The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessMay 9, 2008
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business


May 9, 2008

By:

Nicholas J. Veliky

First there were four, now we're down to the final two candidates to fill the vacant Clifton Superintendant of Schools position; we have it on very good authority that the front runner to fill the post is a current Board of Education administrator. If this move comes to fruition it will be a big step in healing a divided community.

No surprises at the reorganization meeting of the Clifton Board of Education. There had been speculation for some time now that Michael Urciuoli would wind up as President of the Board. He wanted the top spot and was doing some active campaigning to make sure he got the nod from his fellow Board Members. The number two spot on the board will be filled for the next year by Liz Gagnon. And so it goes.

A petition containing almost 1,000 signatures has been collected by a group of community watchdogs, who are concerned about the dollars paid for legal and professional services by the Board of Education. Last year's legal reserve was used to the tune of 1.4 million dollars. That's a lot of motions, resolutions, reports and advise. For that much money we should have a small law/consulting firm working exclusively on BOE matters fulltime. It's about time the board took responsibility for their actions instead of constantly trying to find another city board or agency to blame for their shortcomings. Those in the know can tell you that if the original board application was filed properly containing all information and supporting documents chances are none of this would have ever happened. Maybe the board should pay attention to the 1,000 voices on the petition and evaluate how they hire their professional staff.

Many are asking who authorized the BOE attorney to file not one, not two, but three motions before the state appellate court in the 290 Brighton Road case currently being appealed by Van Ness Plastics, we have it on good authority that the motions are very similar and the best they serve is a stall tactic for the case to come before the court, you may ask why would an attorney file three similar motions knowing they would most likely fail? It's a stall tactic, in the meantime permits have been issued construction begun and a "Mercy" argument has been established. Now when going before the court the board can claim the city's given us permits, we've begun our project, we should be allowed to complete it. It's important we give our students what they need, but at what cost?. . . When will the BOE realize that using their attorney as a board spokesman isn't always in the best interest of their cause? The board attorney's time is much too costly to have him fronting for the BOE and many residents see his remarks as an attempt to sell the public a bill of goods.

Word on the street has it that new board members were sent a communiqué outlining their suggested conduct during BOE meetings along with a "menu" of fines that could be levied if they attempted to "disrupt" the flow of the meeting, or in other words ask too many questions. As we know all too well from a parting board members comments certain board members don't too kindly to being asked questions.

Looks like the Ethics Charges against BOE commission Michael Paitchel are not going anywhere fast. Those pressing the charges will probably keep them hanging over his head until he announces his intentions for next year's election. With the shenagans going on it's amazing that no other commissions have been charged. It would seem having charges pressed against you all depends on which side of the issues you take.

Gas $3.50/gal - bagels .95 cents each at some local bagel shops, food pantry demand up over 60% from last year, local residents accessing services that have never used services before. No solutions at hand, just a request that when you go to the supermarket pick up an extra box of cereal or canned item and drop it off at St. Peter's Haven, on Clifton Avenue. Just one can per person make all the difference.

What's happened to the Clifton Sculpture garden on City Hall Grounds? Moses toppled in the wind and other favorites have deteriorated in the weather. Shouldn't there be a maintenance program to maintain and preserve this cultural outlet of our city? From what has been observed the two newest pieces to the collection are what appears to be a junction for concrete conduit that has been turned into a planter, and a giant rock adorned with an eagle affixed to its top with epoxy. When the rock was delivered blasting charges from the quarry were found closing city hall for half a day. It's all done in the name of culture.

Frank Corradino Jr.'s Papaya King located at 600 Getty Avenue will celebrate their official grand opening, Saturday, May 17. Besides their traditional ribbon cutting ceremony complete with local officials the real draw will be free hot dogs served from noon to five pm. Frank has done an excellent job with his restaurant by expanding his menu and providing really good food at reasonable prices but perhaps most important with friendly courteous service. You can feed your family any day Monday to Friday from 4pm to 6:30pm with .99 cent Hot Dogs. It's worth the trip.

Reporting from the scene of the devastating house fire on Chittenden Road this past week, I witnessed firsthand the care and compassion of our firefighters. Obviously the most important task they do is to save lives and property. They put their lives on the line every time they answer an alarm. What I observed was a fire fighter covered in soot carefully carrying what appeared to be a basket filled with family photos from the burning house. That's what make our fire fighters special.

Clifton's famous Avenue of Flags, said to be the largest American flag display east of the Mississippi recently celebrated a milestone, the addition of the 1,000th American flag to the display. The flag was purchased in honor of Sgt. Joseph Trongone, U.S. Army who served in World War II. Since the purchase of this flag in January, additional flags have been purchased and the display currently boasts a total of 1007 flags. If you wish to honor a veteran with a flag to be included in the display you can use a coupon conveniently located on page 15 of this issue of the Clifton Insider, congratulations to John Biegel, Jr. and all those who work so hard to make this display come to life.

Are you looking for "THE PERFECT GIFT" for Mom for Mother's Day? The Hamilton House Museum has a great suggestion. A special "Cooking with Friends" cookbook is available. This collection contains an assortment of delicious recipes gathered from many MOMS who have shared family recipes for you to enjoy with your family. If you wish to purchase a book please call the Museum 973-744-5707, the cost is $10.00. All proceeds go to the Hamilton House Museum, located at 971 Valley Road in Clifton. The Hamilton House is a Restored Dutch Farm House which is opened on Sundays for Tours from 2-4 PM from March through December.

The House of Fire Christian Church will appear before the Board of Adjustment on May 21st and on June 18th both meetings will take place from 7 to 11 pm. A decision on this long and contested application should be rendered by the board on June 18th. Judge Redden has indicated that he will be represented at both hearings and reserves the right to render a decision. The outcome of this application is long awaited by both the congregation and the Grove street residents.

You will notice photos of mothers and their children and grandchildren throughout this edition of the Clifton Insider. On Sunday May 11, be sure to let your mom or that special lady in your life know how much they are appreciated.
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