The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessSeptember 14, 2007
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business

September 14, 2007


Nicholas J. Veliky

What next? The events of these past weeks have surprised, verified and terrified. When US Attorney Chris Christie made his startling indictments, they hit all too close to home, with a neighboring Mayor Sammy Rivera, members of the Passaic City Council past and present and probably most shocking of all, the indictment of Assemblyman Rev. Al Steele. While everyone starts out good, the taste of power and all its trappings becomes addictive. The trust we place in our elected officials is a sacred bond and when breached, questions arise as to how long this conduct has been going on and just how far the breach of trust would span. Once trust is weakened, it deteriorates across the board and healing does not come easy. While they were caught this time, one has to ask how long this has been going on and how many breaches of trust have been committed and have gone undetected. . . In this scenario no one wins. Even though Reverend Al Steele did the honorable thing by stepping down from his post as Passaic County under sheriff and his elected position as assemblyman, the people in his legislative district will find it hard to trust as they have done before. It also raises the question what makes a Baptist minister/assemblyman qualified to be an under sheriff in Passaic County, that's another topic for another day. . . While I applaud US Attorney Chris Christie for his gallant efforts in bringing justice to the people of New Jersey, there are still many questions, that need to be addressed. Why were only Democrats rounded up in this sting and on the flip side of the coin, who were the other public officials that were tempted but did not take the bait. . . Passaic Mayor Sammy Rivera should follow Steele's example and step down. Elected officials need to be held accountable for their actions no matter what city they serve in. The people of Passaic deserve better. . . Inside word has it that Freeholder Director Elise Evans will take Steele's spot on the ballot in November and fill his unexpired term in the assembly.

With so much attention on elected officials it comes as no surprise that people are talking about term limits and dual office holding. Legislatively dictated term limits are not necessary since we have not only the right but the responsibility to impose term limits through the power each one of us holds in our vote. The vote is a powerful tool and with it we can make changes in our leadership whenever needed. Taking an active role in elections by supporting and working for candidates you feel possess the characteristics you feel would make a good leader. As for the Dual office holding, legislation should be imposed making it illegal to hold two elected offices. Double and triple dipping into the troth is something we can no longer tolerate. Individuals being entrusted with the power of multiple offices is dangerous. The days of one person holding multiple titles councilman - Freeholder - assemblyman - consecutively only create a situation where too much power is concentrated in one individual.

The Clifton Girls Soccer Team made a move from their practice field at Latteri Park back to Woodrow Wilson Middle School fields, their original practice location. The new fields at Latteri Park were complete with porta johns that were cleaned weekly and were void of any running water, hand sanitizing solution and even in some cases toilet paper, but all that was ok because Latteri Park finally had a purpose. One would ask why, if the fields at Wodrow Wilson were so bad that they had to make the move to Latteri Park would they return with no substantial changes made to the Woodrow Wilson fields. What made them acceptable for the Girls team? Just as an aside, the Woodrow Wilson Fields were good enough to be rented to an outside concern for a summer soccer camp. By the way, where do the boys teams practice? Do they have to use portable toilet facilities that are pumped every two weeks? Do they have running water and indoor toilet facilities? Why the double standard? In a time when we should be teaching through example that women are entitled to the same treatment as men in the workforce, why does the Board of Education impose this double standard?

The 290 Brighton Road story continues. . . Home rule is a good thing. Who better than members of the community know what is best for the community. The members of Clifton's Board of Adjustment know the city and made their judgment to deny a variance for the proposed school at 290 Brighton Road based on countless hours of expert testimony. By the judge overruling the decision of the board and granting the variance to construct a school at 290 Brighton Road takes home rule away from Clifton. Now the courts have come in and will impose their decision contrary to what the Board decided. This is by no means a closed issue, instead, the appeals will continue and the case will go to a higher court and then to a higher court again until it ends up in the United States Supreme Court. This is just the beginning.

It looks like the "Old Grey Lady" showed her true colors. The New York Times showed just how out of step it is with the mainstream by subsidizing a full page advertisement placed by The discount for the $180,000 ad was reported at about $120,000 making the cost for the full color full page ad at $60,000. Giving a discount is not wrong, but when the message is an outright attack on General Petraeus commander of our forces in Iraq and all the men and women in our armed forces something is definitely wrong.

One of Clifton's newest corporate citizens, American Bank of New Jersey donated footballs to the Clifton Mustang Cheerleaders which will be thrown to the cheering fans when the Mighty Mustangs score a touchdown.

Clifton's Rotary Club, well known for their service to the community, is busy planning their annual beefsteak which is scheduled for November second at the Three Saints Cultural center in Garfield. Once again Hap Nightingale will cater this beef lovers extravaganza. Anyone who has attended past events knows that this is one not to be missed. Forget about the cholesterol, diet for a week beforehand and be sure to get your tickets early, they go fast! The food is great, they have hundreds of prizes including of course, the coveted hose (don't worry, they have many to give away). The Rotary will also be holding a coat drive. More details on this event as they become available.
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