On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 1 p.m. Fairfield Township resident Russell Pierce is scheduled prosecute four municipal court complaints against Township Mayor Benjamin Byrd and Traci Pitts-Byrd, the mayor’s wife.  The complaints, which were filed on September 11, 2015, will be heard at the Cumberland Salem Regional Municipal Court on Route 77 in Seabrook.

Pierce, who resides at 376 Fairton-Gouldtown Road, accuses the mayor and his wife, who live at 368 Fairton-Gouldtown Road, of violating a local ordinance by operating a business out of their home without a license.  Byrd’s 2015 Financial Disclosure Statement shows that he owns an Egg Harbor Township company called ByrdDog Paving and General Contracting while his wife owns T&B Trucking which lists an “office address” of 368 Fairton-Gouldtown Road.

The four complaints charge each Byrd and his wife with violating Fairfield Code Sections 4-4.1(d) and 4-4.1(i).  These provisions, respectively, prohibit “hacks, taxicabs, omnibuses, stages, trucks and all vehicles (horse drawn or motor) used for the transportation of merchandise, goods or chattels and of passengers for hire” and “vehicle sales, motorcycle sales, vehicle or automotive repairs, vehicle storage, automotive salvage, home business, boating sales and repair, landscape, law offices, professional offices, mining operations” from operating without a Township license.

It is likely that the code version shown at the link above is not the most current version.  And even if Pierce’s allegations are true (i.e. the Mayor and his wife have asphalt trucks on their property), it is not clear, for the reasons stated in my September 10, 2015 article, whether such constitutes a violation of the ordinance.  Hopefully, the municipal court’s decision will provide some clarity.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]