A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

History: Township Ired at Boro Move for New Annexation (1935)

The 6 Dec 1935 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 1 col 8, pg 2 col 2) ) reported on the previous evening's Matawan Township Committee meeting, where "sparks flew" over a petition being circulated in the township.

Committeeman Paul Dolan had heard from neighbors that the borough wanted to absorb the Atlantic Avenue section of the township and its strong ratables, so they started a petition signing effort to make it happen. Dolan was outraged, saying the loss of the Hanson-Van Winkle-Munning plant, Muehlhausen barrel factory, Mosaic Tile company, and Anderson coal, lumber and basket factories would destroy the township's tax base. "They will be taking in the garden spot of the township," Dolan said.

Edward Farry, Jr, the township attorney, thought it was "just a political move. The majority of the people in that section are Democrats and they need more Democratic votes to assure an election."

Chairman John Marz, Jr felt borough officials were clearly behind the effort. He described a two-step process in these annexations. First the borough waits for the township to make road improvements, then they annex that part of town. If it is tax relief the borough wanted, they should try being more thrifty in how they run their government, not "steal large tracts of township land."

Dolan encouraged the committee to fight this third annexation, pointing out that the previous two had cost the township $250,000 in assessed value and this one would leave the municipality with $700,000 in valuation to run the township. "I understand that they do not wish Cliffwood Beach and Oak Shades," Dolan added.

Marz couldn't imagine what the Atlantic Avenue section might want that the Committee wasn't providing. "If there was any discontent in that section, there would be some reason for it, but we give them everything they ask."

James A Powers, the town clerk, pointed out that residents could save $6.00/year on their water bills by moving to the borough. But Dolan said they would lose twice that in additional sewer costs.

The Committee unanimously passed Dolan's resolution protesting the annexation effort and declaring that the borough should annex the entire township and not some small part if it again attempts this course of action. (The complete text of the resolution was included in the newspaper.)

Marz concluded this matter by saying,"The way I look at it all is that the boro [should] attend to its own affairs and we will attend to ours. Such moves as these are the same as a dictator's. If they want something, they just reach out and grab it."


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