Robbinsville Township is pleased to have reached a tentative settlement agreement with the Fair Share Housing Center regarding our affordable housing obligations moving forward.

Getting to our new number (638, of which 492 are already built or otherwise credited) has been a long, hard process and it took countless hours and a great deal of hard work by many, many people, including our fine legal team, Affordable Housing liaison Gail Pfister and planner Shirley M. Bishop.

The benefits of settling on an obligation to generate 146 more affordable units came down to avoiding a costly and prolonged trial, and avoiding a potential ruling of more required units from either the state Superior Court following a trial, or the state Supreme Court, whose ruling on the so-called “Gap Period” could have saddled Robbinsville with a higher obligation.

When these proceedings and discussions began almost two years ago, our township faced the threat of having to create 1,000 affordable units. To accomplish that through inclusionary zoning would have required developers to construct an additional 4,000 (approximate) market rate units, bringing the total number of proposed new housing units in Robbinsville to 5,000. Such a number would have flooded an already overburdened school system and likely lead to an unsustainable tax hike in a town that already is almost entirely built-out.

I want to thank Fair Share for coming back to the table and recognizing Robbinsville’s steep history in providing inclusive, affordable units to our residents, and to the Court for their time and attention to this very important matter.

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Regardless of your political leanings, a new era dawned in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20.

The people spoke back in November. Protest (peacefully) if you must, but the time for division and violence must end. We need a united country to fix our problems, which means we need as many of us working together as possible to move our country forward.

As an elected official and a supporter of both our 45th president and the prospect of growth and true change, I firmly believe there is a plan for our nation to proudly reintroduce itself as the leader of the free world. Despite all the sound bites, or what we think we are entitled to as a society, every facet of that plan is not for us to know.

As we wait for those plans to materialize, try to remember the change we all want starts with us. We get out of the universe what we put into it. Take a moment and reflect on your life as we embark on this new journey together. Are you doing everything in your power to bring a positive change in someone’s life?

You do not have to like the results of the 2016 presidential election, but you do have to live with it. More than ever, let’s all be the adults in the room.

My track record as mayor has shown that I expect accountability from all of our new our elected officials, and the new administration is no exception. They deserve, and have certainly earned, that opportunity.