This is the statement read by Mr. Fred Lund, a Pay to Play petitoner in Manchester Township, at the Kickoff event on May 10.
P. O. Box 378
Lakehurst, NJ 08733
PRESS RELEASE – MAY 10, 2004
RE: Pay-to-Play Petition
On March 8, 2004, we determined that Manchester Township did not have an Ordinance that bans political contributions by those doing business with the Township (Pay-to Play).
At that point in time, and to this day, the public overwhelmingly supports statewide legislation that bans “Pay to Play.” Yet, the New Jersey Assembly refuses to pass it and the Governor no longer insists on its passage.
Banning this practice is the necessary first step to ethics reform in this State. If the State will not act we must act locally. So, on March 19, 2004, the Civic Club of Leisure Village West, hand delivered a proposed Ordinance to the Council with a request that they have a “First Reading” on the Ordinance within 30 days.
The Town Council did not have the required “First Reading” and never acknowledged, publicly or privately, that they had received the Ordinance.
The Civic Club assumed that no action would be taken to pass the Ordinance, so it immediately began preparation for an Initiative Petition, which is permitted by the Faulkner Act. This Petition will enable the Manchester voters to by-pass the Council, and vote for the Ordinance at the next General Election, which is November 2.
We are now circulating the Petition and anticipate receiving much more than the required number of signatures to put the Ordinance on the ballot.
Fred E. Lund
Asst. Treasurer, West Village Civic Club