The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessJanuary 12, 2007
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business


January 12, 2007

By:

Nicholas J. Veliky

Question of the day, will Councilman Peter Eagler ever get to host the dinner he invited his council colleagues and the Board of Education Commissioners to? Peter felt meeting in a casual atmosphere might be the right approach to finding a solution to "Clifton's build a school dilemma". Peter's concept has merit. The only problem, a high ranking school official is said to have stated that Peter's olive branch has thorns. This is totally out of control. After canceling a city lease on Latteri Park, in closed session no less (Hey, wait, aren't closed sessions supposed to be for handling sensitive issues such as personnel matters, disciplinary matters and student issues?) How does canceling a lease with the city fit the criteria for a closed session? Any legal minds out there have an opinion on whether this was a violation of the Open Public Meetings act?

In any case, the Board of Education has the right to use their property as they see fit, and if the team needs a practice field well, it's obvious. What does remain to be seen is why the secrecy and the timing of the decision is suspect. There are still many questions at hand and this issue is far from closed.

2007 is off to a record start, record breaking warm temperatures that is. Take advantage of the unusually mild winter and take a walk around Clifton's Municipal Complex and take in some of the sculpture garden or pay a visit to the Art Center. It's a great respite from the day to day turmoil that seems to permeate this municipality on a regular basis. Get grounded and refocused, go and enjoy the art.

For the most part, it's business as usual. As late as this past Monday elected officials were still listed as officers of Kids First Clifton Political Committee. Here's a helpful tip in order to resign as an officer of a Political Committee: you need to do it in writing!

The Brighton Road decision is being appealed by Van Ness Plastics. Transcripts were ordered in early December and the appeal was filed just before years end and shortly after that, the Clifton Board of Adjustment decided to join the appeal. One thing for sure, this action will undoubtedly tie up the property for some time to come. It's hard to believe that even with all the attention being paid to the yet to be approved Brighton Road School, there is still no plan as to who will attend if it ever opens. . . Just a housekeeping note to keep in mind, the new Board of Adjustment members have their work cut out for them with 17 meetings of transcripts to read before they can act on the application should it ever make it back to the Board.

Here's some out of the box thinking, perhaps an educational voucher system may be the answer to the overcrowding problem we are currently facing. Choice in education offers just that choice for families as to where their children are to be educated. In this system the funds follow the child no matter where they choose to go to school.

Was it just a moment in time or was it? As Al Kipnis so aptly pointed out, the City of Clifton was proud of their Championship Football team. Accolades flowed and everyone was proud of what our Varsity Team had accomplished, yet where do the plans stand, if any, to permanently memorialize the accomplishment? Hopefully someone will soon unveil what the city plans to do.

Christopher Columbus and Woodrow Wilson Middle Schools are planning a joint fund raising carnival. The event is scheduled to be held from Wednesday, May 30th through Sunday, June 3rd. There is a dual purpose to this event, not only will the group raise much needed funds, but it provides an opportunity for the students to begin to assimilate as one Clifton High School family. In order to offsetting some of the fixed costs that come with putting on an event of this magnitude, the Joint Carnival Committee needs the support of local businesses, organizations and individuals to sponsor rides and games for the carnival. Sponsorships are available at different levels and will help make the event a success. If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution, contact either the Woodrow Wilson or Christopher Columbus Middle School Home and School Associations.

Seven new Police Officers were recently given the oath of office at a ceremony held in City Hall. The new officers will not increase the overall size of the Police roster; instead they will simply fill posts loft open as a result of retirements. While budget is important, Clifton could use more police officers on the streets.

Marie Hakim, long time commissioner and President of the Clifton Board of Education will be honored by the Clifton Education Foundation with a recognition luncheon on April 22, 2007 at the Valley Regency on Valley Road. The luncheon will recognize Hakim's being named the 2006 State School Board Member of the Year by the NJSBA. The cost of the luncheon will be $50. The proceeds will be used by the non-profit organization to continue to fund creative programs and special projects not covered by the regular annual school district budget of the Clifton school system.
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