The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessJanuary 11, 2008
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business


January 11 2008

By:

Nicholas J. Veliky

The saga over the proposed Quinn Road expansion by Montclair State University (MSU) took an unexpected turn when it was learned wording was changed in the Federal Grant application to eliminate Quinn Road as the destination for the $2.4 million Grant. Instead now the funds will be used for public access roadways and pedestrian safety improvements in and around the University campus in Clifton. Now the story is MSU claims they will improve lighting and walkways with the funds instead of using it for Quinn Road. Now let's look at the logic here. . . MSU needs lighting for their parking lot . . . they use the federal funds instead of the funds in their budget earmarked for that type of improvement . . . now the funds that MSU had budgeted for the lighting (assuming that the lighting improvement was necessary and not a luxury to be purchased with taxpayer dollars) can go someplace else. Where do you think that money will be used?... Undoubtedly, Quinn Road, only through a back door bookkeeping maneuver. Let's face it, this is more of a question of which pocket will MSU take the money from. The Federal Grant funds will only free up unrestricted dollars to be used at MSU's discretion. The Congressman's office can say what they want, but it all boils down to the fact that a Federal Grant was issued for what is now an unpopular project and this is a move to save face. Well let's face it, when the project was originally proposed, the city, through City Manager Barbara Sacks' office voiced no opposition to the proposal. Talk about letting something slip through the cracks.

Astro turf, what a fantastic idea, imagine Clifton's Fighting Mustang Football team taking on opponents on a field of pure polyester, or whatever they make Astro turf from these days, it may even be a green product made from recycled plastic soda bottles, but that isn't the point here. There is no question that our students would benefit from the Astro turf, what is in question is why start another multi-million dollar project with so many already on the table incomplete? Whatever happened to the high school auditorium renovation that was supposed to take place? That would have also benefited the students, however the funds are gone and still no renovation not even thought of the renovation which is so badly needed. Let's not forget the high school walkways, they were to benefit the students and possibly relieve some of the crowding in the hallways. The voters approved this referendum and the construction was already to have begun, so where are the plans, the permits or any sign that this project is going to come to pass. It's nice to propose all these projects in the name of bringing benefit to Clifton's students, but the only benefit comes when a project is completed. Let's bring some of these current multimillion dollar initiatives to completion or closure before we take on another.

Congratulations to Thomas F. Brunt, Clifton's Assistant Municipal Prosecutor who will be taking the reigns as Municipal Prosecutor from retiring Blanche K. Goldstein who has held the position for almost 25 years. To both Blanche and Tom best wishes and good luck as you both begin new chapters in your lives.

William Nadolny a fixture in City Hall and Clifton's resident finance Guru will be taking his leave and moving on to greener pastures. Good luck Bill, you leave with the good wishes of a grateful city.

It looks like Clifton and the County aren't the only ones facing serious fiscal woes, the city of Passaic has a 9% tax hike looming along with the possibility of police pay cuts and possible layoffs. It makes you wonder, how did this get so out of hand? Isn't fiscal responsibility something all elected officials are sworn to uphold? Maybe it's time for the average working taxpayer to send a message to our elected officials next election day, that tax and spend or in more recent cases, spend and spend just doesn't cut it. The endless supply of taxpayer funds is proving too in fact be limited, and the party looks like it's over. Government needs to be run with more of an eye on the bottom line instead of looking to increased tax dollars to make things balance.

It may be months away but there is already some movement in the 2008 School Board Race. Commissioners John Traier, Marie Hakim and Mary Kowal are all up for re-election. Word has it that fundraisers are already being planned.

Assemblyman elect Scott Rumana has left his office as Mayor of Wayne and is off to Trenton where he will be sworn in for his stint in the New Jersey Assembly. He is leaving his home town in the capable hands of Mayor Chris Vergano who will hold the office until next November's election. Just as with any new CEO, Vergano sent a directive to all Wayne's department heads and managers asking for a list of long and short term goals. Sounds familiar doesn't it? By the way, whatever happened to the think tank initiatives set by our sitting city council?

Warning, the following two entries can raise your cholesterol but let's face it, it's for a good cause. . . The Clifton PBA and FMBA will hold their 17th Annual Fraternal Beefsteak on Friday February 15th at the Clifton Boys and Girls Club. The festivities will begin at 7:00 pm and the cost is $45.00 per ticket for this stag event. Beefsteak will be provided by Baskinger's. For tickets you can contact Randy Colondres at 973-830-7161 and John Cusack at 973-470-5879 from the PBA and Frank Yodice at 973-345-0715 or Jeff Bracken at 973-979-3695 from the FMBA. Regardless where you purchase tickets, this is for a good cause and a good time can almost be guaranteed....

Sometimes life just doesn't seem fair and it seems that there is little we can do to help. Here is an opportunity to aid two families from Wayne that are sharing a common bond in that both their daughters are undergoing treatment for cancer. The Our Lady of the Valley Knights of Columbus will sponsor a beefsteak dinner and fundraiser on January 26th from 7PM to 11PM, in Fr. Rugel Hall, Our Lady of the Valley RC Church, 630 Valley Road, Wayne, All Proceeds will Benefit the Ramsden Family and Crenshaw Family, Mary and John Ramsden's daughter Nicole and Sharon Crenshaw's daughter Valerie are both undergoing lengthy and costly treatment. Please send your donation or purchase a ticket: Knights of Columbus c/o Ramsden/Crenshaw, P.O. Box 2363, Wayne, N.J. 07474-2363.

Distinguished Service medals were awarded by the Passaic County Freeholders and the Passaic County Department of Veteran's Affairs to Clifton veterans during a ceremony held in November. While 89 veterans were there to receive their medals, there are still 200 that have not been claimed. If you were due a medal and have not picked it up please contact Tom Miller at the Passiac County Department of Veteran's Affairs at 973-569-4090.
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