I wanted to respond to Bob Ruhlman's letter on March 21.
To the editor:
I wanted to respond to Bob Ruhlman's letter on March 21. I appreciate his concern about the township. We encourage residents to come to meetings to learn more about the township. We have been working harder than ever before to provide more information and transparency on the Orange Township website: www.orangetwp.org.
However, I have a concern when misinformation is presented to the public, misleading them. We experienced this in the past with an Orange Township Mole Website and I want to make sure that the residents of Orange Township are not misled this time, as I believe they were then.
We have asked Ruhlman several times to come to the township and sit down with us to review all his concerns and suggestions. He has yet to take us up on our offer. Instead, he writes a letter to the editor with numbers and opinions which are incorrect, incomplete or out of context.
I encourage the residents of Orange Township to do your own research by contacting the township or the trustees to get the information and explanation you need to make the most educated decision. I am more than willing to sit down with anyone and answer any question.
We are hosting an open house for the fire levy to educate and answer any questions that residents may have.
Fire and EMS services are not the only responsibility of the trustees. Orange Township also is responsible for about 94 miles of roads, many of which are narrow and becoming more problematic with time. With the township still growing, many of those roads will need to be updated to handle the growth of traffic.
For instance, we are working on upgrading the intersection of Orange Road and U.S. Route 23 as we have had many accidents at that location. We need to ensure we are able to repair roads as needed and not have to come back to residents for more money at the last minute. That is why trustees Nelson Katz, Chris Masciola and I set up capital improvement accounts, to set funds aside. One more point needs to be made here. The general fund has never been a "surplus fund" as Ruhlman indicated. It has always been there to fund future, major capital improvements. For planning purposes, the trustees set up the capital improvement accounts, to provide more transparency into the general fund; that is, to earmark the monies so that residents would know its future purpose.
With all due respect, pulling information out of context while refusing explanation can only lead to wrong conclusions that are ultimately unleashed on an unsuspecting public. By attending meetings or reading the meeting minutes, asking questions and listening to the answers, one will be better equipped to make wise decisions that benefit us all.
Orange Township trustee