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Sunday, November 3, 2013

After Several Years on the Decline Commercial Development Begins to Make a Come Back in Galloway Township

Lenox China - 2013
Galloway Township has struggled over the past several years with the decline in commercial development. Development that is vital in lowering taxes to each homeowner in the Township.

Each year Galloway Township Council advocates with their Economic Development Committee, consisting of Mayor Don Purdy, Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola and Councilman Jim McElwee, for commercial development to enter into Galloway.

A Marketing Plan would be vital for Galloway Township in attracting small businesses and big box stores willing to come Galloway to service the residents. Several years ago McDonald's submitted an application to the Planning Board in order to build in Historic Smithville. After extreme opposition from the residents, the Planning Board denied the application. McDonald's has not sought to re-enter back into Galloway Township.

Galloway Township is in need of commercial development in order to increase the tax base and allow the Township to bring back services, including Public Safety and Public Works.

"Galloway Township has been in competition with Egg Harbor Township and Hamilton Township, where businesses continue to go. Galloway needs to be competitive in the market to attract these businesses with strategic Tax Incentives that not only help the business owner coming in, but also helps the tax base at the same time" said Councilman Jim McElwee.  Harrison Beverage was an example McElwee provided stating, "Galloway never realized Harrison Beverage was looking to relocate from Pleasantville. Instead they went to Hamilton Township. This is the very reason we need to be proactive in seeking out commercial developers and making Galloway a marketable place for these businesses."

In the Galloway Advisor, paid for by Purdy for Council 2013, the publication states, "new businesses that are committed or interested in opening in Galloway include Burger King, McDonalds, Applebees, Chik-Fil-A, Taco Bell and an 8000 square foot Family Dollar in Smithville."

Galloway Township News reviewed the past two years of Planning Board Agendas and we were not able to locate any of those businesses as applying to build in Galloway Township. Mayor Don Purdy is a Planning Board Member and has been since 2010. 

"Galloway needs more than interested businesses, Galloway needs to work with the business so they can afford to open up in Galloway Township where their business will grow and other businesses will follow" said Councilman Jim McElwee. 

According to Galloway Advisor, "Mayor Don Purdy and Governor Christie have been working on job creation at the old Lenox factory.  They are currently talking with four different large firms about opening at the closed Lenox facility.  The Mayor and the Governor hope to create employment opportunities for Galloway families." 

Galloway Township Council hired an impromptu Redevelopment Counsel after a mystery developer showed interest, according to Mayor Don Purdy. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Capehart Scatchard, made a $25,000 donation to the Republican Governors Association in May, according to the association's tax form contributions list. As a firm with significant state business, Capehart Scatchard is prohibited from giving New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie more than $300 in campaign contributions." 

Capehart Scatchard was the firm the Township hired which now shows the Political hiring, instead of a qualified hiring of Development Counsel, by the Township and Mayor Don Purdy. 

This also shows how Mayor Don Purdy has been promoting Governor Chris Christie throughout Galloway Township on Flyers and Banners attached to vehicles. 

Galloway Township News requested documents regarding this potential developer, including emails from Mayor Don Purdy and the potential developer. Township Clerk TC Kay never responded if documents didn't exist, but what was released was even more interesting. Councilman Jim McElwee requested from Township Manager Arch Liston the name of the developer that Mayor Don Purdy has been speaking with. Liston responded to McElwee by stating, "the developer wishes that I don't disclose any information at this time."

The Lenox China building has been sitting vacant for several years, even prior to Purdy's term on Galloway Council. Several businesses have shown interest, yet none have decided to open up. Most of the projects have sought out the NextGen site in Egg Harbor Township. Even Galloway based Richard Stockton College has partnered in Egg Harbor Township.  

Galloway Advisor also states, "Many of the Mayor’s opponents in the upcoming election prefer to demonize business owners and obstruct progress that is necessary for the vitality and fiscal stability in our community."

The Restore Galloway Team denied the Mayor's accusations in his paid publication by stating, "Mayor Don Purdy is referring to our request for him to end his business relationship with the Township while he is a sitting Councilman. It has created the appearance of conflict, that he has yet to address to the residents of Galloway Township."

Councilman Jim McElwee stated, "The Mayor has built successful businesses in Galloway. We never attacked his family or his businesses, we questioned his contracts and licenses that appear to conflict with his duties as Mayor."

Mayor Don Purdy mentions in his paid publication that a few businesses have come to Galloway Township which includes Jersey Shore Federal Credit Union, Escape Beauty Boutique and The Wash. 

Galloway Township News will have an upcoming report on a new Dunkin Donuts site at Sixth and Jimmie Leeds that is set to appear in front of the Planning Board on November 7, 2013. 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Mayor shouldn't take credit for something that hasn't happened.

Anonymous said...

A Marketing Plan is a great idea. Galloway needs to get on the map. We are falling to far behind our surrounding towns.

Anonymous said...

They do not want to make it easier because then the powers behind the scene will not get paid. Engineers,attorneys and planners who get appointed to the boards so they get a free shot at your wallet.These fees are not regulated and go into an escrow for them to take as they please with no justification needed. When it costs more for an engineer review than it cost for it to be drawn by an engineer,something is terribly wrong.It is all about the dollar.

Anonymous said...

See what Purdy has done in Galloway. Watch this. https://www.dropbox.com/s/qp3midhmpdge6g9/Restore%20Galloway.mp4

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