Letters to the Editor

Changing the United States Constitution?

LetterA recent letter in a local newspaper recommended changes to the US Constitution. Ideas that ignore past experience and human nature will often fail in practice, no matter how good they sound.

1) That idea of “Appropriate Background Experience” would prevent people from choosing the candidate of their choice. How much “Appropriate Background Experience” did Abraham Lincoln or Harry Truman have? Reagan and Bush had experience, how good were they for this country?

2) One “Six Year Term” for the President? That would be too long for a Hoover and too short for an FDR. Why not a two-tear term for Presidents to allow people more of a choice? Why isn’t FDR’s portrait on the $10 bill instead of a man who was forced to resign because of his faults?

3) The radical idea to “Eliminate the President’s Control Over the US Supreme Court” is wrong. The President only proposes a candidate, the Senate must approve his choice. This provide checks and balances. The real problem is the lack of an age limit for SC Justices like all other Federal Judges. Only royalty serves for life. The SC should be expanded to thirteen Justices, one for each Federal District, as was done in the beginning of our Republic. There were six in Washington’s time (13 states), seven in Jefferson’s time (18 states), and nine in Jackson’s time (24 states).

4) That proposal for “four conservatives, four liberals, and one independent” failed to define those phrases. Earl Warren had “Appropriate Background Experience” before being named Chief Justice. Was he a conservative, a liberal, or an independent? Do people change as a result of experience? Why not three each of conservatives, liberals, and independents?

5) The wildest claim is for our leaders to act for the “best interests of America”. Why aren’t they doing that now? If they aren’t providing the greatest good for the greatest number whose fault is that? Would that require another revolution to give people more power over the government?

6) That letter failed to recommend doubling the membership of the House to allow smaller and more representative districts. This would follow the Original Intent in the Constitution, and could allow the Electoral College to better align with the popular vote.

Beware of political proposals that sound good but have a hidden agenda. There is always a trade-off in economics, engineering, and politics so if a proposal sounds “too good to be true” there is something hidden. People should get both sides of any proposal so they can understand what will be won and lost.

Ronald A. Sobieraj


Virginia Lugo Resignation Letter – BID

Distinguished Council Members and BA Jillian Barrick:

After my protracted and futile battle to correct the decades-long wrongs that have been perpetrated upon the Perth Amboy business community, I’ve come to realize that I’m just one voice crying in the wilderness. Lacking allies, I do not hold the power to make the necessary changes.

After five years of service — four of which laboring under the carefully-promulgated deception that we were operating as an Advisory Board only — I am regretfully and respectfully resigning as a member of the BID Board of Directors.

The Mayor, along with perpetual BID chairman, Mr. Rosengarten, strategically stacked the BID Board with City employees and pliant others, all carefully selected to do their bidding. Regardless of these appointees’ personal beliefs, they had to vote in line with those who hold their jobs or other business interests in their hands.

This is a major conflict. And only one of many problems plaguing the BID Board and its operations, not least of which include its highly flawed handling of the budget and the structurally compromised design of the upcoming BID Board elections.

I thought that if I brought these problems to the attention of BA Fehrenbach, (and later, Ms. Barrick), the Mayor, and the members of the BID Board, they would in good conscience have self-corrected. When that did not take place, I brought it to the attention of the public, thinking that the harsh light of public scrutiny might finally lead them to make right the wrongdoing.

This also did not work.

I’ve been an idealist and a novice in the world of politics, someone who thought that right always wins. I’ve come to realize that I was dead wrong. Those who hold the reigns of power nearly always win. They certainly did this time.

You were elected by the public to represent their interests. You have the power and the duty to correct these wrongs; however, you must first come to recognize what is right. I hope you come to that realization soon and find the courage and rectitude to act on it.

Though I am tired of tilting at windmills and being vilified for it, I still love the City of Perth Amboy and will continue to work for the betterment of this City and its taxpayers, ceaselessly hoping for a better tomorrow.


Virginia Lugo

Member of the BID

Board of Directors.


Complicit in the Process 

If we as citizens continue to accept the status quo of unethical behavior and accept the fact that all cities have corruption, if we submit to the notion that we have no choice but to embrace our share of it, we ourselves become complicit in the process by allowing the unethical behavior to continue.    We may have the attitude that someone else will do it, someone else will come along to correct the problem. When no one else does, however, we’re surprised and angry. We become even more cynical. But what we fail to realize is that no one else came along because that someone else was none other than ourselves.    We pay for every action we don’t take. Our easy indifference costs us dearly.     Some few others are making all your decisions for you. City officials, striving to maintain a semblance of order, roll out empty pageantry. They put on masquerades pretending that all the right things are being done for you, the citizens, while behind the flimsy façade, everything is burning. They count on our indifference, knowing it will allow the show to go on for the benefit of those in power and their benefactors.     Every day, decisions are made for you as to how your tax dollars are  spent. Decisions affecting your children’s education, welfare, and safety. Decisions impacting the lives of the elderly, the poor, and the homeless. Decisions regarding such important issues as the lack of employment, mental health, the cleanliness of our city, and the rampant epidemic of businesses closing citywide. Precious few of these decisions have ever resulted in tangible well-being for the public at large.     We gaze on, passively, taking in the show. And then another day begins…    Every non-action has a reaction, and comes laden with heavy consequences.



Virginia Lugo

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Perth Amboy Calendar

MON. Jan 22
• City Council, Caucus,
4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

WED. Jan 24
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

THURS. Jan 25
• Historic Preservation Commission
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

MON. Jan 29
• Special Public Meeting, RE: Discussion of Rezoning Ordinance
6 p.m.
City Hall, High St.


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South Amboy Calendar

WED. Jan. 31
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

WED. Feb. 7
• City Council, Business,
6 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

Stay informed! Attend public meetings. All are welcome!