Sunday, October 30, 2005


Below is a reprint of a Courier-Post editorial originally published on Sunday October 30, 2005.

Keep golf cart off the roads

A former police officer and elected official should know better than to illegally drive an unregistered vehicle on public streets.
It shouldn't be necessary to remind elected officials, especially those who were once police officers, not to break the law.
Yet Winslow Committeeman Barry Wright apparently needs to be told that it's not OK for him to ride a golf cart around the community while he campaigns for re-election.
At the Oct. 11 township committee meeting, Wright, a Democrat, admitted to using the golf cart after a Republican member of the township planning board saw him driving a golf cart on public streets in the Woodstream development.
"That golf cart, or electric mobility device, helps me get around to meet with all my constituents," Wright said at the meeting. "And . . . it's not against the law. I did check that out to begin with."
Where Wright got that legal opinion, however, is a mystery.
"If the vehicle cannot be titled and cannot be registered, it cannot be operated on public roads. And that is what a golf cart is," said Gordon Deal, a spokesman for the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. "You can't operate it on public roads." The New Jersey driver's manual is equally clear in stating that only registered and titled vehicles can be driven on public roads.
While the upcoming committee election and the deep division between Republicans and Democrats in this township may be the impetus for this being brought to light, that doesn't change the fact that it's wrong for Wright to use the golf cart on public streets.
Golf carts are slower and smaller than legal vehicles. They also offer virtually no protection in case of an accident. On public streets, they're dangerous to the driver and passengers as well as drivers and passengers of other vehicles.
As a former police officer, Wright should know this. He also should know that, as an elected official and the township's director of public safety, he has an obligation to set an example to others. What he should not be doing is breaking the law and then making excuses for his actions or trying to reinterpret the law to justify it.
Wright should just admit his mistake and leave the golf cart at the links from now on.

Originally Published by the Courier-Post on October 30, 2005.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Below is a reprint of a front page Courier-Post story originally published on October 24, 2005. The Courier-Post points out an interesting fact about the Winslow Township municipal judge. The Courier-Post also points out a possible campaign contribution issue for the Winslow Democrats 2005.

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Below is a reprint of a Courier-Post story originally published on October 24, 2005.

Golf cart on street debated in Winslow
Courier-Post Staff

As a former Winslow police officer and the township's current director of public safety, Democratic Committeeman Barry M. Wright might be expected to know that golf carts are not permitted on public streets in New Jersey.

In fact, Wright contends just the opposite.

"That golf cart, or electric mobility device, helps me get around to meet with all my constituents," Wright said during the Winslow Township Committee meeting Oct. 11. "And . . . it's not against the law. I did check that out to begin with."

The basis for Wright's legal opinion is unclear and he could not be reached for comment. But when asked about using a golf cart, a spokesman for the state Motor Vehicle Commission, said, "You can't operate it on public roads."

"If the vehicle cannot be titled and cannot be registered, it cannot be operated on public roads. And that is what a golf cart is," said the spokesman, Gordon Deal.

Wright, who is running for re-election, had been using the golf cart for campaigning. Republicans caught wind of it and eventually Paul S. Kaplan found Wright, 52, knocking on doors and driving the golf cart in the Woodstream development off Hayes Mill Road earlier this month.

Kaplan is a GOP member of the township planning board who often serves as a driver for his friend, Republican Mayor Sue Ann Metzner, who is legally blind. He photographed the committeeman in the vehicle and posted the image Oct. 10 on his blog, UNofficially Winslow.

The next day, at the township committee meeting, Wright brought up the topic and made an impassioned defense of his use of the golf cart, accusing Kaplan of harassment and stalking.

"We got four more weeks to finish this election. You know, let's get rid of the lies, innuendos and the stalking stuff, and let's just have a clean election. Stop the mud-raking and get on with the government," Wright said.

But Republican Committeeman Albert H. Cooper declined to drop the issue. He initiated the following exchange:

Cooper: "It's stone-cold illegal. If it can't be tagged, it can't be insured. What you're doing, even though it might come to the low level, is criminal. And as director of public safety, you know that. You were a police officer for 25 years or so."

Wright: "Twenty-seven, to be exact."

Cooper: "Twenty-seven, to be exact, so you know better. I can't believe you brought it up."

Wright: "I checked it through DMV (the Motor Vehicle Commission) and an attorney and a municipal court judge, who all say that it is legal and it is exempt."

Cooper: "Who was the judge?"

