OPINION: Mount Laurel Republicans’ questionable motives for wanting non-partisan elections

A letter to the editor by Brian Sharp of Mount Laurel

After forty-plus years of Republican control of the Town Council in Mount Laurel, republicans seem to feel their stranglehold over the council is in jeopardy.  Instead of creating a plan to make sure the voters in Mount Laurel knew what they had done to improve Mount Laurel, they decided to go with confusing the voters.

On Monday April 8, 2019 Mayor Folcher and Councilman Edelson directed the Solicitor to create an ordinance to be presented on April 22 for first reading.  This ordinance will be to put a referendum on the November ballot to change Mount Laurel’s election from a Partisan Election held in November to a Non-Partisan Election held in May.

The Solicitor said that if the referendum passed the council could – without a referendum – move the election back to November.

So, when you look at this, they are saying we want the people of Mount Laurel to decide if they want a Partisan board.  I get it, we all want our board to act in a non-partisan way.  However, if you look deeper you see that this is being done to just protect the currently sitting Republicans.  They know that their party is a disgrace at all levels.  Instead of fixing it, they want to abandon it.  You know they will continue to get money for their elections from their Republican sponsors as they have always done.  You know they will still operate as a single voting unit.  They still want to wear their Red “MAGA” hats, they just don’t want you to know they do that.

I also have to question if the racial make-up of the board is also part of the concern to the sitting members.  In the long history of our town we never had a Councilman of color.  In this last election we finally broke down that barrier when we the people of Mount Laurel elected Kareem Pritchett to the council.  Is this just the latest attempt by the Mount Laurel council to suppress the votes and representation of minorities in our Town.  From refusing to build affordable housing to now making sure we don’t know the party affiliation of council members.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the author’s only.

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