Penny Rene: July 2008 Archives

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Gandhi said "Be the change you wish to see in the world." And that is why I will never have free time again.

This town that we live in is a mess. It is a cluster-@#&% of bad planning, high taxes, irresponsible financial decisions and apathetic citizens. Not to mention a council paralyzed by fear, self-interest and laziness.
Clearly, I will never be running for office. But what I am doing is spending my "free" time researching ways to revive the people, aid in redeveloping the main street and mainly, bring the value of my home to a number I can live with when we finally move away to a town that doesn't require so much damn work.

I'm not going to lie. I have no love for this place, other than the few friends I've made here. Right now, living in Matawan is a burden, not a joy. Like many others, we moved here believing that the town was on it's way up; that Main street was going to be all flags, flowers and busy business. I had visions of buying my groceries, stopping by the post office and grabbing an ice-cream cone with my kids all, within a 1 mile strip of walkability. I thought I would become a "regular" at a quaint little cafe on Sundays. 

Little did we know that Matawan has been operating with a budget deficit that grows each year. Without serious change, our little small town dream will be bankrupt - literally. Which means that the 60% property tax increase that was just thrown at us will make no difference at all. My cute little house... I better get used to living in it's cramped quarters because we are stuck here. STUCK. STUCK. STUCK. 

I have never felt to trapped in all my life.

Baby has been backed into a corner. And you know what that means. I now have to fight my way out.

Thus begins a new non-profit citizens organization founded by myself, Mike, our friends Rebecca & Mark and Deana. We considered calling ourselves "Matawan Families With A Lot To Lose", but it's a bit wordy. I also like the "Get Shit Done Group" but it's not specific enough, I suppose. The name is not so important as the fact that we are a group of residents who have decided to take on all the problems with our sickly little community and systematically beat them down one by one. 

On the bright side, we have already met with the mayor once and it turns out he's a god guy who feels similarly and is putting forth good effort to help us. "Help ME, Help YOU" was our mutual message (with all the intensity of Cuba Gooding Jr.) 

That being said, during our meeting, as the mayor spoke about the 125k hole in the 2008 budget, I saw my life flash before my eyes. In this new version, the entire borough council hates my guts, along with select members of the police department and the borough employees. Who was it that said, "If they hate you, you must be doing something right." ?