A candidate for Brick Township council has responded to a letter to the editor which was sent to several local publications last week, including Brick Shorebeat. In the letter – which was not published by Shorebeat due to a company policy that requires letters to be vetted for factual accuracy – the writer accused Republican candidate Charles Bacon of favoring the return of red-light violation cameras at Brick intersections. The letter, however, was published on another website.
Bacon, over the weekend, released a statement saying he does not favor the return of cameras, but instead spoke at a candidates debate at a senior citizen community only about the revenue that was lost when the cameras were removed. He said the revenue that was lost should have been made up through spending cuts.
Mayor John Ducey, a Democrat, pledged during his campaign for mayor in 2013 that he would remove the cameras if elected. Shortly after taking office in 2014, when a contract with American Traffic Solutions expired, he had the cameras taken down from three intersections, making Brick the first municipality in New Jersey to opt out of a pilot program that allowed the cameras to be installed.
Bacon’s letter appears below:
To the Editor:
As you know I am a Republican Candidate for Brick Township Council. As such, I am compelled to respond to the incorrect statements made by John Alemeida about me in a letter to the editor of the Brick Patch published last week.
Mr. Alemeida makes the claim that I made it clear that I would bring back red light cameras because I want the revenue.
Well Mr. Alemeida you did not pay attention.
I am not in favor of traffic cameras, I never was in favor of traffic cameras, and I will never be in favor of them.
The point that I made that evening is a fact: The elimination of the traffic cameras caused an approximate $750,000 shortfall in the budget.
This shortfall was never offset by spending cuts by the current all Democratic council and as a result the all Democratic Council raised our property taxes again!
You called my comments “Shameless.”
Mr. Almeida, when I am elected to office I will watch where every tax dollar is spent. And I can certainly tell you that if I was on the Council with my Republican colleagues that we too would have eliminated the cameras, but we would have found a way to make the elimination of the cameras revenue neutral.
In my view, for the current all Democratic council to simply pass this cost onto our already burdened taxpayer is “Shameless.”