YES – YES on the Hurrell Turf referendum questions are the right votes to make next Tuesday, November 5. It is the right thing for individuals, families, the Council and this Borough to do on multiple dimensions.
YES-YES is the right way to vote in terms of EQUITY and FAIRNESS:
- The town bonded up for the Glen Ridge High School expansion, Library renovation and RAS Auditorium refurbishment at the conclusion of the last debate on turf
- Participation in athletics contributes to the development of well-rounded individuals and student-athletes – Hurrell’s condition limits usage and has an impact on participation
- As a beneficiary of Glen Ridge in many regards, each of us should recognize that a very large segment of our population (the silent minority since they cannot vote) deserves to benefit as well
- The GR education budget increased by $1 million in the past budgetary year (yes, $1m in 1 year!) to support an influx and increased costs of serving a very, very small population of special needs children. That translated into far more of a tax increase than turf installation / maintenance will (or grass replacement / maintenance for that matter). While not denying the moral and legal obligation of such support, the majority of children would benefit from turf
YES-YES is right ETHICALLY:
- A GRHS student, now graduated, sustained a compound fracture due to field conditions in the last 18 months, was unable to play sports for nearly a year and was physically impacted by his injury. Another broken leg was sustained this fall – field conditions may have contributed to a bad foot planting prior to snap
- One or more lawsuits have been filed and remain unresolved over physical injuries caused by field conditions, putting our pooled insurance at risk of premium increase
- Poor field conditions put children at risk for injury – who has a parent of a GRAA athlete not seen a child take terrifying fall due to a pothole on any of the four over-used fields?
- It is not a matter of if but when that a child in the future is going to sustain an serious injury and field condition will be the cause or a contributing factor. Regardless of views on contact sports, this is our opportunity address field condition and help prevent such an event
YES-YES is right in terms of STEWARDSHIP we as Glen Ridge residents have to future residents of the gem called “Glen Ridge”:
- All residents whether of voting age or not have a stake in this community, and some children today will be future Glen Ridge residents
- If you have / do / will have a child playing sports between the age of four and 18, you understand the need to make the investment and transition to one turf field
- Poor decisions in the past (the sale of the Washington Field area to Montclair at the turn of the century, the sale vs. lease of Central School in the 80s, the decision not to re-purchase Central School from Wachovia ~10 years ago) in hind-sight prove the folly of short-term thinking in Glen Ridge
- We are at risk of being forced to further overuse Hurrell due to county pressure over Glen Ridge usage of Watsessing, which may result in other towns, as in the past, refusing to play GRHS teams on Hurrell
YES-YES is right for FINANCIAL reasons:
- A significant portion of the initial cost of materials and installation will be paid for by private citizens, which is an opportunity Glen Ridge cannot count on in the future
- On an ongoing basis, the cost to maintain turf is lower than maintaining and replacing overused grass
- All money spent on Hurrell, Forest and Carteret field refurbishment in the years since the last vote has been wasted – all our owned fields are in the same terrible condition as before
- If voted down, we will face the same question again in 5 – 10 years, and the money spent on grass replacement and maintenance from this point forward will be wasted as well
- Residents have been “forced out” due to increased taxes (much discussed in the past) – I personally don’t want to contribute anyone’s taxes by wasting town money on grass maintenance
YES – YES is the only right action to take. Please take it upon yourself to do right on Tuesday.