Wright: "I'll give you the judge's name. I'll give you the whole report and I'll have that for you by tomorrow."

Cooper: "It wasn't (Winslow Municipal Court) Judge (Michael A.) Diamond, was it?"

Wright: "No, but if it was Judge Diamond, whatever. I mean, he's judge in three municipalities."

Cooper: "Yeah, but you guys are buddies and all. Come on."

Wright: "Come on."

The mention of Diamond relates to another twist in this story. Also on Oct. 10, Wright was involved in an automobile accident on Route 73 South in Winslow, police records show.

Wright was driving his pickup truck and towing the trailer he used to transport the golf cart, although the cart was not aboard at the time. The trailer is registered to Michael A. Diamond.

Diamond, the judge, could not be reached for comment.

In its public filing Oct. 11, Winslow Democrats 2005, the candidates' committee financing Wright's campaign, did not report any in-kind contributions, such as Diamond's providing to Wright a trailer for campaign use.

If the trailer is owned by the judge, Diamond may have run afoul of the state Code of Judicial Conduct, which prohibits judges from making "a contribution to a political . . . candidate."

It remains unclear how the dustup over Wright's use of a golf cart will affect the Nov. 8 election. Four races will determine control of the township committee, where Democrats hold a 5-4 majority. Wright faces challenges from Republican Nick Losasso and independent Paul Evans in Ward 2.

One township resident said driving a golf cart in the street, at the very least, raises safety issues.

"We have so many kids in our neighborhood who ride on the street and play in the street," said Quoshima Hill, 26, a student and stay-at-home mom. "They don't let the dirt bikes out on the street and that's about the same size. It's a golf cart. Use it on a golf course."

Reach Erik Schwartz at (856) 486-2904 or
Published: October 24. 2005

Sunday, October 23, 2005


This resident asked the Township Committee why Winslow Township is selling land. He also wants to know who the Township is selling the land to.

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Resident Nick LoSasso had previously addressed the Township Committee on the same subject. UNofficially Winslow researched some of Mr. LoSasso's remarks. Below are copies of open public records that support Nick LoSasso's remarks 100%.

Committeeman Barry Wright voted along party lines to sell Township owned land and open space. Now, one year later, Wright has proposed a new special tax for Winslow Township to help preserve open space. One might also note Camden County already imposes an open space tax on Winslow residents. Winslow Township has benefited in the past from the Camden County Open Space program and tax. Why must Winslow residents pay twice?
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Click here to review a copy of the Township committee minutes when the vote was taken authorizing the public land sale. With the motion being made by Holcomb and seconded by
Wright. The minutes also reflect a statement by Mayor Metzner, who did not agree with the sale of Township land, indicating we need open space. Now Wright wants a tax to preserve land!

Click here to review a copy of the successful bidders of the public land and open space sale that Wright voted in favor of prior to asking for this new open space tax. Notice that a family member of Wright's business partner purchased property during this public land sale.

Perhaps part of the problem is the wrong leadership is representing us. Now is the time for the residents to consider changes. Why didn't Flamini pay attention to the residents of ward four when the concept of 400 plus new homes first surfaced. There was a meeting in ward four about the proposed development. Why didn't Flamini attend?

Click anywhere on the photograph to enlarge.

A resident Frank Nicolosi did attend the meeting.
The audio link below is of resident Frank Nicolosi participating in the AST development informal meeting with the residents of ward 4. There is no audio available of Flamini's participation, for Flamini did not attend the meeting to represent the residents of ward four. Just like he didn't bother to show up to support the residents at the Zoning Board hearing on the same subject.
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UNofficially Winslow supports Nick LoSasso, for LoSasso is opposed to selling land to developers. Unlike his campaign opponent Barry Wright who voted in favor of selling Township owned land. (See meeting minutes above for proof.)

Frank Nicolosi is running for Flamini's Committee seat. UNofficially Winslow supports Frank Nicolosi because he supports the residents! Nicolosi obviously cares about Ward 4 (Sicklerville area) He spoke up at a meeting, when Flamini didn't even show up.

Click here to visit Frank's

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


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In the audio clip below Committeeman Barry Wright complains to Mayor Metzner about a resident taking his photograph with his golf cart or electric mobility device. Mr. Wright goes on to explain about a motor vehicle exemption for golf carts. Committeeman Wright also addresses his bad knees. Comparing this disability to that of the Mayor's and her vision equipment.
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Click here to view a copy of the Request For Public Records form that was filed with Winslow Township requesting a copy of the exemption document pertaining to golf cart use on public streets as explained by Committeeman Wright during the October 12, 2005 Mayor and Township Committee meeting. Please be sure to scroll down to view the response that was received.

