Sunday, May 17, 2009

I was in the laundry room, folding clothes and I saw him at the neighbors'. Then he rode his bike down their driveway right up mine. Before he could get to the front door, I stepped out into the garage. The garage door was open so I greeted him directly and walked out.

He introduced himself as a candidate in an upcoming town primary, telling me that the primary is a contested one1 and the opposition has chosen how the town meets the state COAH requirements as their principle issue.

He gave me some party literature and told me that I am eligible to vote in the primary. And so is my husband.

He asked me whether I'd received any nasty mail or email from the opposition and I said that I had not. I said that we have received a couple of automated phone calls, Forbes had called in support of Christie. And somebody else I couldn't remember.

He went on to explain that the town's proposed plan to satisfy COAH isn't as bad as the opposition makes it out to be. He said that their alternative of binding a developer to designate one house in five as COAH is devastating to surrounding home values, property taxes ... "and the developers don't want to do this anyway because it cuts into their profits." I don't doubt it but doesn't the town usually request a parcel, along with granting the permits, to satisfy COAH?

He went on to say that homeowners who qualify for affordable housing won't keep up their properties. I was actually too stunned by that assumption to request clarification. Who does keep up their property? In this economy? Is a 6-figure income any guarantee that the house will be kept up?

Promises to protect property values might have persuaded voters in past elections but it's going to be some time before it's a chief concern again.

I guess he thought he was talking to a Republican. Funny, the things they'll say.

1 I had read this article but didn't have the names and/or positions on the tip of my tongue.

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