Dates Not Written in Stone

Why are our Mayor & Council in such a big hurry to decide the fate of Post Office Plaza on May 2, only two weeks after they see the options on April 18?

Are they racing to satisfy our affordable housing quota?*

“The Borough is also facing a June deadline deciding how this requirement will be met,” wrote Council member Jocelyn Mathiasen in a March 21, 2022 letter to the TAP.

That’s what we hear from Chatham lawyer Jonathan Drill.

“The Borough has to come up with something, and have an agreement reached with somebody by June 1… or we could be facing some legal problems…” said Mr. Drill on an April 6, 2022 Zoom with residents.

See, especially starting around 1:1:0 & 1:22:0

But that isn’t what it says in the agreement our Mayor signed last June 14, 2021.**

And it isn’t what Mr. Drill had our planning expert testify – under oath – at an August 6, 2021 hearing where the judge approved that agreement:

“[T}he Redevelopment Agreement is due by, well, by June first of 2022…,” she testified. “[T]here are some options that if we aren’t able to come to some agreement with a redeveloper by that particular date that we could either substitute a separate… affordable housing mechanism… or ask for an extension if we are moving forward with the, a redeveloper for that area…”***

So far, Mr. Drill has refused to explain why he insists that June 1 date is written in stone.

Best any layman can tell, that June 1 date was a mere target date – not written in stone.

The judge didn’t even mention June 1 in his order approving the June 14 agreement.***

There is no apparent reason for our Mayor & Council to lunge ahead with a proposal we haven’t even seen yet.

There is no reason why the Mayor & Council cannot put a broad range of proposals on their voting menu, including a proposal to convert existing market rate apartments to affordable housing, also called “Market-to-Affordable” or “M2A.”

(Our planner later confirmed that under questioning at 2:56:00:

Please insist that they include the M2A option on the voting menu. Sign this letter:

Epilogue: Caught lying about that alleged June 1 deadline, Mr. Drill then postponed a different (April 29) deadline to June 1, in a clever bid to save face at the April 18 Town Hall.

*In the Matter of Chatham Borough, MRS-L-Docket No. 1906-15

** Settlement Agreement dated June 14, 2021:

*** Audio of August 6, 2021 hearing In the Matter of Chatham Borough, MRS-L-Docket No. 1906-15: (beginning at 9:24:18)

(The access code is: 1234. Download a copy to a Windows computer and click on “Extract All.” After extracting (unzip), look in the BIN folder, double click on the CPLAYER file, and press the arrow to start playing it. Save the file. The link expires at the end of May 2022.)

****2021-09-01-Chatham-Order-Approving-First-Amendment-and-Scheduling-Hearing-eCourts In the Matter of Chatham Borough, MRS-L-Docket No. 1906-15

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