced with. It also allows us to end an embarrassing chapter in our local history and restore pride to our great town.

Once again, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Mayor Elwell and his administration for ending this costly litigation and for restoring pride to our community.

Joseph Kane


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