Saturday, January 25, 2014

Judge denies Readington motion in Solberg Airport case

READINGTON TWP.— A Superior Court judge has denied a township motion to compel Solberg Airport to provide discovery related to a suit filed years earlier.

The decision by Judge Yolanda Ciccone in Flemington was filed on Jan. 23. It continues a string of rulings against the township in it's efforts to gain control of Solberg Airport and surrounding land owned by the Solberg family.

In November and the day after about 500 people attended a hearing on the issue. Judge Yolanda Ciccone denied the township's second amended complaint, in which the township wanted to change its lawsuit to allow Readington to buy the 102 acres used for airport operations — and then operate it as a public airport — rather that purchase the development rights only.

Ciccone in November further lifted a stay on a suit filed by the Solbergs in 2006 against the then-members of the Township Committee, saying that Readington officials failed to comply with state law and zone for an airport safety zone and re-zone the existing airport to a conforming use.

The 2006 suit accuses the township, former Mayor Gerry Shamey and elected officials Julia Allen, Frank Gatti, Beatrice Muir and Tom Auriemma with misconduct.

This suit claims that Readington taxpayers have been harmed by the "misuse of" township "monies and resources," including the "indiscriminate use of public monies for public relations specialist to further their illegal and unauthorized actions."

Story and comments/reaction:

 About 500 people attend a public hearing and final vote at Readington Middle School on a township ordinance allowing the township to buy Soberg Airport and convert it to a municipal operation. The meeting was held on Nov. 6, 2013.

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