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


July 27, 2007

By:

Nicholas J. Veliky

Now how is that for the American Spirit, the Clifton City Council voted 7 to 0 to retain the "Free Speech" concept during the public portion of city council meetings. Now is that a news flash or what? Can you imagine that Clifton's Board of Education felt too much BOE business was being discussed at the dais during the public portion of City Council meetings and wanted the council to restrict discussion of BOE issues? Sorry guys and girls of the BOE, if you came clean and told the public all they needed to know at your meetings, maybe concerned citizens would not have to go to the city council meetings to attempt to get answers to their concerns. In the past, citizens came to the dais and asked members of the council to express their views on sensitive BOE issues. When they answered in support of the questioners cause, all was fine, however when a member of the council disagreed, they were said to be selling against the issue. Sorry you can't have it both ways. In any case Freedom of Speech reigns supreme in Clifton, just don't shout fire in a crowded council chamber.

The Clifton City Council has made it very public that they are not happy with the county's attempts to sell the Passaic County Golf Course located in Wayne. In fact they are considering a legal challenge to the pending sale. In spite of the popularity of golf and the relatively few golf courses in the immediate area, it's a real puzzle as to how this facility could be running in the red. Oh wait, this is a government agency and they don't have a clue about how to run this as a business. Maybe selling the course isn't such a bad idea after all, oh but wait, the county wants to sell the course to the Passaic County Improvement Authority, another government agency. Perhaps all that is needed is a review of the course business plan, an advertising and marketing strategy and a few changes in management and just maybe this thing could break even, if not make a buck or two. This is just a suggestion ladies and gentlemen of the Freeholder Board for whatever its worth.

It looks like the $600,000 in green acres funding will slip through the city's fingers, that is if the award is contingent on the city's purchase of Latteri Park from Clifton's Board of Education. Clifton's City Council deserves a great deal of credit for recognizing the importance of the $600,000 and voting unanimously to make a fair market offer to purchase the land parcel using the $600,000 as part of the payment. Unfortunately, Clifton's BOE majority have chosen to hold on to Latteri. They argue the offer isn't lucrative enough, I guess when you are use to dipping into taxpayer pockets whenever you need additional funds, doing the responsible and fiscally prudent thing seems unnecessary. I guess the BOE will just continue to raise taxes in order to maintain their unquenchable thirst for cash.

Attention all of Clifton: Work has begun on the renovation of the Clifton stadium rest rooms, you know the renovations the BOE went to the city council looking for funding to do because they had spent the money earmarked for the new toilets for something else. It's amazing how quickly they found the cash that they said they didn't have.

Dr. Michael Rice's swan song at his final Board of Education Meeting seemed more like a last ditch effort to rally support for his failed initiative to build a school somewhere, anywhere in the city. His address was amusing, moving and at times illustrated why he was so controversial. No doubt Dr. Rice has his opinions as do the rest of us, however that's what makes life interesting. We wish the Doctor well in his new endeavor.

Excuses, excuses, some never want to step up and take responsibility for their actions, it's always someone else's fault. It's lost . . . my dog ate it . . . you never told us about that . . . That was the tact the Board of Education took when discussions began regarding the possible need to appear before the Clifton Zoning Board of Adjustment for a height variance in order to construct walkways at the high school. The BOE said they had no knowledge of the requirement and blamed the Planning Board for a 9 month delay in notifying them. Even though the BOE claimed they never saw the resolution, a letter dated November 22, 2006, sent by the BOE attorney to the City contained a copy of the same resolution they stated they never saw. It is correct that the original resolution could not be produced in time for the Board of Education meeting, but that was only because the city hall staffer responsible for the file is on vacation and the paperwork is amongst the mass of paperwork which is still pending in the department. So much for fabricating stories. - By the way, how come the BOE is taking so long to get these walkways built? Could it be that these walkway additions to the High School are just what the Doctor ordered, strike that, he wants to build a school, just what the students need to ease the overcrowding? Why is this Board of Education dragging its feet?

It's Thursday night, you are looking for something to do. The karaoke offerings at Buco's are sure to please and entertain. Word has it that the karaoke machine has attracted some interesting notables from the city. Make it to Buco's on Thursday evenings to see who steps up to the mike.

Congratulations to Clifton Board of Adjustment Commissioner Roy Noonberg on his appointment to a full member position on the board. Noonberg will fill the unexpired term of James Varcadipane who resigned his seat as a result of his relocation out of Clifton. There is some speculation as to how much influence the 290 Brighton Road Application will play in appointing a new member of the board. Word has it that former BOE commissioner Keith LaForgia is interested in the position. Keith is in the construction industry and was also a strong proponent of the 290 Brighton Road School.

The special city council election to be held this November, which will choose a permanent replacement to fill the seat vacated by Antonio Latona, who finishing second in the general election and was forced to resign after it was deemed he could not serve his term because of a conflict of interest in serving dual roles as a councilman and as a city firefighter, seems to be attracting some attention, at least from potential candidates. At press time, six candidates had taken out petitions to run for the seat, they are George Silva, Beverly Carey, Matthew Ward, Frank Kasper, Raymond Mattera and Joseph Chidiac. Of the six, Silva, Ward and Chidiac were all candidates in the May council election. As a result of his eighth place finish, Ward was appointed to temporarily fill the seat until the November election. To date the most active campaigner award has to go to George Silva, George is setting the pace for this race. He is everywhere, meeting residents, discussing issues and showing just how good a job he will do.

Some close friends are planning a farewell dinner for our departing Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rice. The event is being held out of town at the Brownstone Restaurant.

If you knew you were going to live to be 100, what would you change in your life? Not sure. . . not to worry, Dr David Moore of On Track Chiropractic located at 850 Clifton Avenue will present "100 year lifestyle" at 8a.m. on August 7th at Korman Communities, the new ultra luxe extended stay community located at 743 Passaic Avenue here in Clifton. This special presentation is based on the best selling book by Dr. Eric Plasker. Dr Moore will teach you how to live your best life, every day of your life. If you plan on attending, it is suggested you call 973-253-7005 to register for the event. I would be remiss if I didn't extend congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Dave and his family on their recent new arrival.

The issue of gangs in Clifton is nothing to take lightly. While some just want to bury their heads in the sand and ignore what is taking place in the hopes it will just go away, are mistaken indeed. The recent bold and brazen creation of detailed graffiti along both route 46 and route 3, not to mention tags located on underpasses. on storefronts and buildings throughout the city, are evidence of the vigorous gang activity within our lovely home town. The gangs are here and are communicating their territorial markings to the chagrin of all. Yes city fathers there is a Gang problem in Clifton. Maybe its time we discuss it with the students in our schools and start educating so our children don't fall prey.
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