Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sounding Off: Questions are OK, but why letters?

This letter originally appeared on the December 17, 2008 edition of the Twin-Boro News, Sounding Off section.

Dear Editor:

In last week’s edition of the Twin-Boro News, Mr. Kai Chen raised questions regarding upgrades to Dumont’s Memorial Field.

I commend him for his letter, although I was surprised to read it since he was in attendance at our last meeting of the Dumont governing body.

At that meeting, he received documents provided by Council President Bob McQuade, but failed to ask any questions.

I realize that Mr. Chen may want to take the information home with him and review it, but I do question as to why he chooses to use the editorial page to raise his questions. In fact, since Election Day, Mr. Chen has made it a point to attend our meetings, yet fails to ask any questions.
Nevertheless, the reason why the borough waited for the presentation regarding upgrades to the Memorial Park was twofold.

First, the borough, like many other communities in the Northern Valley, has multiple issues to deal with on a daily basis, let alone future planning.

Secondly, the borough was waiting to receive confirmation that it would receive some $171,176 funding from the Bergen County Open Space, Historic and Recreation Trust Fund. These funds would be in addition to the $485,000 already granted for the multi-year/multi-park upgrade program announced early in 2007 by Mayor Matt McHale and Recreation Liaison Councilman Marty Caspare.

Additionally in his letter, Mr. Chen referred to his letter dated Oct. 22, pertaining to the borough’s bio-fuels alternative pilot program for municipal vehicles.

Many of the questions raised are valid, yet Mr. Chen misses the key component of this program, that is that it’s a pilot program.

I am not a bio-scientist nor an engineer, but a member of the Dumont governing body committed to exploring new technologies with the hopes of a greener environment while saving Dumont taxpayers unnecessary expenditures for fossil fuels.

I sincerely welcome Mr. Chen to join the Borough of Dumont’s governing body in exploring this exciting and viable fuel alternative source.

However, I must question Mr. Chen’s motives. While I have no problem with a public discussion regarding the happenings of the Borough of Dumont, I again question why he resorts to the editorial page of the Twin-Boro News rather than ask his question and share his opinion at the meetings which he attends.

Democracy, and especially municipal government, serves its constituents best when there is an open, honest and equal exchange between those who are in public service and those whom the public servants serve.

I urge Mr. Chen to put politics aside, and have a real discussion, whether it be in public or private.

Regardless of politics, Happy Holidays to all the readers of the Twin-Boro News.


Carl Manna

Sounding Off: Digital TV switch caveat offered

Dear Editor:

I wish to thank all the volunteers who pitched in to make the Winter Festival in Dumont enjoyable for myself and my family. We had a fun time and appreciate Council President McQuade for reaching out and greeting everyone on the queue for the train ride.

On another matter, recently a certain television service provider knocked on my door and announced that free broadcasts over antenna would be discontinued by order of the federal government next year. I wish to let fellow residents know that this and similar representations are misleading, with service providers taking advantage of the confusion raised during the Digital Television (DTV) transition.

Should there be a need, as determined by the borough council, I will be happy to volunteer one evening at borough hall to let residents see for themselves what signals an old TV using "rabbit ears" antenna can receive for free.

In this time of fiscal restraint, being able to have one less expense is always welcome.


Kai Chen

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