A few years back I decided to run for Maplewood Township Committee, running as a dark horse challenger during the Democratic Primary. I was defeated by Mayor Vic De Luca and his hand-picked running mate India Larrier. Since then, I’ve been asked why I chose to run. I did so because I believe we have a misguided Mayor with agenda that works for some members of this community, but not all of us.
It’s why property taxes on the west side of town continue rising. It’s why homes that were once selling in the high $700,000 are now being sold closer to $500,000. Some might argue it’s the housing market but when you own a home with one shower, and your property taxes are $17,000 something is not right.
During my debate with the Mayor, he spoke openly about his desire to work with Trenton in order to finally get our community the property tax relief so desperately needed. Of course, like most politicians he was just talking because nothing became of that. Mr. De Luca has failed to deliver on his promise, instead authorizing a 2012 property tax assessment that once again has increased the tax burden for many struggling homeowners.
After all this, you could imagine the feeling I had when I read the Huffington Post and saw that Democratic NJ Mayors are working to find a suitable challenger to oppose the very formidable Chris Christie. What got me angry was Mayor De Luca again losing sight by stating that he will support a candidate who will "not play ball with the governor on a number of issues, including pension and benefits reform.
Here's proof that our Mayor has hoodwinked us. Property tax relief is not and has never been his priority. Instead, it’s all about protecting the unions. As Mayor of Maplewood, Mr. De Luca has chosen the wrong line of work. If he wants to be a union activist do so, but please not at Maplewood’s expense.