Observer-Tribune Article 7-Nov-2017
HARDING TWP. -Democrats and Republicans clashed over an 11th hour mailing that claims the Democratic candidates for Township Committee would support construction of hundreds of units of a ordable housing in town.
The campaign letter, signed by GOP Township Committee members Chris Yates and Dev Modi who are seeking re-election, was mailed to residents over the weekend.
Both are facing challenges to their seats in today’s election from Democrats Rhonda Allen and Kate Barry.
The letter deals with issues such as taxes, Glen Alpin, open space and a ordable housing. The a ordable housing section is where the rub has arisen.
In the letter, Modi and Yates write that “No issue will have a great future impact on Harding than the state-mandated a ordable housing requirement.
“The stakes are very high. Improperly handled, it could destroy Harding. Fair Share Housing, our adversary in the litigation over this issue, has demanded that Harding provide 300 afordable housing units and that the entire township be rezoned for high density housing, a prospect that would invite developers to build apartment blocks throughout our town,” the letter states.
“We are in litigation because we oppose this and are ghting for Harding. Our opponents have expressed support for the Fair Share Housing objectives,” the letter states.
In a statement issued Monday, Amanda Richardson, campaign manager for Allen and Barry, said the statements were lies.
“We are proud of the positive campaign that Rhonda and Kate have run, making an a rmative case for the bene ts of a two- party system, civil discourse, inclusion and open government,” said Richardson.
“Our campaign mailing to Harding voters last week was completely positive in keeping with the civility that has been and should be a core value of our close-knit community,” she said.
“That is why it was so disheartening to see Yates and Modi resort not only to negative campaigning, but to despicable scare tactics and spreading lies about our candidates that are easily disproven and to stubbornly stick to those untruths when confronted by residents at the post o ce on Saturday.
“Yates and Modi untruthfully assert that we ‘support Fair Share Housing’s objectives” to build “300 a ordable housing units and that the entire town be rezoned for high density housing, a prospect that would invite developers to build apartment blocks throughout our town.’
“They know this to be false. They were sitting only ve feet away during the Oct. 18 debate when Kate Barry clearly explained that we believe that Harding’s allotment can and should be negotiated down. More than 60 township residents attended and heard her,” Richardson said.