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Haddonfield Open Space Tax Referendum Passes by 2-to-1 Margin

The referendum continues funding for open-space purchases.

The Haddonfield Open Space Tax referendum passed by a greater than 2-to-1 margin Tuesday, according to an unofficial count by the borough clerk.

The measure passed 1,744 to 669, with about 28 percent of the borough's 9,175 registered voters casting a ballot. It means property tax payers can be assessed up to one cent per $100 of assessed value. The tax has collected about $28 a year from the typical taxpayer with a home assessed at the borough average of $491,000 over the past five years. Tuesday's vote keeps the tax in place after the initial referendum expires this year.

The passage was a relief to many voters, especially Kim Custer, a resident active in community efforts to preserve open space.

"It shows people are committed to putting money aside for the protection of open space," she said. "What we have left, we're going to preserve."

Custer said there was concern among supporters of the tax that recent purchase plans for the Bancroft property on Kings Highway East may have confused voters. Both the borough and the school board have held public meetings over the last month to explore how expensive the Bancroft purchase could be. The 19.7-acre property is considered to be the last large parcel of open space in town.

Local voters also approved a state referendum question to allow sports betting by a margin of 1,377 to 1,027.

Haddonfield bucked trends in heavily Democratic Camden County by casting more votes for Republican county freeholder candidates than their Democratic incumbents, according to the unofficial vote, which does not include absentee ballots.

Republicans Joshua Rocks and Eugene E.T. Lawrence received 1,187 and 1,205 votes, respectively. Democrats Louis Cappelli Jr. and Scot N. McCray garnered 1,133 and 1,091 votes. The Democrats won the seats.

The Board of Chosen Freeholder are the nine top elected officials in the county.

Ross Chatham November 09, 2011 at 01:14 PM
Open space is wasted space.
Dawn November 09, 2011 at 01:41 PM
This vote just shows what snobs live in Haddonfield. The only reason they want open space is to keep out low income.
Douglas Oswald November 09, 2011 at 08:25 PM
Way to go voters! It's all about the open space. It's the commitment to continue to look for ways to preserve the "unbuilt" environment that really give me hope for sustained use of this planet. Yes it's easy to fire up a bulldozer and plow it all under... Too easy. What's hard is make choices like this that have effect for generations. Again , thank you Haddonfield voters.
PG November 10, 2011 at 04:00 PM
You're exactly right, Dawn. And it's not because I'm a snob, as you so eloquently described people from Haddonfield, but rather because I want to preserve the condition and class of people in Haddonfield. A fact of life is that everyone isn't equal. Some people have more than others. Deal with it, and change your condition if you so choose. When regulations require low income housing interjected into a middle to upper class neighborhood, it breaks the natural development of the area. If you can't afford to live here, that's fine...live somewhere else. Why do we owe anyone low incoming housing?

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