New Jersey residents may be getting some sorely needed control back over their governments — one street at time.
The private cul-de-sac was left unplowed during a heavy snowstorm in February 2003. Across the lagoon in Lavallette, roads were quickly cleared. Being stranded for three days proved to be the last straw for the street’s residents, who have complained to the Toms River goverment about garbage collection and the speed of emergency services from the mainland for years. Lavallette is not only closer, it already provides Bay Beach Way with its cable and electricity.
This isn’t the first time sections of Toms River seceded and joined Lavallette. It’s happened twice before.
Toms River Mayor Tom Kehaler says Bay Beach Way’s residents just want to take advantage of Lavallette’s lower taxes. Lavallete Mayor Walter La Cicero is happy because his town will get “a substantial amount of tax revenue from that, and we’re not going to have to hire anybody to provide the [extra] services.”
Bay Beach Way’s residents are reminding government of something seemingly forgotten: citizens are taxed because they expect to get certain services in return. When those tax rates are punitive and services poor, the choices are to vote your elected officials out of office (or have them recalled, like Point Pleasant Beach), to “vote with your feet” and move.
Or, in this case, re-draw the line.