Bill Borowsky’s Plan
Increased Transparency, Resident Involvement, Public Accountability
Point Pleasant is meant to operate under a “strong council” form of government where councilmembers, serving as the voice of the people, debate, vote, and provide direction to a mayor who implements the will of the people by executing council decisions.
Today, Point Pleasant leadership is out of balance. The current mayor’s office is increasingly out of touch, run by a mayor determined to act without the input of the council, residents, or others who are not part of his inner coterie of supporters.
This insular micromanagement and attendant lack of accountable oversight are detrimental to the proper management and future of a prosperous Point Pleasant growing with new residents.
It's Time for Change
As Mayor, Bill Work for You Instead of Insider Interests
1. Increase Transparency and Accountability of Point Pleasant Finances
Periodically, Point Pleasant finds it necessary to hire an outside attorney. To prevent abuse of taxpayer dollars via excessive billing, the Point Pleasant Council sets a fee cap not to be exceeded without prior consent by the council.
Under the current mayor, these fee caps are exceeded without approval or the most basic of consultation with the Point Pleasant Council. Though Point Pleasant capped the most recently hired attorney’s fee at $60,000, it was presented with a bill of $118,000 while the mayor’s mismanagement kept the council in the dark about the increased cost to Point Pleasant.
Work to Prevent Point Pleasant Water Privatization
Clean, safe water is a human right, and Point Pleasant is fortunate to have abundant publicly provided water and sewage service maintained by our experienced and dedicated public works employees.
Bill is strongly opposed to recent proposals to privatize Point Pleasant water by selling off our community’s water rights to New Jersey American Water for $50 million.
In addition to the elimination of municipal jobs, Bill opposes this proposal for a number of reasons:
- New Jersey Water Rates are Already High
- With 43% of all water in New Jersey being provided by for-profit businesses, New Jersey consumers pay the fifth highest rate for water in the nation.
- Private Utilities Overcharge for Water and Sewer Service
- Compared to local municipal government water service, nationally, private water utilities charge the typical household 33 percent more for water and 63 percent more for sewer service.
- In New Jersey, American Water Works water rates are on average, 23 percent higher than municipal costs.
- Earlier this year, New Jersey American Water sought a $94 million increase for its services in Haddon and has done so in nearly every municipality that has sold off its water rights.
- Private Water Utilities Provide No Increase in Service to Residents
- According to economic analysis and research regarding municipalities that sold off their water rights to private utilities, there is no increase in customer service satisfaction or efficiency in providing water and sewer services.
- Private Water Utilities Pass Acquisition Costs to Consumers
- Across the nation, when American Water buys municipal water rights, they recaptured costs through rate hikes. If the proposed Point Pleasant water sell-off moves ahead, American Water will likely do the same, and functionally, would equate to Point Pleasant taking $50 million from its residents.
Any Change to Public Services Should Require Public Input
If ratepayers are to foot the bill for privatization, they should have a voice in the decision. Before Point Pleasant is allowed to sell its water rights to a for-profit entity that will eliminate jobs and increase costs without providing any noticeable benefits in performance, Point Pleasant residents should be able to express their will via a referendum.
2. Stop Wasteful Spending of Taxpayer Dollars
As a long-time business owner, Bill understands the value of parking and pedestrian access to one’s business. Bill also believes the increased economic activity is good for Point Pleasant.
However, Bill does not believe private interests should benefit from public money and that the current mayor’s give-away of sidewalks and parking lots paid for by Point Pleasant taxpayers to businesses whose owners will personally benefit rather than the community-at-large was wrong.
Further, when the mayor pushed to install sidewalks on Dorsett Dock Road and Maxson Avenue, he did so without prior consultation of residents, many of whom did not want them and resented their property being encroached upon by forced development that eliminated many fully-grown large trees.
In both of these situations, the mayor failed to perform due diligence, cut the Point Pleasant Council out of the process, and “streamlined” complaints to his office in an attempt to prevent oversight of his decision and actions.
3. Stop The Overdevelopment of Point Pleasant Properties
For our community to maintain its vital seaside character and resident quality of life, the overdevelopment of Point Pleasant lands must end.
For example, on Arnold Avenue developers built 16 condominiums on just under an acre of
land, preventing Point Pleasant Fire and Rescue from sending in the larger trucks and equipment required in event of a serious fire emergency.
Moreover, such developments add traffic to our already stressed roadways, increasing drive times, risk of auto accidents, and pedestrian injury.
4. Upgrade Point Pleasant Recreation Properties
Rather than continue developer-driven overcrowding, Bill proposes upgrading Point Pleasant’s properties for all residents to enjoy rather than a fortunate few.
- The long-vacant, three-acre field on Arnold Avenue can be enhanced with the addition of walking paths, benches, low-level lighting, and the planting of trees.
- The recently decommissioned water plant can be repurposed as a pocket park.
The work required for these and other improvements can be performed by Point Pleasant’s Public Works Department, without the need for costly outside developers.
5. Increase Resident Involvement
Point Pleasant is changing. Younger families are moving in with different needs and Point Pleasant governance needs their input.
Bill believes that supporting existing leadership with young voices and fresh ideas more in tune with where Point Pleasant is heading will benefit the entire community and as a Point Pleasant Councilman, Bill recruited two younger leaders to serve on the Point Pleasant Zoning Board.