Baristanet was copied on this email from Joe Hartnett to Mike M. (whose name and address was on the letter, but requested anonymity on Baristanet) regarding his complaints about Watchung Station.
Thank you for your recent letter. With respect to the trash receptacles, unfortunately what had happened was that NJ Transit recently replaced the receptacles with a new, locking kind of unit but did not give us the keys. We just obtained the keys yesterday so the overflowing trash will not continue to be a problem.
With respect to the security issues, we have been trying a variety of strategies but they obviously have not worked. As long as the station remains under lease to us, we will stay at it until we find a permanent solution. We will be happy to check the information you forwarded to make sure we are not missing anything. Of course, the major issue we always face is balancing the many demands put upon our Police and other departments while trying to restrain escalating property taxes. I assure you that the vast majority of our people are neither work-averse nor irresponsible.
Locking the station was a temporary measure to protect a valuable asset while buying a little time to help us work to a more permanent solution, just like I had to “lock out” other things I’m working on (like the township budget) to buy the time to personally respond to your letter. It’s always about prioritizing and balancing time and resources, whether Police work or anything else we do. Otherwise, almost all problems would be very easy to solve.
Thank you for your interest, concern, and suggestions and we’ll be taking a look at that information you sent. Thanks again.