Sunday, January 20, 2008

Upcoming Meetings and Information

- The city is seeking approval to utilize 10 acres of a 232 acre parcel that is currently protected under the Green Acres Program and listed on the City of Vineland’s Recreation and Open Space Inventory of properties held for recreation and conservation purposes. They want to use 10 acres on 3361 Mayslanding Rd. (Block 7801, Lot 17 / formerly Block 1143, Lot 2) for police training purposes.

There is a training facility there now which has a shooting range that can be heard from miles away. At the meeting on 3-27-08 Captain J. Lauria told me that current shooting practice takes place bi-annually (2x a year) to qualify for shotguns and handguns and quarterly(4x a year) for rifles and a 3 day training session 2x a year, night training is also required in the Spring and Fall for every officer. These amounts are very misleading; you would think that the training only takes place 12x a year, but many of you who live in the area know it happens much more frequently than that. They want to expand the 20 shooting lanes that they already have to 30 lanes and increase the length from 50 yards to 100 yards. More shooting will take place but Capt. Lauria said it would be for shorter periods of time. My fear is that with the increase in lanes and length, more municipalities will want to come to our location and practice. The noise from the gun shots and especially the rifles going off sound like machine guns firing and this can be heard from 2 miles away inside your home with the windows closed.

I feel that the city should not be permitted to take land away from a protected piece for any reason. That is why it is protected. If we allow this to happen, what will be next? It was also told to me at the meeting by the City Assistant Business Administrator, Denise Monaco, that the police training facility was never approved by Green Acres when it was built. Green Acres was not even aware that there was a training facility there until the Vineland Police Department asked to make it bigger.

The City offers to propose replacement land to be dedicated as parkland to compensate for the proposed diversion of parkland. I was told at the meeting that they must give back 5x the amount that they are taking and it must be the same assessed value. The replacement property does not have to be all together. It can be scattered all over the city. I was also told that the city does not own 50 acres of comparable land to make the swap so they will most likely have to buy it outright. How much will 50 acres of wooded uplands cost the city(taxpayers)??? This land was intended for Conservation purposes. Giving a replacement 50 acre piece scattered throughout Vineland, will not be where it was intended to be and will cost the city an enormous amount of money.

The next Vineland City Council Meeting will be on Tuesday 4-22-08 @ 7:00pm at City Hall, 2nd floor. We are not asking everyone to attend, however you may join us if you like. VMF – No word as of yet, but we are still attending all City Council Meetings. We are also starting to attend the Work Session meetings for City Council and are finding that public input is neither easily given nor very welcome. Hopefully we can change this by allowing more public input throughout the meetings instead of just in the beginning when the agenda is not very transparent to the general public.

You can view every City Council Meeting live the night of the meeting at 7:30 pm on Channel 13, or you can watch the re-play on the Friday following the meeting at 9:00 pm on Channel 13. I strongly encourage anyone who can not make the meeting in person to watch the televised portion so that you can keep up with what is going on in our city. I also suggest that you go to and download a copy of the agenda before the meeting so that you can see and understand what is being discussed. Be cautious, I have been told that just because an item is not on the agenda does not mean it can not be addressed at the Council meeting. There is an additional half hour work session before every Council meeting and an issue can be brought up then and later discussed at that Council meeting. It seems that a lot of things are getting passed in Vineland because no one is watching. I say we change that!

March 6, 2008 Don’t throw your signs away yet!!!!
We recently met with Melvin Benn (The Festival Republic) and Charlie Jones (C3 Presents), the promoters of the proposed Vineland Music Festival and they were quick to advise us that if the same political administration is in place after the May election, they intend to go forward with the concert in June 2009 at the original proposed site.

We declined the invitation to visit their concert in the United Kingdom and Austin, Texas feeling it would put us in a position of being compromised.

We all need to keep our attention on this and be prepared for an all out fight to stop this in the event the current administration is re-elected.

January 25, 2008 - I guess you have all heard the great news, the concert has been canceled for this August. HURRAY!!!! Who says you can't fight City Hall , we did and we won, for now. We all should be very proud that we stood up for what was right. Someone recently said to me "when people say nothing, bad things can happen" and that is just what the Barse Team was counting on. They are still saying that it is on the table for June 09. That means we still have our work cut out for us but we have time to plan it better. We need to close the loop hole that the current administration opened with the "Carnival Ordinance". We also have to remember that our current administration did not care about us, our children, our property values or our well-being and elect a new mayor this May. One who will support us and be willing to take a stand on what is best for all of Vineland .

Our web site will stay up and running as will this email address. Please continue to contact us with information and/or concerns. We will continue to attend City Council meetings on a regular basis and so should you. I think it is very important to keep up with what is going on in our town. It is certainly scary how quickly our town could change.

If anyone is interested in getting involved in a government watch group please let us know. They have one in Millville and Fairton and have done a lot of good. I think everyone should have to answer to someone, especially our elected officials. It is a lot of work getting involved but as you can see, it is worth it sometimes.

**We are asking that everyone please return all signed petitions to Maintree Office Center , FCC 1450 E. Chestnut Ave. , Bldg. 1, Suite C so that we can keep them on file for now. We will need them in the future and it is best if we have them all together. Also, everyone who has our signs, please keep them for now and we will re-use them in the future. If you would like to return them, you can bring them to 1450 E. Chestnut Ave.