The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessNovember 9, 2007
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business

November 9, 2007


Nicholas J. Veliky

Well it’s all over, except for cleaning up the campaign signs, and once again the voters of Clifton (well not all the registered voters - in fact the turnout was paltry) have spoken. By capturing a resounding 3,068 of the 7,591votes cast for the one open council seat, Matt Ward claimed victory and got what he has said he wanted before he took on any major initiatives as a member of the council, he got his mandate from the people. Matt, the people have elected you, now you can take on all the issues that are pivotal to the future of Clifton. Just wondering how high up on the list of priorities is the “Change of Clifton’s Form of Government”? . . While the council race was one of the only real races on the ballot, the candidates made for a good contest. Joe Chidiac with his apolitical approach complete with no fundraisers or donations brought a breath of fresh air to a process that has become all to focused on cash. Beverly Carey, a political newcomer with no baggage or encumbrances finished very well and should begin her 2010 council campaign as soon as possible. Lets not forget George Silva, he has been campaigning nonstop for what seems like years. George got the endorsement of Sheriff Jerry Speziale, ordinarily a good thing, only this time, many saw the endorsement as a tie to, the Democratic faction who rode into town and held a fundraiser to fill the coffers for a fight to change Clifton’s form of government. Maybe next time Clifton’s Freeholder Bruce James should coordinate schedules a bit better. James jumped the gun and they lost on all fronts.

The Republican Party seems to be in need of some new talent. The Republican candidates (who were they anyway?) didn’t have much of an impact on the voters of Clifton or anywhere for that fact. Logic will tell you that in order to be taken as a viable political party, you have to run real candidates, placeholders on the ballot will not work for long, eventually you have to bring some real talent to the forefront. There have got to be some known entities out there with the energy and support to make a showing. Party leaders need to find the talent and bring it to the table.

Apparently open space isn’t a priority in Clifton with both the state and municipal questions going down to defeat. While the investment would have been minimal, the results and reward would have been lasting for generations to come. Too bad not everyone gets it. Maybe in 20 or so years their grandchildren will explain it to them when there isn’t enough park or green space for the growing community. Remember the song line “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”. Maybe if we start now we can get a referendum to build a tree museum...oooh lalalala.

Now for the real important election news; The fate of Clifton’s quest to become “Pirogi” capital of the world is in the hands of the pirogi vote counters. The polls have been closed since late October yet there has been no word or announcement as to outcome. Who knows maybe there were some hanging chads, or perhaps rumors of voting irregularities in Buffalo are not as baseless as originally thought. In any case here we are in Clifton waiting for the pirogi outcome. Just asking, is there any truth to the rumored plans of a victory parade down VanHouten Avenue culminating with a giant pirogi party on the front lawn of City Hall? Just say the word and we’ll order lots of fried onions and sour cream.

The Board of Education has made a decision to begin or should I say continue construction on 290 Brighton Road even before the appeal process is complete. While significant work has already been done to the structure, most prior to any approvals or appealed ruling, the board has decided to move ahead with the project. Just how this bold move will effect future court action is yet to be seen, however, what does need to be taken into consideration are the new standards set forth by the NJ DOE? Is the Clifton plan grandfathered or are modifications necessary? . . . While on the BOE its convention time so off to Atlantic City to explore and discover all the latest technology and innovation available to school systems. Lets just hope someone meets with a book publisher so we can be sure to have text books for all our students next year . . .

A clarification is in order. In the last Clifton Open for Business the gathering between neighbors and GlaxoSmithKlein was referred to as the meeting that has been long awaited. Well it turns out the gathering was a tour of the plant. There was no formal agenda. While there was some question and answer, issues remain unresolved. Once again, it may be time for the city to take a more active role in mediating a meaningful dialogue that will result in a mutually beneficial arrangement for both residents and a corporate citizen we as a city can’t afford to lose. Someone please step up to the plate show your leadership and make something happen!!

Fire Chief John Dubravski has decided to call it a career after almost 40 years of service. He will, use some of his well-deserved vacation time which will carry him through 2009 and allow him to take an early retirement. The chief has served the community well, leading his team of firefighters for the last 10 years. The Chief was honored at a breakfast reception where friends and colleagues took time to bid farewell and wish him well.

Wow have you seen the Genardi Building at the corner of Main and Clifton Avenues? If you haven’t it is worth the trip to see how this building, which was, devastated by a fire just over a year ago has been redeveloped. The renovation was a little slow at the start, but the end result has surpassed expectations and is truly befitting the Marquee position it holds along Clifton’s Main Avenue. The best part of this story is that there are deals to rent space. Perkins Family Restaurant is reported to have signed a deal for a space along Clifton Avenue side of the building that will accommodate many hungry diners.
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