Dec 16, 2013
invited to visit
Steve Fenster's comments on the
strange functioning of the Pemberton
Borough Council. My concern
has been focused on there treatment
of Solar power in the borough.
What I learned tonight is that there
is no requirement for the Council to
respond to a letter addressed to
them. They can just ignore it
Borough form of Government gives the
elected council complete autonomy to
do what ever they please to whom
ever they please. It is even
extremely difficult to recall an
elected representative before the
end of his or her term. The
moral of that is make sure you know
who you are electing and get out
there and Vote. The last
election was won or lost depending
on your perspective by as few as six
votes. Make yours count!!!
MORE ON SOLAR
Dec. 16, 2013
past three months I've sent letters
to the Borough council advising them
that their wiring requirements are
written so that they pay me 9¢ for
each kWh I produce but they charge
me .22¢ for every kWh that I send to
the grid. Then they charge me
.22¢ for every kWh that that I take
from the grid, even the same kWh I
just gave them. (continued)
Bruce Buzalski Sept
page may look like the borough
website but it definitely is not.
This is my voice and the voices of
other residents who may wish to
contribute. I will present issues
here that are important to me and
especially issues where I believe
the Borough Council is not acting in
the best interests of the residents
by whom they were elected.
primary interest to this resident is
the Borough's treatment of Solar
Energy within the community.
There will be many articles on that
topic but in summary, as of this
writing, the borough, because they
own their own electric utility can
do anything they want to the
residents. There are no
regulations governing them except
the ones they write themselves for
their own convenience.
Borough form of Government in the
State of New Jersey (http://bit.ly/15zQzx4)
and claims that it has a weak Mayor
and that the Council performs most
legislative and executive functions.
I can't say that is the case in this
community where a majority of
council members follow the lead of
the Council members have been on
that body for many years. If
someone is going to speak their
mind, it is generally those older
are two meetings. One at 6pm
which is held in a small conference
room, hidden away that no one knows
about, and the other starts at 7pm
and is in the main auditorium. Most
decisions and all discussion takes
place at the 6pm meeting.
During the open meeting it is rare
for a Council Member to share their
Council does not have to hear
petitions publically. I
submitted a petition in the form of
a recommended change to the
Ordinance and the Council, in
private, decided not to address the
issue. It never saw the light
of day in a public meeting, not even
under communications. The
topic was never brought to the
public's attention except during the
open portion of the meeting.
Council is Autonomous. Be
careful who you elect to it.
Sept 28, 2013
are monthly (almost) meetings of the
republican club in town. They
are held in the home of one of the
members and are not widely
publicized. In an attempt to
get more participation I offered to
publicize the last meeting. At
the last minute the meeting was
canceled because the new venue could
not be confirmed. I didn't go
to the normal venue to see if it was
promised that the October meeting
would be a meet and greet for the
candidates up for election.
property taxes in
the Borough are low, or are they.
The last time there was a
revaluation of the homes was more
than 20 years ago. During that time
home values have changed
dramatically. New homes have
been built and older homes are still
valued at where they were many years
ago. My home was built in 2007
and cost $370,000. Today the
Zillow valuation is $270,000.
The tax valuation on the house and
property is $168,000. Older
residents of the community have
valuations that are based on what
home values were many years ago.
It's time for a re-evaluation.
The Council states that if they had
it done, it would be expensive and
we wouldn't like the results.
I'm not sure who the "we" is in
State of New Jersey
demands that all it's Public
Utilities support Solar Energy and,
in accordance with the National
Energy Policy, permit the use of Net
metering at the request of the
consumer. Because Pemberton
Electric is a small private
utilitity they fall through the
crack and can do anything they want.
Their ordinance requires a separate
meter to measure the energy going
into the grid. The problem
with that is that all the Solar
Energy goes into the grid before it
is used by a consumer. The
result is that The Borough's utility
purchases ALL of the solar produced
on the dollar.
Borough to permit Net metering, they
would do as their Ordinance states,
which is purchase the Excess Energy
produced. Since home systems
are designed to produce only 70% of
the consumption, the Borough would
never be required to purchase any
energy.. However the Solar
producer would be making use of the
Borough's infrastructure, which
would impose a burden on the other
result they take it all and force
the Solar Consumer to purchase all
the electricity they use at
the Borough's inflated prices.
As a result the Solar Consumer is
not paying just their $0.22 per kwh
but $0.36 because of the low price
the Borough pays for the energy.
The Borough makes a huge profit on
for Non Profits
profit institutions run some large
facilities in town. Their
electric bills are excessive.
They would very much like to install
Solar on their buildings both to
help the ecology and reduce their
repressive regulations in the
Borough discourage anyone from
installing solar. The only
change they need to make is permit
Net meters. If they would do
that, it would become economical for
residences and non profits to make
more use of solar and be less
dependent on fossel fuels.
capped by state regulation to
increasing 2% per year. We
used to pay for our garbage
collection through our taxes.
You have recently received a bill
for collection. I expect that
to increase in the future.
way the Borough is making it through
is by taking profit from it's
utilities and putting them in the
general fund. You think your
electric rates are high? Yes,
they are. The highest in the
state (or anywhere else for that
matter). Each year more than
$200,000 of your Utility money is
transferred to the General Fund to
keep the Borough afloat. This
is unconscionable. The ones it
is really hurting are the
non-profits who are also taxed
heavily because of the Borough's
look at the Borough as you drive
through. There is not much
going on. There are a few
little shops in the center of town,
but nothing thata would encourage
tourists to stop in, yet alone
residents. We do have a flower
shop, and antique dealer, a Burger
King, a strip mall which is largely
empty and the stores that are there
for the most part serve the
underserved in the community with
the notable exception of Violet.
Hardware store is amazing if you've
never been there. You wouldn't
be enticed to go in because of the
appearance, but they do have a wide
range of items available.
never heard the Council discuss what
their view of the business district
is. I'd like some more upscale
shops attracting more upscale
people. They just voted for
more low cost housing. What we
really need is more upscale housing
and businesses to increase the
revenue and improve the character of
too much to ask the Council to
present their view of that they
would like the town to become?
What is their plan. Do they
have one. Is it open to the
public for discussion? We have
an election coming up. What
platform do the candidates have.
supposed to be a meet and greet in
October. I can't wait to see
if it happens.
Sept 28, 2013 BTBuzalski
this year the Council discussed the
contract with Comcast which was up
There was much discussion because
Comcast never met their obligation
to connect everyone in the Borough.
There are still residents who have
no cable service.
Hearthstone is wired for Verizon but
we can not connect to Fios because
of the restrictive agreement with
Comcast. This needs to change.
Comcast and Verizon need the