13, 1999 |
freeholders decide not to sue ship commission
By Courier-Post Staff
Camden County freeholders plan to drop a lawsuit against the
New Jersey Battleship Commission, which recommended Bayonne as
the museum site for the USS New Jersey.
Camden County officials
have been pushing for the Navy to berth the ship in Camden, but
do not want to delay or otherwise upset the current application
process by continuing to pursue the lawsuit, Freeholder Patricia
E. Jones said Monday.
``We just don't want
anything to muddy the waters for the Navy as they proceed to
review the applications,'' Jones said. ``We were looking for
a level playing field and the Navy provides for a fair and equitable
Jones is a founder
of the Home Port Alliance, a coalition that has submitted a separate
application to the Navy to moor the ship permanently on the Delaware
River in Camden.
In a complaint filed
in October in the Superior Court Appellate Division, the freeholders
accused the Battleship Commission of violating the law establishing
the commission by selecting a museum site in its application
to the Navy without adequate analysis.
The appeal asked the
court to bar the commission application.
Jones said she will
formally ask the county legal department to withdraw the appeal
following a meeting Wednesday with the Home Port Alliance's advisory
Last week, Gov. Christie
Whitman signed ceremonial documents clearing the way for the
battleship, launched Dec. 7, 1942, to be towed from Bremerton,
Wash. It is scheduled to leave Puget Sound Sept. 13 and dock
at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on Nov. 4.
Camden, Bayonne and
Jersey City have vied for the right to turn the vessel into a
tourist attraction. The Navy is expected to make a decision by