The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessOctober 26, 2007
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business

October 26, 2007


Nicholas J. Veliky

With less than 2 weeks to go before Election Day, It's anyone's race in Clifton's special City Council Election! Many of the races in the general election are uncontested so there isn't much there to motivate people to get out and vote. Our local race for one seat, left vacant as a result of Antonio Latona deciding to step down after a judge ruled that he could not serve on the council and work as a Clifton Firefighter, is the real draw of this Election Day. With four candidates vying for the one open seat, this race could change the makeup of the council as we currently know it. Running are Joseph Chidiac, and George Silva, both unsuccessful challengers in 2006 City Council Election, Beverly Carey a newcomer to the political arena, and Matt Ward who, as eighth place finisher in the regular council election, currently holds the vacated seat. With four solid candidates, voters in Clifton will have a tough choice when they enter the voting booth this election. The issues range from taxes, quality of life issues to changing Clifton's form of government and just about everything in between.

Candidate George Silva has a strong political endorsement from Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale and is in favor of a change in Clifton's government, while Joseph Chidiac is basing his campaign on a common sense action oriented apolitical approach. Beverly Carey has no political ties and is new to the election process. She is a member of the newly formed Action Committee representing her neighborhood and has campaigned with the best of them. Matt Ward currently holds the council seat albeit temporarily and has the endorsement of the Clifton Democratic Club who after making the endorsement decided to cancel their candidate's night. Matt is in favor of allowing Clifton to change their form of government if they so choose. Regardless it will all come down to who garnishes the lion's share of the votes. Four capable candidates and one open seat, it's up to each one of us to do our research and choose the woman or man who you feel will best represent Clifton. Most importantly, get out and VOTE!

There will be yet another opportunity to get to hear the candidates, a candidate's forum to be held on October 30, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Clifton City Hall Council Chambers. The candidate's forum is sponsored by the Delawanna, Dutch Hill, Lakeview and Rosemawr Civic Associations and will be monitored by the League of Women Voters. In this issue of the Clifton Insider we have our Candidates Forum which we hope will give you some insight into the candidates.

Remember, Election Day is Tuesday November 6th . The polls are open from 6am to 8pm be sure you Get out and vote, all our futures depend on it.

There is still much conversation regarding Term limits. Once again I remind you we already have a flawless method of imposing term limitations that being "The Vote". It operates very simply, if you don't like the way an elected official is governing, then when they come up for re-election, you simply vote for someone else and tell everyone you know to do the same. If enough people are dissatisfied and get out and vote, then you have term limitations!

MRSA had entered the building and no one bothered to tell all the Board of Education Members. While the state health officials stated that a single person outbreak does not necessarily warrant a public notification, keeping Board Members informed of the facts is important when it comes to controlling the flow of incorrect information that always crops up in situations of this type. While Board President Marie Hakim reported having a serious personal emergency that required her attention is something that can't be avoided. However, there needs to be a backup system that will insure clear and timely communication between all the board members in the event of an unforeseen situation. In any case the Christopher Columbus Middle School is being cleaned with bleach cleaner and the "crisis" is under control. Unfortunately, staff infection and the like are more prevalent today than perhaps any other time in recent memory. It is important that we educate and communicate and not drop the ball when it comes to getting the information out.

Father Pawel Szurek, the new associate pastor of St. Philip the Apostle Parish located on Valley Road has earned the nick-name Marathon Man. Fr. Pawel has entered a Marathon to be run this weekend in Washington, DC and has asked parishioners to support his efforts by sponsoring his run with all proceeds going to the youth group at Saint Philip Church. Father Pawel has been seen training hard running through the area particularly Valley Road. We have it on good authority that he is at his peak ready to do the 26 miler in a personal best time. If you would like to make a donation or sponsor Fr. Pawel's run contact St. Philip Parish Center at 973-779-6200.

Clifton's Avenue of Flags, the largest display of American Flags east of the Mississippi is celebrating its fifth anniversary. What makes this milestone even more special is the Avenue's rapidly approaching their 1,000th flag. Congratulations to everyone who has played a role in making this most fitting tribute continue to grow and flourish.

The current "situation" between area residents and GlaxoSmithKlein (GSK) has been allowed to fester for far too long. Finally a meeting has been scheduled to take place on Saturday November 3rd from 10 am till noon for those residents affected by the corporate giant in their neighborhood. While the City Council has also been extended an invitation, they will be there to learn just as the neighbors will. What I find hard to phantom is the fact that the city has never taken a proactive role in bringing GSK and the neighbors together and open a dialogue, instead one council member offered advice suggesting that a plant tour wasn't going to fix anything and that the residents needed to make sure their concerns were addressed. It sounds like these folks were left high and dry by local leadership. Dialogue between GSK and the neighbors should have been ongoing and the city should have taken a leadership position. I have stated in previous issues of the Clifton Insider and in our sister publication Business Matters that GSK was to be commended for their investment in Clifton. I still feel this way, however, the time has come for GSK to address the concerns of their neighborhood and do their part in creating an atmosphere where both can mutually co-exist.

In search of Ballot Box and the Re-run of the October 16th City Council meeting . . . Channel 77 should consider adopting a new tag line "All Cats Most of the Time". It's not that I don't like cats, in fact we have been featuring a cat each issue in our "Friends Furever" section, where shelter cats are offered for adoption, but enough is enough. There are important issues being discussed at our council meetings and these days to catch a re-run of the meeting is like winning a lottery these days. Too many blue screens and the slides which are broadcast by the Clifton School System for hours on end are a waste of valuable air time. Channel 77 is getting better, but we still have a way to go.

On a personal note, the Clifton Insider family has grown by one since our last issue with the birth of Nicholas Lyal Johnson, son of Jessica and Josh Johnson. You may recognize Josh as the author of our "Insider Earth Watch" articles. Jessica is my niece, the daughter of Dawn and Mike Litwenak my sister in law and brother in law and two really special people. Congratulations guys Sto Lat!
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