This issue marks the beginning of our second year of publishing the Clayton Free Press.

We started well intentioned and committed to promoting the good things about Clayton. Like any entrepreneurial team, we invested untold hours researching stories, interviewing people, pulling and analyzing reports and studies, traveling around to develop advertisers and find locations where we could place our papers, and generally doing everything you need to do to start and operate a new newspaper business in America.

Before we started the paper, we were told by a local politician that we would never get advertisers, we would be out of business in a few months and that it would become “political” if we continued to publish. Some local business persons were actually encouraged not to advertise with us.

So – we started the business anyway. It did become political – and so did we. We received a few threats, had papers hijacked from resident’s mail boxes and from places like Acme. We even had our papers “held hostage” at the dock of a major shipper (a few calls and they were freed and delivered to your homes).

Some of the stories we covered made some people and interests feel uncomfortable, like the one about the deal negotiated behind closed doors to invite a business to town that many residents did not want here – or at least – not where they wanted to put it. Or, the one about negotiations behind the scenes to combine our Police Department with another town’s – and again, without your knowledge or consent. And of course, there was the story about the rain and snow-soaked Crossing Guards and the Labor Agreement that seemingly will never be “had”. We also asked for your help – and you gave it – assisting the Gloucester County Persecutor’s Office to locate a suspected killer who lived among us.

We need to thank a lot of people who supported the paper from its outset. People who bought ads in a paper that did not exist – wrote stories for a column not yet published and businesses that agreed to give us space to place newspapers that were not yet printed. Among those to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude are Troy McAuliffe, Tim Adams, Suzanne Cunningham, Greg Gaglianone, Stan Bennett, Ron Pinchick, Dr. George Petruncio, McGuinness Funeral Home, Dr. Nicholas DePace, Dollar Stop Plus Convenience and The Laundry Place, the South Jersey DEVILer himself, Ken Camp, Heritages Dairy, Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice, Gloucester County Freeholder Daniel Christy, the entire Board of Education and Administration of the Clayton Public School District – dozens of Clayton Borough Committee volunteers, the professionals of the Clayton Police and Fire Departments, and yes – a few specific members of the Borough’s administration (we won’t mention them by name but you know who you are!).

Most importantly, we need to thank you – the residents of Clayton – for making a thankless, grinding task a thing worth doing – and worth continuing to do!

God Bless America! See you in the funnies!

Publishers and Editors, Clayton Free Press & New Jersey Free Press


How to Submit a Letter to the Editor

All letters to the editor are welcome and will be considered for publication or posting online. The preferred method is to email letters to Editor@NJFreePress.Com or by mail to Clayton Free Press, P.O. Box 201, Clayton, NJ 08312.

Letters should be timely and should be addressed to the editor; no open letters to other people are printed. Letters must be signed, must contain contact information including letter writer’s city, email address and telephone number (for our verification purposes).

Your name can be withheld from publication upon request and after our verification.

Letters must be fewer than 300 words, with no more than four signatures per letter. We edit and/or trim letters as little as possible, but we reserve the right to do so as necessary (letters may be edited and shortened for space).

Letters should be exclusive to The Clayton Free Press. We do not publish letters previously or concurrently submitted to other publications, open letters to legislators or third-party letters. If we determine that the same letter received and published by the Clayton Free Press was concurrently submitted to other media, no further letters will be accepted from those submitting.