Mayor Metzner responds to Committeeman Wright.
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Mayor Metzner reads the law pertaining to this issue.
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This resident wants to save gas and time by sending his 13 year old to the supermarket via a golf cart!
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Committeeman Wright responds to Mayor Metzner. Mayor Metzner adds more detail.
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Committeeman Cooper addresses Committeeman Wright referring to his own experience of holding the office of Director of Public Safety. "...Coop, which is what he calls me, ...It's exactly like a quad...Think of it like a quad..."

(Committeeman Wright is currently the Director of Public Safety in Winslow Township.)

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Committeewoman Gibison addresses Committeeman Wright in reference to his remarks about his knee disability, and how Wright compared his disability to that of Mayor Metzner's.
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Click anywhere on the photograph to enlarge.

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Monday, October 10, 2005


UNofficially Winslow has received a number of inquiries regarding the legality of Committman Barry Wright, Director of Public Safety, driving a golf cart on public streets in order to campaign for re-election. UNofficially Winslow has been able to verify that this action is taking place.

Click anywhere on the photographs to enlarge.

UNofficially Winslow cannot represent a legal opinion. We do know, however, that our vehicles must be registered and insured. Does Wright know something we don't or does he not care about the law?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Wednesday, October 5, 2005
Thoughtful redevelopment

Reprinted from the Courier-Post Newspaper.
Originally Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2005

By ERIK SCHWARTZ Courier-Post Staff

WINSLOW When the township committee convened a public meeting to ask residents of the deteriorating Lehigh Manor neighborhood if they wanted the government to bulldoze their homes and start again or leave them standing and renovate, the consensus was clear.
Nearly every hand in the room that August night, representing more than a third of Lehigh Manor's households, shot up in favor of renovation.
And with this simple effort to involve the public in the overhaul of a community, Winslow set out on a new path in the thorny field of redevelopment.
"I don't think I have read of one situation of residential redevelopment that hasn't been extremely painful for everyone involved," said Mayor Sue Ann Metzner. "We're trying to learn from that. That's why we held that hearing before any plan was conceptualized, to make sure that we were taking the desires of the community into consideration."
That's important to resident Craig Cream.
"I'm very cautious because anytime there is (redevelopment) in a low-income area or a minority area . . . we don't know exactly what the intents are," said Cream, 46, a truck driver and married father of two. "You know, they come, they say one thing, and they do something completely different."
About 77 percent of Lehigh Manor's residents are black, compared with 29 percent of Winslow overall, according to a Courier-Post analysis of the most recent census data.
Winslow's approach has impressed many in the Sicklerville subdivision, including Elizabeth F. Carruolo, president of the Lehigh Manor Homeowners' Association.
"They're interested in what the people feel," said Carruolo, 54. "I think it's very helpful."
Whether more public input will improve Lehigh Manor's future is unclear.
But township officials agree that using the 1992 state redevelopment law, which authorizes municipalities to seize private land with eminent domain and remake communities as they see fit, is the best hope for Lehigh Manor. Winslow declared it a redevelopment area in December 2003; the zone also includes 28 acres of adjacent vacant land.
The 248 homes of Lehigh Manor were built in the mid- to late-1970s and designed as owner-occupied housing, accompanied by a playground and a pool. The 25-acre development consists of 62 buildings known as "quads," containing four units each. The grounds and other amenities are maintained by the homeowners' association using monthly fees.
Lehigh Manor is among the the most affordable communities in the South Jersey suburbs. The median price for one of the 1,000-square-foot units last year was $53,000, according to a Courier-Post analysis of sales records.
Carruolo arrived on Lawrence Court in 1979 and, with her late husband, raised two daughters in Lehigh Manor.
"It was excellent. I wouldn't say that now," she said. "Everybody was very hands-on with their children . . . We used to have Easter egg hunts and pizza parties for the kids, and we used to have a pool and the kids swam."
But, Carruolo said, an influx of renters in the mid-1990s caused the community to decline, mainly because of absentee landlords who didn't maintain properties.
Homeowners' association revenues dropped, leading to the deferral of grounds maintenance and painting of the buildings, and to the pool's closure.
"We couldn't have it filled anymore because the kids had set a fire in the pool house and they started to throw stuff into the pool, and there were dead animals in it . . . Once we didn't have the funds to run it anymore, we had it filled in," Carruolo said.
The playground suffers, too. The association replaced its sliding board for $900 and within a year someone had punched a hole in it, rendering sliding impossible, Carruolo said.
Among the other conditions found in a redevelopment study completed last year, nearly half of the housing units are rentals "with little or no management oversight" and more than half of the units were delinquent in their fees.
The delinquencies have been reduced from about $336,000 in 2002 to $175,000, said Joyce DeValerio-Kraft, manager of the homeowners' association.
Cream, whose wife's family has owned their home on Lamont Court for nine years, sees things differently.
"For a senior citizen, they are adequate houses, but as a husband and wife with children, the houses are very small and need to be upgraded to four bedrooms or five bedrooms," he said. "We are truly grateful to have a house and shelter over our heads. However, if there is going to be some improvement to that community, I think they should take a serious look" at building anew.
Cream said he is organizing an effort among residents to present an alternative redevelopment concept. He thinks redevelopment should address social issues and include a community center that could provide after-school programs and counseling.
The mayor said she favored renovation but remained open to all ideas.
Redevelopment "is one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult decision because it actually affects very real people in the very homes they live in," Metzner said, "and that is really a serious responsibility that I don't think any of us takes lightly."
Reach Erik Schwartz at (856) 486-2904 or

