The Jersey InsiderOpen for BusinessDecember 26, 2008
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business


December 26, 2008


Nicholas J. Veliky

It's like A Tale of Two Cities: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." On one side of Clifton Avenue, in City Hall, there is talk of budget shortfalls, belt tightening, wage and hiring freezes, layoffs and an austere 2009. On the other side of Clifton Avenue, at the Board of Education Administration Building, it is business as usual, there is discussion of raises for employees and additional funding for the High School Annex at 290 Brighton Road. It's hard to believe this is the same community . . . It may be time to storm the Bastille at 745 Clifton Avenue! It seems the Board of Education is out of touch with taxpayers and the current state of the economy. Many ask how this can be. How can one side of the city, City Hall, be facing fiscal doom, and the other side, the Board of Education, be going about business as usual? Simple: there are two budgets, completely separate and totally independent of each other, with one exception. That exception is the fact that we the taxpayers of Clifton fund both budgets. There needs to be more communication between the City and the BOE. We all need to be on the same page if this community is to survive.

After a long wait and much speculation by current and former city officials, Pope John Paul II School (formerly Paul VI Regional High School) located on Valley Road is available according to BOE and Paterson Diocese officials. Word has it Superintendent Richard Tardallo toured the facility which currently operates as an elementary school operated by the Paterson Diocese. While the school may be available, the BOE states, that the procurement, if a deal can be made, will have to be a lease because of budget constraints. Clifton's BOE also states that if the school is brought into the Clifton School System facility, it will not eliminate the need for the 290 Brighton Road High School Annex. Some have suggested that the sale of the current BOE administration building on Clifton Avenue to the Department of Transportation to be used for much needed commuter parking at the Clifton train station, moving the administration building to 290 Brighton Road, which is in an industrial zone, and moving the High School annex to the Pope John Paul II school on Valley Road might satisfy the need for space as well as preserve Clifton's industrial zone. Its something worth a thought. Remember, Pope John Paul II is a real school with athletic fields and adequate parking for school assemblies where parents can be invited.

Timing is everything! It is interesting that an article dealing with the Ethics charges leveled against Board of Education Commissioner Michael Paitchel came out in a local weekly newspaper just as he was traveling outside the country. In any case why are the charges being brought out to the forefront? The laws governing how ethics charges are handled are rather clear; the charges cannot be made public during the investigation, no one is supposed to speak publicly about them.

Word has it that the City has been busy planning "shovel ready" projects, ready to spring into action as soon as funding becomes available for the public works projects which are said to be in the works as an economic stimulus.

Talk about shovel ready, it seems as if no shovels were ready as winter's first snow storms wrecked havoc with city streets. Days after the double header storms covered the city with a wintry mix, many streets were still snow covered and icy. Besides the fact that the roads did not get the attention they needed, many narrow streets around Clifton are notorious for having residents shoveling out vehicles only to put the snow back in the street. In any case, roads are slippery, people are falling, cars are sliding and winter just made its official arrival on December 21st. Its going to be a long season. . .

The children from the Clifton Jewish Center Hebrew School did a fantastic job singing in English and Yiddish as members of the community and city officials gathered at city hall to light the menorah on the first night of Hanukkah. Cantor Adam Goldstein, Rabbi Ari Korenblit and Clifton Jewish Center President Steve Goldberg all deserve credit for the celebration of the Festival of Lights.

Clifton Channel 77 is on the air and off the air once again, Cablevision, the cable giant needs to supply a part that should clear up the problem of poor audio. The problem with Channel 77 has gone on far too long and perhaps the time to hold Cablevision accountable for the equipment for community access they are supposed to supply has arrived. By the way, Channel 40, the Verizon channel isn't experiencing problems and looks like it may be a good alternative.

Congratulations to Planning Board Commissioner Anthony and Carol Genchi on the birth of a grandchild Chase Patrick. . . Congratulations also go out to Cupo Realty's Angela Swan and her husband Bill on the birth of their first grandchild.

As I close out Open for Business for 2008 I want to extend best wishes to all for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year. I would also like to thank our advertisers who support us and make this publication possible, and to you our readers for your continued comments and for reading the Clifton Insider and patronizing our advertisers.

As the Clifton Insider enters its fifth year of publication we look forward to continuing to bring you the stories about our community.
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