Reporting on Indian Field distorted, left out important facts

| 05 Nov 2021 | 01:28

It was obvious to so many homeowners and residents of Indian Field after reading your Oct. 21-27 article that an untrue statement was made in your publication. Many also felt the unfair tendency of one-sidedness in that same article.

Children’s safety was our utmost priority in our petition to Hardyston Township and it was also verbally addressed in the public forum at the Sept. 30 town council meeting. Improvement to our Indian Field entranceway was requested for the safety of our children whose designated bus stop is at the busy intersection of State Highway 94 and Forest Hill Way. We voiced concern that these children are further at risk because the area where they wait for their bus is unkept and in winter unshoveled ice and snow forces these children to stand in the dangerous roadway instead of on the sidewalk. Indian Fields attempts to maintain this area have been denied. For whatever the reason, this very important issue was left out entirely in your article. We suspect an untrue statement we found in your article deflected you away from this most significant matter.

Respectfully we ask you the Advertiser South, on behalf of 138 Indian Field homeowners/residents who signed a petition to have their voice represented at that forum make warranted corrections to the Oct. 21-27 article you previously published. At this time, we feel it is reasonable and fair to also seek an addendum to this that includes transparency.

Noteworthy missing information, warranted corrections, transparencies, complaints:

1. A petition signed by 138 homeowners/residents requested Hardyston Township’s help to promote safety and improve the Indian Field entranceway (State Highway 94/Forest Hill Way) was presented to the town council at the beginning of the public comment portion of their meeting on Sept. 30.

2. The statement in question, below, lists the untruth portion:

The town does continue to plow Forest Hill Way in Indian Field so that school buses can enter the development safely, and pick up students so that they do not have to come to the intersection at Route 94 to get on the bus.

Fact: The designated bus stop for children who attend Pope John, Reverend Brown and Sussex County Technology is at State Highway 94 and Forest Hill Way. Our community has unsuccessfully tried to change this designated bus stop to one in the Indian Field development, but they won’t comply.

Regardless of the town’s snow plowing our main road, children going to Pope John, Reverend Brown and Sussex County Technical need to meet their designated school bus at the intersection of State Highway 94. (See letter from George Mihalik of Pope John.)

3. While your article acknowledged that the owner does not maintain the sidewalks covered with brush it also does not mention that children stand on this brush at their designated bus stop (located at the entranceway). More importantly it fails to mention the ice and snow that covers these same unkept sidewalks in the winter which further puts our children at risk forcing them to wait in the roadway at the corner of this busy intersection of State Highway 94 where cars zoom by.

This was addressed in the public forum and put on the petition to Hardyston Township but omitted from your publication. The untrue statement in your article is misleading. It leads readers to believe there is no bus stop at the busy intersection of State Highway 94.

This omission is significant because 138 homeowners/residents signed it with mutual concern for the safety of the children who must wait for their school bus at an unkept area of a busy intersection.

4. One-sidedness from your article:

The two lots at the front entrance of Indian Field were purchased by a private citizen through tax sales.

Transparency fact: The sale of these two lots have been in litigation for quite some time.

One-sidedness: A statement refers to the two lots and says they are not part of the development.

Transparency fact: Those two lots were originally a part of Indian Field.

The attached picture shows the Indian Field entranceway and those lots in the Indian Field development. The current owner does not maintain these lots and as a result they are unruly, unkept and unsafe. The owner has denied Indian Fields the ability to maintain them and make them safe.

5. Numerous complaints regarding the Indian Field entranceway:

a) When exiting and turn left the view is hindered with the overgrowth (bushes).

b) Many revert to the back entrance to avoid the turning left issues at this busy intersection.

c) Nothing has been done in this area even though a death occurred this year at this intersection.

d) 138 residents signed a petition to the township requesting maintenance improvement to restore our image to our prior beauty and give us back our dignity.

Hardyston Township has a “Clean Communities Program” already in place which emulates our objectives of ridding unsightly areas (unruly overgrown bushes) and making them hazardous free (need to free sidewalks from brushes, ice, snow).