BARNEGAT – Former Democrat Commiteewoman Elaine Taylor and Republican Bill Cox have entered the fray as independent candidates in the 2018 township committee race. The two have marked their entrance to the race by calling for tougher restrictions on development amid a spike in rental properties owned by LLCs in the township.
Cox, a former member of the township’s zoning board, is currently employed as the security & transportation coordinator for the Barnegat school district. In 2015 he ran as an independent with former school board member Denise Pilovsky and came within striking distance of his Republican opponents – losing by nearly 150 votes to the GOP incumbents.
Taylor, for her part, previously served on the committee from 2012 to 2015 when she was elected with Susan McCabe. McCabe has since switched parties and resigned from the committee to take a job as the township’s labor attorney.
The candidates placed blame on the influence of the Republican “political machine” for Barnegat’s present state of affairs.
“The Republican political machine runs deep in Barnegat,” they said. “This has resulted in the present state of affairs of the committee and the doling out of patronage positions at taxpayer expense.”
Slams Growth of “Absentee Landlords,” Lakewood LLCs Under Current Administration
“The present committee has done nothing to stem the flow of absentee landlords under nameless LLC’s out of Lakewood and elsewhere,” claimed the two in a joint statement to OCP.
“A quick look over recent sales and or real estate transactions in Barnegat clearly shows a pattern of homes being gobbled up by LLC’s who use fictitious addresses to purchase properties that are in foreclosure or short sales,” they added.
If elected, the independent candidates want to see “protective measures” put in place by the Barnegat Township Committee to curb development, although they stopped short of spelling out just what those measures might entail.
The candidates were critical of past approaches to development controversies taken by committee members, namely the oft-repeated response “we can’t stop people from buying.”
“The township can indeed put in protective measures to ensure that Barnegat will not turn into a dumping ground for undesirables and those who use these locations for criminal activities.”