The number of Howell homeowners who have gone before the governing body asking for help concerning the flawed and shoddy construction of their newly built homes keeps growing.
At a recent meeting, Mayor Timothy Konopka assured the residents that he would do all he could to help to make the developers fix the problems. Howell’s top code enforcement official backed up the mayor by stating that the township can fine developers $500 per day for each code violation.
However, a few years ago, Howell inspectors found numerous code violations in a Hovnanian development, but no fines were levied.
After the state Department of Community Affairs conducted an investigation of Howell’s inspection department, they revoked the licenses of the Howell building inspectors who failed to do their jobs properly.
Yet, under Mayor Konopka’s administration, township officials took no action to discipline these inspectors. In addition, by failing to inform the state pension board of the inspectors’ actions, the township guaranteed that these inspectors would retire on pensions, which they are now enjoying at taxpayer expense.
The problem of inferior construction not only affects the homeowners’ property values, but it also hurts every taxpayer in Howell.
For example, many affected homeowners appealed their property tax assessments, won, and they now pay thousands less in property taxes because their homes have become less valuable, thus leaving the rest of us taxpayers to make up the difference.
Another unfortunate example of the arrogance and indifference on display at township meetings was clearly demonstrated when Councilwoman Cynthia Schomaker attempted to question what could be done to help the homeowners. Mayor Konopka refused to let her speak.
At the same meeting, a homeowner who stood in line for one hour waiting to address the council on problems with her home was told that time was up. When she objected, Mayor Konopka ordered the police to eject her from the meeting room.
In conclusion, the residents of Howell should not listen to what Mayor Konopka says, but rather judge him by his actions.
for Lower Taxes