The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessOctober 27, 2006
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business

October 27, 2006


Nicholas J. Veliky

Thousands of voices were silenced with the ruling that holding both positions of Councilman and Firefighter were incompatible. The voices that were silenced were the thousands of voters who cast one of their seven votes for Antonio Latona, a Clifton firefighter who finished second in the May election, just a few votes behind Mayor James Anzaldi.

While the judges ruling of incompatibility of offices is logical and makes sense in that as a councilman you are the boss over the city manager who in turn is the boss over the firefighters, therefore, you can't be your boss's boss. The question still remains, how did all this happen? There was another city employee that entered the council race early on and dropped out after being informed the roles were not compatible.

When petitions to get a spot on the ballot and run for office were filed, the question was raised as to Latona's eligibility to run for office. There was some bantering about the issue but it wasn't ever resolved. Instead it was interpreted that anyone can run but if elected can they serve? And the answer to that question was left until it became an issue.

With voters' rights being violated thousands of times over with this debacle, shouldn't someone be held accountable? Anyone who knows me knows that I am very passionate about an individual's right to vote, it is sacred! The voters of Clifton were not served well by their governing body in that an ineligible candidate was allowed on the ballot. While in office Latona proved to be an asset to the city and to his constituents. . . No wonder people don't get involved in the process.

There are a number of scenarios floating around as to who will fill the seat vacated by Antonio Latona. Traditionally, the eighth man is given the nod to fill the spot. Some have said that Matt Ward, the eighth place finisher in the May Council election, wasn't interested. I recently contacted Matt and this is what he had to say:

"Yes, I am interested in the seat. When Cliftonites voted on May 9 they made a very clear and loud statement on the subject of change. Four incumbents were soundly beaten and if turnout were slightly higher it's conceivable others would have lost. My campaign focused on making the kind of changes people want to see and I came within 90 votes in being elected.

Cliftonites expressed their frustration and anger because the real issues facing our community are not being discussed let alone acted upon. The tradition of the 8th place person being awarded a vacancy is well settled here in Clifton. The issue here is in respecting the wishes of the people. To do anything else, in my opinion, would be a clear affront to what was decided upon this past May and demonstrate that the overriding message voters delivered is being totally ignored for other political considerations."

. . . I'd say Matt wants the job. He deserves it, after all he was the 8th place finisher. His appointment should be without question or condition or any restrictions on his running in the November 2007 special election. Matt should be appointed to fill the spot on the City Council, and the six current council members should act expeditiously in doing so.

The Planning Board worked into the wee hours of the morning in order to meet the state deadline for their comments on the proposed Latteri Park School site. This group of dedicated volunteers went above and beyond in order to get their job done. Word has it that after the cable TV crew called it a night some members of the board as well as key witnesses were dozing off in their seats because of the late hour.

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts"- Albert Einstein. This comment seems most relevant when discussing the overcrowded conditions at the High School. There is still a 180 degree difference in the arguments over whether we need a new school. The debate rages on and we need to have some resolution before the December referendum. Perhaps a public forum where both sides can debate the issues might prove valuable to the voters that ultimately make the decision. . . Just a suggestion.

The Clifton Junior Mustangs football program is holding their Annual Beefsteak Fundraiser! As many of you already know, the Clifton Colts and the Clifton Junior Mustangs have merged to create a stronger feeder program for our High School football team. We are talking about the future of Clifton High School Football. The Beefsteak is being held on Saturday, November 4, from 7:00 p.m. To 11:00 p.m.

At the Athenia Vets located on 174 Huron Avenue. Tickets are $40 each and include Beefsteak, Beer, and Soda. If you would like to make a reservation contact Melinda DeChellis at 47 Edison Street in Clifton.

We have it on good authority that Joey's will be open in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The popular watering hole is undergoing a complete renovation. They took it down to the bare walls and are now rebuilding. With Joey Barcelona at the helm, the new venue will undoubtedly be the premier night spot in the area.

Attention all Boys and Girls Club Alumni. The club is looking for people who attended the club prior to 1999. The Club is planning a fantastic open house the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend and would like as many of the Club's alumni to stop by to see how the club has grown.
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