Eruv Litigation dockets are now being updated at www.EruvLitigation.com
Transparency in government is very important. As the Secretary of the Teaneck Planning Board, I made it a priority to ensure that minutes of meetings were prepared and published in a timely manner because the public has a right to know what is happening.
But the folks in Mahwah, NJ don’t seem to share that commitment. When I requested minutes from the meeting where Ordinances 1810 (Peddling and Soliciting), 1811 (Police Director) and 1812 (Parks restrictions) were introduced, I was told that no meeting minutes were available.
It’s been 95 days since the meeting. Is there a particular reason that they feel the Open Public Meetings Act doesn’t apply to Mahwah? I asked the Council President at the last meeting and he said it wasn’t his responsibility. Passing the buck seems to be his preferred method of dealing with problems.
Are you trying to hide the hateful comments made from residents from the public view, Mr. Hermansen? Or is public transparency just not high on your list of priorities? Read More “What is Mahwah hiding?”
As previously noted, the Attorney General of New Jersey laid down a pretty damning complaint on the doorstep of Mahwah Council President Robert Hermansen and his council-members. The accompanying press release likened the council’s conduct to “1950s-era “white flight” suburbanites who sought to keep African-Americans from moving into their neighborhoods.”
Sadly, this was wholly avoidable and Robert Hermansen, knowing the risks, chose this fight. Now he has it.
For those that may not have seen the previous posts, the Township Council in Mahwah has been attempting to use inapplicable ordinances, in a discriminatory manner, to advance an agenda fueled by hatred and bigotry. Eruvin are not signs, despite the attempts of Mahwah’s council to declare them as such and parks paid for with public funds cannot legally restrict public access.
The rights to liberty and freedom, enshrined in our founding documents, are always under attack. I am very pleased that the Attorney General and others are standing up for those rights. The message needs to be heard loud and clear.
Read More “Mahwah will reap what Robert Hermansen sowed”
State to Mahwah, NJ: Fear and bigotry will not be tolerated
The Attorney General said in a statement:
“This is an extensive complaint … but the bottom line is very simple — the township council in Mahwah heard the angry, fear-driven voices of bigotry and acted to appease those voices”.
The lawsuit focuses on two ordinances the Mahwah Council passed in their retaliatory attempts to keep out Orthodox Jews from Rockland County.
- The first ordinance, in which Mahwah tried to shoehorn a sign ordinance to prevent the Eruv from going up, was discussed in detail here: Mahwah is in Search of a Violation.
- The second ordinance, in which Mahwah tried to limit access to parks which accepted public funding from the county, was discussed in detail here: Neutral Laws of General Applicability… we promise!
The lawsuit (like the others filed) will be uploaded here as soon as I receive a copy.
I’ve obtained the lawsuit and it’s posted below. I’ll follow up with docket and new filings.
Eruv Litigation dockets are now being updated at www.EruvLitigation.com
USR: Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests show that in August of 2015, the Borough of Upper Saddle River started to discuss Vaad HaEruv’s application and contract with Orange & Rockland Utlities for an Eruv covering a small portion of the borough. Records produced also show that the borough council immediately moved to draft legislation targeting it.
Last Tuesday, a Motion for Preliminary Injunction1 was filed by Plaintiffs to issue an injunction against the Borough of Upper Saddle River’s selective and targeted behavior towards the Eruv (case documents and updates can be found here). The request seeks to:
- Enjoin the municipality from removing the Eruv during the litigation.
- Enjoin the municipality from disrupting / preventing maintenance of the Eruv or restoration of damaged sections.
- Permit the Plaintiff to complete the planned expansion of the Eruv in the Borough.
Typically, in order for a preliminary injunction to issue, you must meet four criteria: Read More “Making Canon fodder of USR’s Eruv Ban (Ordinance 16-15)”
Yesterday, it was alleged on the Facebook, that I have some secret documents that show there was no bigotry or animus in the actions taken by Mahwah’s Township Council.
To be clear, I don’t think any council member ever outright said, “we need to stop Jews from moving into Mahwah”. That’s not how this kind of thing works.
But there were choices made. Choices to exclude people. And those choices to exclude, were made after complaints from residents about Hasidic Jews came to the surface. Complaints ranged from parks being used too much, to doors being knocked on for solicitation (and allegations of “blockbusting”) and more. In many cases, evidence of what was feared, was lacking or non-existent.
When faced with these pressing issues by residents, the Council had options.
Take the parks issue, where a handful of residents stated that the parks were overrun with Hasidic Jews from New York.
Would the Council opt to go with a simple ordinance that addresses the issue (e.g. “groups of 30 or more need a permit”) or would they try to ban certain (((groups))) from coming to “their” town?
The Council opted to ban (((non-residents))). Read More “The secret email…”
As was reported Wednesday by the Bergen Record’s Tom Nobile, “the State Attorney General’s Office is investigating how the township came to adopt a controversial parks ban, which local law enforcement has said could violate parkgoers’ constitutional rights.”
I have obtained a copy of the subpoena issued by the State Attorney General posted it below.
At this point, every level of law enforcement has looked at this issue and determined serious enforcement problems exist. Read More “Mahwah Council is under Civil Rights investigations by the NJ Attorney General’s Office”
This Thursday, the Mahwah Township Council will have a meeting to discuss various items on the Agenda.
Among them will be:
Someone had enough brain power to determine that the allusions to (a certain group that used arm bands to denote acceptable members of society who should have access to places like parks) was inevitable and has changed the discussion about mandatory “Arm Bands” into “Wrist Bands”.
This, as they say, changes everything!
- A Discussion about Township Parks including the issuance of Badges and Arm Bands
- Peddling and Solicitation Ordinance
– to prevent Jews with suitcases of cash from trying to buy homes, despite the fact this isn’t a real thing.
- Unlawful Use in Parks Ordinance
– including such gems as “no stringing utilities over parks” and “no aiding and abbetting ball playing”. I wonder which will have a zero tolerance policy?
So, after the acknowledgment from the Council President that the Township is “under the microscope” from the State Attorney General and that Civil Rights subpoenas have been issued, the first and best course of action they can come up with is to issue mandatory “arm bands” for the people using parks in order to keep out (((undesirables))).
Are you Team Evil or Team Stupid, Mahwah?
Tune in Thursday, to find out.
Following contentious council meetings at which many Mahwah residents screamed at elected leaders regarding NY Jews in their parks, changes to Parks rules are on the agenda. Read More “Neutral Laws of General Applicability… we promise”