The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessNovember 24, 2006
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business

November 24, 2006


Nicholas J. Veliky

Congratulations Councilman Matt Ward! It seems the message got through to enough sitting councilmen to do the right thing. This series of events shows once again that the voice of the people, if loud enough, gets acknowledged. Mayor James Anzaldi, Councilmen Joseph Cupoli, Peter Eagler and Steven Hatala all heard the call of their constituents and answered in the affirmative.

Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej voted for diversity on the council and cast her vote for JoAnne MacBeth, a woman. While I could not agree more with the need for diversity and the fact that the council is lacking in women representation, this just wasn't the time. Councilman Frank Fusco who finished in seventh place in the May election, just 83 votes ahead of Ward, abstained from the vote.

Lorraine Bremer was, is, and always will be a class act. Lorraine was once again willing to serve her city and would have been a welcome edition to the governing body had the circumstances been different. The Bremer family has always been community minded individuals that got involved and helped make this city great. It's too bad that Lorraine was apparently sold a bill of goods by one councilmember who convinced her that if she agreed to get involved, she would have the support of all six council members. How could anyone commit the support of all their Council colleagues? I guess that's one "backroom political deal" that fell apart. Hey wait, wasn't this council supposed to be committed to doing away with back room political deals? . . . oh well, I guess that happens only in certain instances.

The Board of Education referendum vote is coming up on December 12th. Mark your calendars and make sure voting is part of your days plan, it's really that important.

As most of you are aware, Superior Court Judge Passero rendered his decision on the appeal of the Brighton Road suit. The opinion was clear in that it set out a number of specific instructions to both the Board of Education and the Board of Adjustment. In a few words, the judge found that the Board of Education did not follow the full protocol when filing their application with the State Department of Education; in that the Board of Education never went before the Clifton Planning Board as required by statute and that the application did not contain the truck easement on the 290 Brighton Road property. The judge also went on to state that the Board of Adjustment addressed issues outside its prevue. In short, there will be a do over as the judge stated with limitations. The Board of Education must appear before the Planning Board.

Once the Planning Board makes its comments and determination, the full application complete with clearly indicated truck easements must then be submitted to the state Department of Education. Once the Department of Education makes its determination the application must once again go before the Board of Adjustment where the board will consider the impact of the school on the industrial zone. It sounds to me like the judge wants the city to work together to submit the best application possible and to deal with the impact of this project on the neighborhood. There are no winners or losers; but that's not the case if you listen to the "Spin Doctors" give their impression of Judge Passero's decision. Dr. Rice declared the decision a victory for students. One Board of Education Commissioner was at Clifton Stadium where the Junior Mustangs got a chance to play under the lights declaring "We (the Board of Education) Won!" Brighton Road is a complex issue, and has proved a dividing point for this community. Those who choose to spin the facts into a web that no-one will benefit from should think about the consequences of their words (some of them on the web). As a community, we need to work together, we need to examine the facts again and determine what the best thing is for the students and for the city as a whole. People should stop perpetuating untruths and trying to assess blame. Use the energy for productive purposes rather than to drive the wedge deeper into our community.

The corner of Clifton and Main Avenues continues to be a blemish on what has been called one of the premier or marquee intersections in the city. Extensive burn, smoke and water damage has put these buildings into a state of abandonment since they can't be used. The property owner needs to get this project into gear. If they can't do it then they need to bring in a developer who can realize the true value of this piece of real estate. Declare the buildings a blight zone to the surrounding community, similar to what was done in Passaic a number of years ago when dealing with the Labor Day fire site.

Spencer Savings Bank closed its old branch on Piaget Avenue and stepped into some brand new digs right next door. The new bank will be open for business and word has it they will celebrate a grand opening sometime this spring. An added note, the drive through service windows and the ATM will be closed for another few weeks while the construction on those areas is completed. Spencer Savings has made quite a splash in Clifton with this second new branch they now join the Van Houten Avenue office which opened just a few months ago.

North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce will host their first STAR award dinner honoring Louis D. March, Sr., the Chairman and Founder of March Associates, a leading construction management and general contracting firm. March Associates, for those who do not recognize the name, is responsible for major building projects all along the Route 3 corridor including the new Liberty Lincoln Mercury, and the Mad River Development to name a couple. Lou is being honored for his philanthropic activities which have made a significant difference to countless charities throughout the area. If you care to join in paying tribute to this civic minded business leader, with over 400 tickets sold, you'll have to act fast if you what to attend the December 7th event which will take place at the Westmount Country Club.

There seems to be a serious shortage of a popular pink hair gel produced by a leader in quality hair products. This shortage and rumored discontinuation of the pink sticky hair stuff has caused some of the areas most eligible bachelors to go to great lengths to stock up with as many as 75 bottles of this coiffure concoction. Calls have gone out far and wide to secure ample supplies to last at lease until the first signs of baldness set in.

One of the city's great economic success stories of late, Harvé Benard will be leaving Clifton. Harvé Benard was recently acquired and the new owners have plans that don't include Clifton. As of November 10th, 100 non-union employees will be transferred to the company's new facility and sometime in December the remaining union workers will leave. This exodus along with an earlier departure of Allied Office Supply leaves over 350,000 square feet of industrial space empty along Delawanna Avenue.
How fortunate we all are. How often do we take time to realize all we have to be grateful for? Thanksgiving is a time to look around at all the beauty, the hustle and bustle life has to offer at this, perhaps the most exciting and challenging time history has ever known. As you look at your personal lot, if you have been blessed than share what you have with those less fortunate. Not just the material, but share talents, experiences and time.

This year, the Clifton Insider is approaching another milestone in our young history. On December 15th we will be celebrating our second anniversary serving you, our community. To mark this occasion, we will be taking our civic responsibility seriously and giving back to the community with a toy drive for those less fortunate. The proceeds from the toy drive will be donated to the Wanaque Center, Haskell. The Wanaque Center is an 82 bed pediatric skilled nursing facility. The children range in age from babies to teenagers with various diagnoses such as Shaken Baby Syndrome, Mental Retardation, Traumatic Brain Injury, physical disabilities and developmental delays. 36 of the children are dependent on ventilators. They have 24 nursing and respiratory therapists on staff as well as PT, OT, ST and Art, Music and Recreation Therapy.

We invite you to participate by dropping off your donation of Toys (Socks, Pajamas, Blankets are also needed) to the offices of the North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce located at 1033 Route 46 East, Suite A103, Clifton. We thank you in advance for your generous participation.

We wish you and your families all the best this Thanksgiving. Thank you for giving us much to be thankful for ...including you, our readers.
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