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Reprinted from the Courier-Post. Originally published: September 29, 2005

Eminent domain OK'd for farm
By ERIK SCHWARTZCourier-Post Staff

WINSLOW The township can use eminent domain to acquire a 64-acre Sicklerville farm for the expansion of adjacent Frank Donio Memorial Park, according to an ordinance approved by the township committee.

The move is expected to trigger a lawsuit by AST Development Corp., which has an agreement to buy the land from the Jennings family. AST wants to build an over-55 community of 436 residential units on the property, parts of which sit on Berlin-Cross Keys, Sicklerville and Chews Landing roads.

Mayor Sue Ann Metzner "was able to dupe these residents into believing this is about a park," said Edward L. Stutz, vice president of AST. "This is not about a park. This is about an election."
Four seats on township committee are up for election in November, although Metzner's is not.
Tuesday's vote by the township committee was cheered by a crowd of about 100 residents who had expressed concerns about AST's plan, citing fears that it would result in more automobile traffic and reduced property values in their booming area.

Robin Still of Sicklerville decried the proliferation of suburban sprawl around her house.
"All I see is supermarkets and homes. I did not come to Winslow six years ago to look at that," Still said.

AST originally applied to build nearly triple the 169 housing units permitted by the zoning law. In response to the residents' protests and what officials said is a growing need for more recreation facilities in the Sicklerville section, the township committee voted unanimously last month to give the eminent-domain ordinance its preliminary approval.
AST estimates that its proposed mix of condominiums, town houses, duplexes and a shopping center would provide the Winslow school district some $2.4 million in annual property tax revenue, or more than 3 percent of the district's total budget, while not increasing school enrollment.

In addition to the cost of taking the land off the tax rolls, the township would have to spend money to buy the property at fair market value. Financing for the purchase -- expected to come from state, county and township sources -- would have to be lined up for Winslow to successfully sue and take the property through eminent domain.

Reach Erik Schwartz at (856) 486-2904 or eschwartz@courierpost Published: September 29. 2005


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Saturday, October 01, 2005

UNofficially Celebrates It's First Birthday On September 21, 2005

Below is the inside of the greeting card.

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UNofficially Winslow Turns 1 Year Old.

Please note: The blue underlined text are links you can click on. Please click on your "back" button to return to your spot after using each link. Thank you UNofficially Winslow

On September 21, 2004 UNofficially Winslow was established to create a forum for Winslow residents to express their concerns and ideas, as well as to be an information resource of current events in our community.

UNofficially Winslow is privately owned and funded. To date UNofficially Winslow has had over 11,500 hits. That’s approximately one hit for every three people in Winslow Township.

Promotion of UNofficially Winslow has included placemat advertising at the Palace Diner in Berlin, word of mouth, and simple business cards with just the www (URL) address. UNoffically Winslow would like to formally thank all the people who assisted in handing out the business cards and spreading the word about this new forum in Winslow Township. However, the single biggest promotion of UNofficially Winslow is credited to Committeewoman Barbara Holcomb. During an open public meeting, she gave the
one finger salute to some of the residents in attendance. That single obscene gesture by Holcomb produced more hits on UNoffically Winslow than any other single posting or entry on the website. In the weeks and months that followed, people started to return to UNofficially Winslow to learn more about other issues and topics in Winslow Township.

