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NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette’s Democracy Charade: Public Input Meetings or Sham?



In a surprising turn of events, NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette’s recent actions have raised serious questions about the sincerity of public engagement in the decision-making process regarding Liberty State Park’s (LSP) future. Despite hosting community input meetings, LaTourette’s statements suggest a predetermined outcome, rendering these gatherings mere theater rather than genuine democratic participation.

LaTourette’s assertion that the plans for LSP are already paid for and under construction sends a clear message: public input is merely a formality, with decisions already made behind closed doors. This dismissive attitude towards community voices undermines the very essence of democracy and public accountability.

Furthermore, the close relationship between LaTourette and Sam Pesin, President of Friends of LSP, raises concerns about collusion and undue influence in the decision-making process. Pesin’s outspoken support for the DEP’s plan and criticism of dissenting voices only reinforce the perception that the process is biased and predetermined.

Instead of being a unifying force in contentious debates, LaTourette’s actions only add fuel to the fire. By disregarding genuine concerns and pushing forward with predetermined plans, he risks further polarizing stakeholders and exacerbating tensions within the community.

The fundamental question remains: why bother holding public input meetings if the decisions have already been made? It’s time for Commissioner LaTourette to reevaluate his approach and truly prioritize democratic principles by engaging in meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders, rather than perpetuating a facade of community involvement.

One thing is for certain, we need an NJDEP Commissioner who can stop acting like he’s auditioning for his own talk show.

Political Tidbits for the Week by The Chronicler in Chief

Fulop’s Statewide Tour
Candidate Steven Fulop is crisscrossing New Jersey, with his latest stop in Bergen County where he was photographed with former State Senator Loretta Weinberg. Could a formal endorsement be imminent?

Hudson County Democratic Organization Stability
No one is challenging County Executive Craig Guy for the Hudson County Democratic Organization chairmanship. Could this signal an end to the HCDO conflicts?

Brian Stack & Larry “The Truth”
What’s really happening between Brian Stack and Larry “The Truth”?

Charles Mainor’s Return?
Former Assemblyman Charles Mainor, now heading the JC NAACP, has an exploratory committee. Is he gearing up for a run for his old Assembly seat in 2025?

Baraka’s Jersey City Visit
Ras Baraka visited Jersey City last week for a Q&A session with residents. However, reports indicate that 90% of the attendees were from Newark, not Jersey City. Former Governor Jim McGreevey attended but did not speak.

James Solomon’s Mayoral Decision
James Solomon, please announce your decision about running for Mayor after the summer. The speculation is exhausting.

Bill O’Dea’s Mayoral Campaign
Bill O’Dea is steadily advancing his mayoral campaign. The only concern now is which prospective council candidate will be dropped from his ticket.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Bruce (The Chronicler in Chief) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of HudPost or its editorial staff.