Former councillor defends his reputation
This is in response to an article headlined “Candidate acclaimed in South River,” which appeared in the July 12 edition of The Compass.
I would like to take issue with the following statement, which was attributed to Mayor Arthur Petten: “According to Mayor Petten, Stephan missed seven out of 13 council meetings.”
This is a statement made completely out of context by Mayor Petten. As such, this statement defames my character and reputation as a conscientious member of the South River town council.
Stated in proper context: over a two-year period I missed nine of 24 meetings, three of which were under a pre-approved leave of absence. Plus, there were a number of committee meetings that I attended during this period, of which I was either a member or chairman.
It appears that control over the council and the administration of the town are now directly under the influence of the mayor. It is generally felt that as a direct result of his treatment of the former town manager/clerk, this person accepted employment elsewhere; and most recently, he has now secured the majority vote influence on council with the arrival of his wife as the new councillor.
The residents of the Town of South River need to know that their town is not being efficiently or effectively managed under the leadership of the current mayor. As one example, this year the town has neglected to hire a maintenance person or students for the annual maintenance and clean-up tasks. Larry Stephan