Toms River Councilman Justin Lamb today called on his colleagues to repeal the hastily passed CCO ordinance that is wreaking havoc on Toms River taxpayers and realtors.
“The previous Council held a knee-jerk vote in the final days of their tenure without any real debate,” Lamb said. “The ordinance has created bureaucratic red-tape and cumbersome mandates that are crippling our local real estate market. We should repeal it immediately. We owe that to the people of Toms River.”
Lamb’s comments were welcomed by realtors and homeowners in the audience who were taken aback by Council Vice President Matthew Lotano’s remarks that the ordinance is perfectly adequate for the township.
Many in the audience immediately called-out for the ordinance to be repealed.
The Council then heard from Township Engineer Robert Chankalian who reported on the new CCO inspections since July.
Lamb demanded to know how many of the 485 inspections resulted in re-inspections, but Chankalian said he didn’t have that number.
“That’s a pretty important piece of information for the council and the public to know in evaluating the efficacy of the ordinance,” Lamb said. “Realtors and sellers are being forced to scramble around to satisfy minor shortcomings and they’re being shaken down for gratuitous fees. It’s nothing short of a revenue grab and a hidden tax.”
A stream of realtors and homeowners also addressed the Council raising concerns that the Council never took into consideration when enacting the flawed measure.
“Unfortunately, some of my colleagues on the Council think government is here to solve our problems, but with this ordinance, they are the problem,” Lamb said before formally moving to repeal the ordinance.
Despite earning a second on his motion from a fellow council member, Township Attorney Anthony Merlino refused to allow a vote on the motion citing a technicality.
Lamb pledged to continue his efforts to repeal the ordinance at the next Council meeting on September 28. “I’ll discuss the issue with the attorney and with my colleagues in the interim but we will have a vote on this issue at the next meeting one way or another,” Lamb said.