On Tuesday night, the Byram Township council unanimously voted to repeal a bond ordinance that would have approved an up to $11 million expenditure for the construction of a new municipal building.
The vote came after a group of Byram residents banded together to call for a referendum on November’s ballot aimed at allowing voters to reject the expenditure. Harvey Roseff is one of those residents. Because of the way Byram’s government works– the Faulkner Act–petitions that get enough signatures will force town government to act either via referendum or repeal.
“For tiny Byram, with only 8,000 residents, and much fewer taxpayers, both 16,000 square feet and $11,000,000 for this building are signals that the governing process went off the rails,” Roseff said via email. “No contrition was voiced by the council, outside of we were told the public was misinformed. With little commercial ratables, and an already overburdened taxpayer that receives fewer services than most other towns, Byram can only hope that our governing process will look to the future and not try to justify this most unfortunate past with a remodeled bloated office space expense initiative.”
The petition was spearheaded by Roseff along with Joann Smith, Shelly Wilcock, John Gallagher and William Koellhofer. It garnered over 400 signatures.
The initial ordinance (#24-2016) was first approved at the July 19 council meeting.