The following is a letter submitted to Shore News Network and doesn’t represent the views of Shore News Network or its partners or affiliates.
by Jimmy Roland
As residents of Ocean County we all know the growing tremendous challenges our towns and county face in regards to over development, Political cronyism and pay to play in our local governance and also the changes in our demographics that weigh so heavily on one group that it squeezes out any other voices in the directions and future of our towns. This has left many people with the feeling they are facing an unstoppable force that leaves their voices and concerns unheard and of little importance. So they seek to find a place where they can find commonality and hope to share with others facing these same challenges.
Up until recently the leading voice and group that galvanized this growing group of people was Rise Up Ocean County they unabashedly took head on the issues that affect us all did some tremendous investigative work and helped many people they came across along through their work. Somewhere along the way though the tone changed and became much more of a personal battle between them and members of the community they were taking on and it seemed the fight was more important than the cause.
Outing businesses being ran out of homes, financial improprieties of individuals exposed and other things that took this from a battle to save our towns and communities to an all-out personal war which in turn caused the site to attract more virulent hatred by people who hated just to hate and fed a growing anger which made any serious dialogue with people harder and harder to find. Yesterday one of the key members or perhaps the head person and founder of the group was sentenced to prison for passing bad checks and this was not his first offense. I say this not to demean the man or embarrass him we all have had various degrees of lack of judgment we are not proud of.
I do point it out for this reason, when you take such a strong loud moral stand against a group of people and dig so deep to find the slightest impropriety you better make darn sure your house is clean especially when you have such a large group of followers who you set the tone and mission for. Make no mistake we have problems in our communities with the explosion and direction of the orthodox community it isn’t anti-Semitism to say that and common people should have a place to join together to fight for our quality of life we treasure and hold politicians accountable to our voting bloc but also make no mistake that won’t change the fact they are here will continue to come and be our neighbors so any group also needs to start a dialogue with that community to find some commonality and share who we are to get some understanding.
Believe it or not many Orthodox families are no different than any of us they also hate the overdevelopment and shenanigans they see go on and simply seek a place to raise their families. Ocean County does indeed need to rise up, ALL of Ocean County not just part of it and fight for what we believe but also find common solutions and answers for all our residents and neighbors and more importantly so we can be one County and hold the politicians who run our towns and county accountable for how they represent us all.