New Jersey voters decide today for open space
New Jersey: New Jersey residents will face a ballot question today that will ask them whether or not to borrow millions for more open space preservation in the state. According to reports, residents have voted for measures like this before in the past fifty years. The difference between those ballot measures and this one is the economic downturn the country has faced. The passage of the question would allow the state to borrow $400 million to extend the state’s open space program for another two years.
That shouldn‘t be a problem, according to Assemblyman John McKeon, supporter of the measure: “I don't know a person who could argue in the nation's most densely populated state, with the nation's most successful land preservation program that's broke, that it should not be replenished. It's just the concern about taking on debt. There's actually an incredible return on the investment, not just in quality of life and ecological return but in true dollars and cents.”
Others, such as Steve Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, New Jersey and former New Jersey Governor hopeful, say that the measure is fiscally irresponsible: “First and foremost in the minds of New Jersey taxpayers should be the fact that debt has just spiraled out of control. We've seen the reports about revenue shortfalls and the major deficit we're looking at next year, add to that the unfunded pension liabilities. It's just a mess. So to borrow money now for something that is not essential -- in fact, to borrow money for anything -- is just reckless.”
Voters will be going to the polls today and will decide which side is the right one in their minds.