Here's an update to everybody to let you know what's happening, and there's a lot! We have gained so much support it's amazing. All four towns surrounding the lake as well as the Lake Hopatcong Regional Planning Board, Morris County Freeholders and the Morris County Planning Board have all adopted formal resolutions supporting SAVE THE LAKE: 2000 and they have all been forwarded to Governor Whitman. There are also other towns adopting resolutions but we have not gotten copies yet. Most important Senator Anthony Bucco is going to sponsor legislature to form a commission and seek permanent and adequate funding. I was copied on the first draft and told the Senator that the issue of funding was not being adequately addressed in the draft. He agreed and we, the Conservation Committee, will be meeting with all of the state legislators from this area, the four mayors, Presidents of both county Boards of Chosen Freeholders, DEP and LHRPB to have a workshop to make recommendations and amendments to the Bill which we hope will be introduced on DEC. 6th when the Senate reconvenes!!! We have also invited representatives from the business community, Homeowner Associations, and lake organizations to participate in the workshop. Because we want to keep this meeting manageable we are only inviting one representative from each of those groups so that their input can be heard but unfortunately we couldn't possibly open this meeting up to all concerned parties and hope to effectively accomplish what we need to. As it is there are over 40 people attending. We are amazed that we are this far along this early. We owe this to all of you who have supported our effort. Please continue to write, E-mail, and fax our state representaives. Be friendly in tone because things are going our way but stress--permanent, consistent and adequate funding--this is an important issue. Thanks to all who have helped and keep up the good work. Things are happening!!!
Tim Clancy Chairman Conservation Committee
The members of the Conservation Committee, who include Tim Clancy, Dan McCarthy, Tom McCormick, Lou Tarascio, Joe Tekula and Bill Wiedeman, have been very busy Knee Deepers for the last several weeks. Since the campaign was launched last month it has appeared in several newspapers and was on Channel 12 News. They have distributed petitions that have already produced over 2,500 signatures. They've also distributed 7,000 bumper stickers, sold over 30 large outdoor banners, contacted every State Legislator and most important have gotten the four towns that surround the lake and the Regional Planning Board to all adopt formal Resolutions supporting SAVE THE LAKE: 2000 which are being sent to Trenton. Additionally Senator Anthony Bucco has been lobbying on the club's behalf. The support of the businesses and organizations around the lake has also been absolutely outstanding. The cost to the club has been nominal because in addition to purchasing the outdoor banners they have also been buying the bumper stickers to give to their members or patrons. One benefit to the club is that since the campaign has begun we have gotten about 25 new members which is really unusual this late in the year and most likely the result of the campaign. The Committee can be contacted by calling Tim Clancy (663-0181), Lou Tarascio (663-5064) or Bill Wiedeman (398-0948).
This is Phase I of the campaign and it is off to a very good start. Our goal is to unite the entire lake community and to bring attention to the problem. Our next goal is to find a permanent solution to the many environmental problems that confront the state's largest lake. This will involve permanent and adequate funding from the state and the formation of a commission with a full time staff. The committee has created a model with a budget that may not be the ultimate result, but will be a good starting point for discussions. Our goal is to have an organization with an advisory board of citizens that oversees a full time staff similar to a town's DPW. Attorney Marty Kane, who is a club member and President of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Society has volunteered to draft a model of the legislature which will be required to achieve this goal.
It is very important that we keep the momentum going on this campaign. Each and every one of you can help. First put that bumper sticker on your car or boat. It not only shows your support but will create more public interest and show politicians how you feel. Signing the petitions we have around the lake helps, but a written letter has much more impact. Take an hour and write to your representatives and tell them that you support SAVE THE LAKE: 2000 and that you want permanent and adequate funding for the state's largest lake. If you need their addresses call 1-(800) 792-VOTE. Visit our webpage at kneedeepclub.org and get on our e-mail mailing list and download a petition and get your friends and neighbors to sign it. If you belong to an organization or use a business around the lake that isn't on our list of supporters, contact them and tell them to get on board. If we all work hard we will get results. Don't sit back and say that's a great idea and hope that someone else does something, get involved. It really will make a difference.