Roseff wins one for the taxpayers of Byram

For weeks we've watched Harvey Roseff pursue Byram council like a fine hunting dog.  At every meeting he has asked (barked???) the same questions... why the need for a new municipal building, why go $11 million into debt, how much would this ultimately cost taxpayers?  Week after week, the council and the town manager avoided answering him.

 

Roseff led a group of five township residents who drafted a petition to place the question of bonding for the $11 million on November's ballot, unless the Council changed its mind.  That petition successfully won ballot access earlier in the month and so the council faced the voters in November.

 

On Tuesday evening, Roseff's determination paid off and the taxpayers of Byram Township won.  At Tuesday's meeting, Byram Township's council executed an about-face and voted unanimously to repeal the bond ordinance it passed just last month, that would have funded a new $11 million municipal building.

 

Mr. Roseff is on to something when he asks why issues involving more public indebtedness can't be placed on the ballot.  No public borrowing without voter approval.  Make every municipality and the county go to the voters before they go into debt.

 

Warren County already does it.  That county made history in 2013 when it became the first to approve the idea -- championed by Freeholder Ed Smith -- that requires voter approval before any county borrowing that exceeds 2 percent of the county's budget.  If borrowing does exceed that level, then it goes to the voters in the November election.  Warren County has the lowest debt of any county in New Jersey.