TABERNACLE — A local official for the "gateway to the pines" only lasted a few months at her post after a social media post calling a group of New Jersey residents "mentally deficient, inbred imbeciles" recently resurfaced.

Natalie Stone won an uncontested election and was sworn into office in January as Tabernacle's deputy mayor. But less than six months into her three-year term, the Republican resigned earlier this month.

She blamed bullying, "virtual mobs," and feigned outrage over a Facebook post insulting "Pineys" — a term for Pine Barrens residents that was once derogatory but has since been embraced by locals.

"There is ACTUAL TRUTH to Pineys being incestuous, illiterate, mentally deficient, inbred imbeciles supposedly responsible for generations of morons and prostitutes," Stone said on Facebook in 2020.

In announcing her resignation, Stone said the person who dug up the old post was a low life. And Stone said the real outrage was over her vote to demolish the deteriorating town hall built in 1874, the Pine Barrens Tribune reported.

"I just wanted to find out just how bad it was. But I get it, this building is ‘the most important thing in your life.’ How pathetic. Beloved my a**. Ignored like some of your teeth," Stone wrote.

One structural evaluation of the historic landmark in April found that it was not safe and could collapse at any time. Another engineering report found the town hall was in such a poor state that it was a "potential threat" to the public.

"This building is unsafe and should be demolished as soon as possible," said engineer Jay Rosen.

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Tabernacle Town Hall, a historic landmark (Google Maps/Canva)
Tabernacle Town Hall, a historic landmark (Google Maps/Canva)

Post bashing Pineys causes outrage

As for Stone's post saying Pineys were "inbred imbeciles," she told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she had been reading a book about the region titled "New Jersey’s Lost Piney Culture."

Whatever its original context, the quote sparked a massive outrage in Tabernacle and heated public meetings. In her last appearance as deputy mayor, Stone was shouted down by the audience every time she tried to speak, the Tribune reported.

One fellow committee said the comments about Pineys were racist.

Stone also told the Inquirer that she faced online harassment daily for two months; Detractors targeted Stone's looks and some weaponized the death of her son who died in 2018 from a fentanyl overdose.

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