The BRMC received this letter from a concerned citizen. Excellent points are made, so we wanted to share. This is a key issue for our November election:
I am a relatively new resident of Bernardsville, having moved into the borough a little over four years ago. While there are times I couldn’t have imagined a better place to live and raise my family, things are not what people perceive in and around my neighborhood.
My # 1 issue today is the continued deterioration of the housing situation, specifically the illegal overcrowding of rental properties in the borough. While most of this “stacking” has occurred in the section of the borough known as “Little Italy”, I see it spreading to other neighborhoods and is affecting every Bernardsville homeowner, no matter where you live.
Rather than sit around and wait for others to act on this, I took the initiative and volunteered and became a member of the borough’s Housing Advisory committee. Over the years on that committee, we have researched and forwarded to the Borough Council detailed rules and proposed ordinances that our committee believed would turn around this situation. The Council has listened and adopted numerous ordinances to turn this stacking situation around. The tools are in place. This is only the beginning.
From my viewpoint, some unscrupulous landlords have taken advantage of their tenants by creating and condoning these unsafe and illegal situations. They are the ones who are responsible for this situation, not the tenants.
The last piece to solving this situation and completing this turnaround is enforcement of all the rules and ordinances that are now in place. I strongly believe that strict enforcement and the levying of meaningful fines will eliminate the landlords financial incentives. They will feel it in their pocketbooks. They will realize that the risk in stacking their rentals is not worth the reward.
Again, while this situation is right in numerous residents backyards, it affects all of us. We need to end it now.
When you have a chance, ask the individuals running for Borough Council what they think? Ask them if they are for strict enforcement of our anti-stacking, overcrowding and property maintenance laws and what they will do to significantly step up the enforcement of these laws against the landlords.
I did just that recently when a local candidates was knocking on doors in my neighborhood. When talking to them about the issues facing the Council, they let me know that if elected they will do everything possible, within the boundaries of the law, to rectify this situation once and for all in Bernardsville.
That’s why I will be voting for them this November 6th.