Here are three questions to ask Milford supervisors about their dramatic zoning change

| 09 Jul 2019 | 05:29

    To the Editor:
    Thank you for printing my "Open Letter to Milford Township Supervisors" and follow-up response from community members. Pike County's official newspaper of record wouldn't print the original letter, instead opting to print a rather pointed opinion piece written by a member of the paper's staff instead that was nothing short of propaganda. It's alarming that any local "newspaper" would compromise its credibility to tow the line for politicians and imply that there's a secret society of Milfordians rather than covering important news for what it is.
    My opposition to both the high-density housing zoning amendment and the proposed sewerage project is not a secret. I've voiced my concerns at both Milford Township and Borough meetings, on television and in public letters. I'm not part of a "clique" — I'm against the sewerage that will inevitably cost all Milford taxpayers while benefitting a few business neighbors (including the mayor), as well as those with financial interest in borough apartment building owners, like Commissioner Osterberg. Clear conflicts of interest exist for anyone who would benefit from either (or both) of these projects, and participation or influence by any elected or appointed official in favor of these decisions risks litigation to the municipalities and/or county.
    For the record, I have yet to speak to a Milford business owner opposed to more business in the borough or elsewhere. During my tenure as the chair of the Milford Business Council and Milford Music Festival, as well as the director of Milford Presents, one of my greatest pleasures was speaking with and advocating for people who wanted to set up shop and work locally. A critical mass of shopping, dining, and services attracts the consumers needed to keep each of our businesses healthy. As important (if not more so), new businesses hold the potential to create employment opportunities for our residents. Pike County needs middle class jobs so that our neighbors and loved ones can work closer to home and participate in our community. Designating appropriate properties for commercial use while leaving housing density at current zoning standards is both good business and responsible planning. What doesn't Pike County need after barely recovering from years of foreclosure property saturation? An increase in housing units to drag down the value of current inventory to hurt homeowners and taxpayers. Nor can we afford to see our taxes increase to account for additional student enrollment, infrastructure and road expenses, and emergency services.
    Three questions to ask yourself and the Milford Township Supervisors:
    1. Why wasn't the vote to amend zoning impacting high-density housing postponed in lieu of planning board member Patrick Mccarthy's public admission that he was still "working on" reading and learning pertinent municipal, county, and state planning documents and code (including Pike County's Comprehensive Plan) after only two weeks in his newly appointed position?
    2. Why won't Milford Township do a survey of all township taxpayers as per the petition that 100-plus Milford Township voters signed and delivered to supervisors to request a say in township decisions?
    3. Why haven't Milford Township Supervisors solicited participation from the public to weigh in on such dramatic change to our community and instead relied exclusively on the public comment portion of supervisors' meetings and whoever shows up?
    I'm not a professional, but a sensible survey and direct feedback seems like Civics and Public Policy 101. Are the supervisors concerned about having tangible evidence and undeniable proof that the majority of us don't support their zoning amendment?
    We can speculate or ask the supervisors directly at the next Milford Township Supervisors meeting on Monday, July 15, at 7 p.m. at the township building at 560 Routes 6 and 209 (next to Dollar General).
    I'll save a seat for you.
    Amy Eisenberg
    Milford Township