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Video: Haddonfield Commissioners Quarrel at Meeting Thursday

Commissioners Ed Borden and Jeff Kasko have a heated exchange.

Ed Borden and Jeff Kasko had a heated exchange near the end of a 2.5-hour meeting Thursday.

Two of the three top elected borough officials squared off over the amount of information provided to them and the public by a group of residents raising money to help pay for artificial surfaces to be installed on two fields at . The commissioners voted unanimously last month to pay $356,000 to resurface Anniversary Field, a borough-owned field near the high school football stadium.

The resurfacing of both Anniversary Field and the stadium turf is expected to cost just over $1 million, half of which a group of residents known as the Turf Field Committee has promised to raise. The borough's funding commitment is contingent on the residents raising $500,000. The school board has agreed to pay the remaining amount.

The argument Thursday revolved around how much information was provided to the commissioners and the public about the project, including the environmental impact of turf fields and their maintenance.

HaddonGirl June 15, 2012 at 05:36 PM
There's no "both sides" by Kasko. He's simply making the point that more than the commissioners are entitled to ALL available information. And as pointed out by others, he did object at the time of the vote, to the speed with which the issue was processed. Kasko did, nevertheless, support the idea, and attend the fundraiser, because it is in fact, an important thing for our small town, to have a field of considerably more utility at that location. And if you don't like the look of it all, step outside the sausage factory.
Jackie June 15, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I agree with Jeff Kasko and appreciate his defense of due process. As MSM rightly points out, the merits of informed decisions and adequate time for public dialogue have become a debate? In terms of playing both sides, an alternative possibility is that he realized, in retrospect, that the matter was handled too quickly and without sufficient community discussion (especially after listening to all the angles brought up after the vote). I respect politicians who can admit mistakes, apologize, and reevaluate. I'm much more used to the opposite: pols who refuse to back down from their misjudgments and simply "smile and nod" when any concerns are raised. An issue with these financial and environmental aspects requires thorough deliberation.
Brian Kelly June 15, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Information is constantly being withheld from the public. When one commissioner withholds information from the other that tells you something. What exactly is the Mayor doing just sitting there, acting oblivious the whole time? She knows just what's going on. There's an agenda in play here and field turf is only the beginning. If anyone thinks you just buy the turf, drop it in and that's the end of the money spent, you're wrong. Putting the cost of maintenance and repair aside and the fact you have to eventually replace the stuff (will the same people agree to donate money for the next field?) we come to the sports complex. With the crumbling infrastructure, a huge water renovation project down the line and rising taxes, does anyone think Tish Columbi woke up one morning and thought, "Gee, what we need right now is a to spend tens of millions of dollars on a sports complex!" Bancroft has been trying to cut a deal to sell that land to Haddonfield for years. I want to know what's going on in those private meetings Borden is having with Bancroft and how the Board of Education fits in to all of this. It's time for the citizens of Haddonfield to put on their thinking caps and start looking at the big picture. If you love your neighborhood the way it is and you don't want it to change, you better start demanding information. Field turf is just the beginning
Maryann Campling June 16, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Wow....when "business as usual" is challenged, the fur really flies! The Commission better get used to it, I think. The folks from all over this town...east and west...are feeling that we are treated like mushrooms....kept in the dark and fed s---! Messrs. Hess, Kelly, Kenny, Haddon Girl, et al...you are right on the money...I hope you keep hold their feet to the fire. And thanks to the folks at the Commissioner's meeting last night who spoke up....we appreciate your passion and love of this town. And Commissioner Kasko....keep fight the good fight! PS Look into the "side walk" project going on in town....another big debacle.
taxesarehigh June 18, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I look forward to a day when technology will allow our local government to more quickly and accurately poll all taxpaying citizens in this municipality and find out what everyone thinks about these types of expenditures. I wonder what percentage of the citizens of Haddonfield have kids in the high school – or - will have kids in the high school in the future.....of this subset of citizens, I wonder how many of these kids are interested in even using a turf field. Maybe, if this technology existed we would find out that there is not a majority of citizens who care about spending a million dollars on artificial grass, regardless of the fact that part of the money is coming from private funds....if this were the case the three elected officials who I suspect we give too much autonomy, would have no choice but to vote "no" on spending the money for something that so many citizens have said is a "nice to have" not a “must have."

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