The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessApril 27, 2007
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business

April 27, 2007


Nicholas J. Veliky

The voters of Clifton have spoken and their voice wasn't a shout, it was more like a whisper with only about 5,700 voters bothering to show up at the polls. The message from the voters was mixed, they agreed to return incumbent commissioners Kim Renta and Norm Tahan to the Board of Education along with newcomer Jim St. Clare, yet they voted not to approve the school budget. It was almost like a vote of no confidence mixed in with a message to go back and see if you can get it (the budget) right next time. . . With the low total vote count, there was no validation given to the antics and low standards of performance demonstrated by the current Board of Education. Apparently we will once again have to deal with the insults, ethnic slurs and of course participation on the most venomous of all community blogs. . . Lets hope their second chance at things will change and we can move our focus from the antics of the Clifton Board of Education to some of the other serious issues facing this city.

Paul Graupe, the Board of Education candidate who lost by a mere 7 votes, has decided to contest the election and has instructed his attorney to file the necessary paperwork. Paul, a former Board of Adjustment Commissioner and former Clifton Police Officer was a favorite to oust one of the incumbents. Graupe, going into election day with a comfortable lead, was the victim of voter apathy. It seems that potential voters, counting on Graupe's popularity in un-official pre election discussions and straw poles, decided to stay home and pump out their basements instead of voting. Unfortunately they were complacent and cost Graupe a seat on the Board of Education.

A last few parting remarks on this past Board of Education election - Republican Party leader and Wayne Mayor Scott Rumana's $1,000 donation to Kim Renta's campaign fund has raised a few eyebrows. It seems Rumana made a tactical error and alienated many by his generous support of Renta. . . I guess when you have the Clifton Republican Party leader as your campaign manager he can make things happen. While on the subject of John Traier, he and his life partner Mark Peters have been working diligently on the Clifton Theatre League's production of Dead Man Walking scheduled to open in May.

Once again we wish good luck and Godspeed to Clifton Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Rice as he travels back and forth to Kalamazoo, Michigan this month to interview for the Superintendent of Schools position in that community. Once again Dr. Rice has buffed up his resume and got his best suit pressed to impress the committee that will make the hiring decision. We have it on good authority that Dr. Rice has made the final cut and all indications are he is the number one candidate for the position. It looks like one of the biggest send off celebrations in Clifton's history to bid adieu to our beloved Superintendent of Schools may still become a reality.. . .

It seems the Election Law Enforcement Commission has decided to open an investigation into the activities relevant to the 2006 special election in Clifton, more specifically, the Board of Education Election. This investigation will include activities on the part of political committees active in the election. More on this as the story develops.

The Clifton Education Foundation hosted a well attended luncheon honoring its founder, Marie Hakim at the Valley Regency. The group paid homage to their founder and added some much needed funds to their coffers.

290 Brighton Road continues to be a talking point around town. Word has it that the application which is set for a May 16th appearance before the Board of Adjustment, will not take as long as the original hearings. The judge's ruling states that there will be no new testimony, witnesses or evidence. The Board will discuss the application and make a decision. Just a reminder to the new members of the board, you have an awful lot of homework to do since you need to read 18 meetings worth of minutes before you can act on the application.

Here we are seven weeks out from the original date that the Board of Education leveled ethics charges against Board of Education Commissioner Michael Paitchell and still we have not seen a list of the formal charges. As we have said right along, the only thing Michael is guilty of is voicing his opinion and making already public information more accessible on his website. It seems after some research that others may be guilty of violating ethics charges themselves. Leveling these charges is a very specific process requiring that the filing of the charges and the charges themselves not be publicly announced prior to review and a determination by the state ethics authority. So in essence this whole charade of publicly announcing the filing of ethics charges against Commissioner Michael Paitchell in itself was a breach of the ethics laws on the part of the board of Education. Now what do we do?????

Our wishes for a speedy recovery go out to Governor Jon Corzine as he recuperates from his automobile accident. If I could, I would really like to ask the governor if all the pain and suffering, not to mention the surgeries and the attention he has required from surgeons and specialists working on his recovery was worth not wearing a seatbelt? And we elected this guy to govern our state???

Bliss is definitely the place to be on Fridays for the "After work party Summer Sessions" from 5 to 10PM hosted by KTU. Enjoy free admission and ½ price drinks from 5 to 9 pm, Complimentary Grand Hot Buffet at 6pm catered by Buco's. and DJ dancing. You must be 21 or older and the dress attire is business casual. Bliss is located at 955 Allwood Rd.

Spencer Savings Bank recently held the Grand Re-Opening of their Piaget Avenue branch. The celebration continues at both their Piaget Avenue Branch and their branch at 908 Van Houten Avenue.
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