Committeewoman Barbara Holcomb gives the public the one finger salute during an open public meeting. (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

UNofficially Winslow only publishes information after all proper documentation is obtained through public access. The documentation is then posted with the article on the website. No posting or entry on UNofficially Winslow contains information obtained from any resident, employee, or public official of the Township that cannot be supported with public access documents or recorded media. One exception is the emails addressed to UNofficially Winslow, which carry the responsibility from the original author.

UNofficially Winslow would prefer not to publish a posting, than to post something without documentation. Unfortunately, this means many postings must be held on file and not published. Typically UNofficially Winslow tries to present facts using audio and video clips, pictures, and public access documents.

Some public officials have publically displayed their dissatisfaction with UNofficially Winslow.
A handful of residents once appeared at a public Township meeting expressing their dissatisfaction with UNofficially Winslow. UNofficially Winslow acknowledges this group’s freedom of speech, as protected by the first amendment of the United States Constitution. This is despite the group’s efforts aimed at denying UNofficially Winslow the same rights they (the group) were exercising.

Furthermore, UNofficially Winslow considered this barrage of attacks newsworthy, and therefore published their ridiculous remarks.

UNofficially Winslow would like to thank all those who have visited the site, and especially those who helped to promote the website by word of mouth.

When UNofficially Winslow was established hot topics in the community were
speed bumps on Oak Leaf Road and the public land sale. Today, one year later, both of these subjects are still hot topics in Winslow Township.

Barry you work for us, not your chumps. ...For the people and by the people.... (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

Below is a reprint of the first posting on UNofficially Winslow which explains the original intentions of this website. The text highlighted in blue are now links to topics that have been posted to UNoffically Winslow over the course of the past year.

Local politics, in general, is a hot topic in Winslow. UNoffically Winslow tries to report many of the
political hot buttons in our Township. That doesn’t make this a political website. If current events in Winslow were more about non-political issues than that would be published as well (and has been in the past)

Many of us pay close attention to any media play concerning the actions of our federally elected representatives. In the opinion of UNofficially Winslow, decisions made locally effect our daily lives and pocket books much more than who ever is in office on Capitol Hill or even the White House.

November 8, 2005 is Election Day. Many of the local elected officials and candidates are circulating throughout the Township asking for your vote. Please consider asking these folks questions that you may have about our community. Ask them questions about topics you have read about on UNofficially Winslow. Some will have answers you can believe and others won’t.

Please email your questions and comments about this anniversary posting and all remarks concerning UNofficially Winslow to:

We hope you will continue to check in with us for the real facts.

Sincerely yours,

UNofficially Winslow

First posting of UNofficially Winslow, September 21, 2004

Welcome to Unofficially Unofficially Winslow was established as a different type of web site. Its format is commonly known as a blog, which is slang for web log. The purpose of the blog Unofficially Winslow is for residents to learn about the current "hot" topics in Winslow and share their thoughts and suggestions.

Some of these hot topics in Winslow Township include the newly installed speed humps on Oak Leaf Road in Cedar Brook, and the Township’s recently conducted public land sale. While these topics are political in nature, Unofficially Winslow will post all topics of interest to Winslow residents. These include, but are not limited to school events, Township events, and athletic accomplishments.

This is our web log, the people of Winslow Township. The Constitution of the United States of America gives us the right to organize, assemble, publish, and one my personal favorites, free speech. No government body, including the Winslow Township Committee, can limit the actions and postings to this web site. There is no five-minute time limit imposed in this public forum like there is during public participation at the Township meetings. Submissions are encouraged by all residents including residents who are elected or appointed to a public office in Winslow Township. Other Township groups and individuals that are not elected or appointed are also encouraged to participate in this forum.

All parties who have an interest in posting a remark, question, picture, or just need a soap box to stand on, are welcome to email their posting to or may fax their posting to 1(208) 977-6988.

Personal information will be automatically edited from your submission unless you expressly ask for your name to be published with your remarks. However, I would encourage submissions to include a pen name, or initials (and perhaps your section of the Township) so visitors to the site can reply to your remarks and make reference to your submission in theirs.

Thank you for visiting Unofficially Winslow and I encourage you to check in regularly.

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