Speaking for myself, I hope this ordinance will pass. But I’m interested in what you are thinking.

You’ve been through all the pro and con arguments, and your opposition comes through loud and clear. You want to maintain complete control of the land; I get that. You want to retain the ability to squeeze every last penny out of its value as it’s sold off; I get that. And I think many of you are doing this to have capital to provide for your children’s education and inheritance (as well as for your retirement); I get that, too.

There’s something I just don’t get. The kids you are retaining this for are the same ones you’ve often complained leave here. You’d prefer if they stayed here. Well, if they do, what kind of a place do you believe they would want to live in? A place like the crammed up, ticky-tacky developments that are being squashed in all over now in this area? A place with almost no parks or significant open space? A place where the environment is shot because of over-development? Why don’t you sit down and ask them?

Somehow this argument about how the county should be developed has become yet another “Us vs. Them” struggle. You strongly resent us “Outsiders” trying to tell you how to do things. What do you believe is our motivation? To take what’s yours and your children’s? It’s not! Actually, speaking for myself and many of the Outsiders I’ve heard, our main concern is maintenance of clean and safe and enjoyable environment, as well as quality of life. Are you interested in any of this? Or are you all about wringing out the very last penny before you and your kids leave with a pocket full of money to enjoy “elsewhere”?

Guess what? There isn’t a better “elsewhere.” Every place is subject to the same development pressures that are happening here. Developers are generally primarily interested in transforming this land into money — just like everywhere else! If you find an “elsewhere” that you like, believe me, it will start changing and being over-developed. And then, as Outsiders yourselves, you won’t be able to do a thing about it!

There’s not a better “elsewhere.” This is a wonderful place right here in Sussex County. You have the power to craft its development in such a way that you and your children would want to stay here. Why don’t you ask them what they want?

Jeanette Akhter