What do you think of Seth Grossman’s proposed column on local housing ordinances to deal with high crime apartment complexes like “The Gates” in Somers Point?
1. Liberty and Prosperity on the Radio. Our Executive Director, Seth Grossman will be a guest on the Larry Trulli and Dan Klein programs on 1020AM WIBG Radio (Ocean City and much of South Jersey) Monday, April 16, from 8AM to 10 AM. Grossman has been appearing at this day and time on 1020AM for several weeks, and we hope this will continue for some time. Grossman also hosts his own program on 92.1FM Radio (Vineland and most of South Jersey) Saturdays from 8AM to 9AM. We also hold a breakfast discussion every Saturday morning from 9:30 A.M. to 10:30AM that is open to everyone who wants to learn more about liberty. It is held at the Shore Diner, Tilton and Fire Roads by Parkway Exit 36 in Egg Harbor Township.
2. Do you know anyone who plays the drum? We agreed to pay $50 to someone who can beat the drum for liberty at our information table at Bayfest in Somers Point on Saturday, April 28. We also need more volunteers to set up and staff the table. If you can help, please contact Seth Grossman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Correction—Steven Lonegan will be at Stockton College on April 24. Please contact Seth Grossman if you can help with this event or any other event to help Stockton students learn more about American liberty. 4. For more information, go to our website at http://www.
4. I would greatly appreciate it if you could again review my proposed column for Current and Gazette newspapers this week. Previous columns are posted at http://www.shorenewstoday.coma
SETH GROSSMAN, Executive Director
LOCAL ORDINANCES CAN’T FIX NATIONAL PROBLEMS
The Gates at Somers Point is a 202 unit apartment complex that should be a perfect place to live. The apartments are roomy and well lit. Many have large balconies with excellent views. There is a swimming pool, and plenty of free parking. It is right next to Shore Road with frequent buses to Atlantic City and Ocean City—and a five mile bike path to Northfield. The Wawa across the street is open 24 hours a day. Apartments at The Gates in Somers Point are within walking distance of the Dawes Avenue School, Shore Memorial Hospital, two major shopping centers, three marinas, and many fine restaurants.
Some thirty years ago, the Gates of Somers Point was known as the Atlantis Apartments, and I was there many times. I was a young lawyer starting out in Atlantic City during the casino boom. Several of my friends were young doctors working at Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point. One of them lived in apartment at the Atlantics, and we often me there for dinner or other social events.
The rents were low, and my friends quickly saved enough money for a downpayment to buy a beautiful house elsewhere.
In the 1980’s, the202 apartments of the Atlantis Apartments, now known as The Gates of Somers Point, were a pleasant and important part of the American Dream.
Some 15 years later, I moved my law office out of Atlantic City and into Somers Point—one block away from the Atlantis Apartments, now known as The Gates. By then the apartment complex had become what it is today—a beat up, high crime, debris littered slum.
Today, the complex is the highest crime area in Somers Point, with 515 calls for police in 2011. What happened in those 15 years between the early 1980’s and mid-1990’s to ruin the place? What can we do to fix it?
I need a year of research and writing a book to fully answer those questions. I wish some Stockton professor would do it. But since local governments in Somers Point and Hamilton Township (Mays Landing) are quickly making bad local laws that ignore the real problems and will make things worse, let me briefly suggest where to begin.
First, we must understand is that the high crime, litter, roaches, and bedbugs at the Gates in Somers Point—and other high crime apartment complexes in Galloway Township, Mays Landing, Atlantic City, and Pleasantville– are not local problems caused by bad landlords.
They are the result of bad national and state laws and policies. Starting with Republican President George Bush I in 1989 and a Democratic Congress, our national and state politicians—Republicans and Democrats—created national problems like these:
1: Too many unskilled, uneducated legal and illegal immigrants. We have 15 to 20 million illegal immigrants in America today. We bring in 2 million legal and countless more illegal immigrants each year. We no longer expect native born Americans to do unskilled or unpleasant work for the wages we are legally required to pay them.
2: Too many laws that make too many things illegal. When the Titanic sailed, marijuana was legal, and Coca-Cola was made with cocaine. At that time, my grandfather saved enough money working in a textile factory to buy his own
sewing machine and start his own business. Today, anyone who sells substances that 20% of Americans want is a criminal. My grandfather could never afford the lawyers, licenses and permits he would need to start a business today.
3: Public schools give New Jersey the highest taxes in the country, but fail to teach most students basic writing, arithmetic, or business skills.
4: Our jails and prisons put thousands of dangerous back on our streets each year—not because they are rehabilitated but because our state politicians spend the tax money elsewhere–where they can buy more votes.
5: We have high taxes and electric bills so that too many people criminals without education or skills can get good housing, food, medical care, utilities, recreation, and cell phones without having to work at any of the unpleasant jobs now done byimmigrants.
So too many Americans with no skills or interest in doing unskilled work end up in apartment complexes like the Gates in Somers Point– watching TV and hanging around. They depend on government—or crime—to get what they want. Like getting a new “affordable” apartment when they trash the old one.
You can’t fix this with a local ordinance.