I would like to weigh in on the Ridge High School (Ridge) busing issue. I fear that the best solution to the nightmarish morning traffic around Ridge — paving the access route from the Municipal Complex (MC) to Ridge for one-way bus traffic — will continue to be ignored by an inefficient Bernards Township Committee (TC).
The frustrating busing and traffic issue surrounding Ridge and Homestead Village is well known. In March, Homestead Village residents asked the TC to consider linking the MC to Ridge. Paving the existing gravel road between the MC and Ridge for bus drop-off makes sense on many levels — environmental, cost, and public safety. In addition, no other residential roads would need to be modified. Homestead Village residents were confident that the TC was on their side, as the Mayor had sent a letter on their behalf asking the BOE to repeal the bus re-routing through their neighborhood. Their proposal for use of the MC was reasonable; the TC’s response? An embarrassing, stony silence.
The silence continues to this day — the TC has drawn a clear line in the sand: the MC is off limits, no matter how well-served the entire community would be by this solution. Yet as the Whites wrote last week, the proposed linkage was approved in 2005 — that approval exists and the current TC should not be allowed to disregard it. TC member Carolyn Gaziano, up for re-election on November 6th, has even argued that the traffic situation can be resolved by corrections made only to the Ridge campus itself — an unrealistic and naïve view.
As a non-resident of Homestead Village, I would like to lend my full support to those residents who have written clear and articulate letters to the editor. Not only do I agree with their arguments, I am shocked by the TC’s poor regard for their concerns; these residents have been treated like children by their democratically elected government.
On November 6th, we will be voting on two TC positions and three BOE positions. I beg voters to make informed decisions. For TC we have two complacent Republican incumbents I find haven’t made progress for the township against two Democratic challengers who are not involved enough in Township affairs to fully understand and/or deal with the issues.
For the BOE, four candidates are vying for three seats. The challenger, Louis D'Autorio, has not been present at a BOE meeting since June and only attended a few prior to that; his absence raises the question as to his ability to knowledgeably contribute on pertinent issues, including the busing problem. In addition, his published admonition that a BOE member needs to represent the residents is false; BOE members are elected to work for the best interests of the schools. This is a very important and crucial distinction.
Sarah Bonnefoi, former Ridge PTO President
30 E Craig Street, Basking Ridge