Mayor De Luca's priority: Protect the Unions.

Mayor De Luca is out to protect the Unions. Your tax dollars, not so much.


A few years back I decided to run for Maplewood Township Committee, running as a dark horse challenger during the Democratic Primary. I was defeated by Mayor Vic De Luca and his hand-picked running mate India Larrier. Since then, I’ve been asked why I chose to run.  I did so because I believe we have a misguided Mayor with agenda that works for some members of this community, but not all of us.

It’s why property taxes on the west side of town continue rising. It’s why homes that were once selling in the high $700,000 are now being sold closer to $500,000. Some might argue it’s the housing market but when you own a home with one shower, and your property taxes are $17,000 something is not right.

During my debate with the Mayor, he spoke openly about his desire to work with Trenton in order to finally get our community the property tax relief so desperately needed. Of course, like most politicians he was just talking because nothing became of that. Mr. De Luca has failed to deliver on his promise, instead authorizing a 2012 property tax assessment that once again has increased the tax burden for many struggling homeowners.

After all this, you could imagine the feeling I had when I read the Huffington Post and saw that Democratic NJ Mayors are working to find a suitable challenger to oppose the very formidable Chris Christie. What got me angry was Mayor De Luca again losing sight by stating that he will support a candidate who will "not play ball with the governor on a number of issues, including pension and benefits reform.

Here's proof that our Mayor has hoodwinked us. Property tax relief is not and has never been his priority. Instead, it’s all about protecting the unions. As Mayor of Maplewood, Mr. De Luca has chosen the wrong line of work. If he wants to be a union activist do so, but please not at Maplewood’s expense.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

STEPHANIE VOLIN January 25, 2013 at 01:06 AM
Mr. Harvey, property tax assessments are designed (and carried out) to ensure that home values haven't shifted dramatically in one region or another and that homeowners are paying their share of taxes based on the actual CURRENT value of their home/land, and not some outdated value. So when someone, like Mr. Navlen, suggests that a new assessment has RAISED his taxes instead of simply making him pay his share [which previously had been shouldered by some other poor homeowner!], it displays his utter misunderstanding and ignorance of the topic. It makes it very clear that he should NOT be penning any further opinion pieces or blahgs about it. Sorry that is hard to fathom or stomach, but it is true.
STEPHANIE VOLIN January 25, 2013 at 01:12 AM
This is so very interesting to read! I didn't realize that there was any animosity from a site on which I haven't posted in over a year. Thank you for elucidating my motives as they were unclear to even moiself. Regardless, unlike some people, I can separate my feelings towards an idiot vs my feelings about their idiotic opinions. And no, I'm not talking about any idiot in particular. No, I am not.
Lee Navlen January 25, 2013 at 01:45 AM
Ms. Volin, I believe my readers are now fully aware of your Robin Hood mentality when it comes to the tax burden among Maplewood property owners. It sounds very much like the current De Luca administration. Again, as I said previously, I applaud your candor but I scoff at your conclusions. Thank you once again for participating on Maplewood Patch.
Alberto Fernandez January 25, 2013 at 01:55 AM
GYFL fails to recognize he / she (hide behind GYFL) is in fact living in Irvingwood, or Mapleburn depending on where his / her house resides.
Lee Navlen January 26, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Alberto, There is indeed a line that separates 2 distinct Maplewoods. Sadly, as you go up the hill, homes there are depreciating in value for a variety of reasons but it's doubtful many will ever see a meaningful bounce back because of the ridiculous tax burden. There are homes that are directly across the street from Millburn homes. They look alike, same size, same property size, etc. but the Maplewood homes see taxes that are in some cases 7-10k more per year, if not more. Will their plight ever be a concern of Mayor De Luca's Hilton Association Gang? Doubt it..


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