What is Mahwah hiding?

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?”

When Teaneck met Lord Chesterton (on reducing bureaucracy)

For several years I’ve been working at revising certain sections of our Township code. One of the sections I’ve focused on, concerns our sign ordinance and specifically, “uniformity”.

Teaneck’s Code Sec. 33-18(c)(5)(e)(6) reads:
Uniformity. Business signs for each occupant in a building with multiple occupancies shall be uniform and compatible in height, placement and design and to the extent possible color and letter font type.

In the back of my mind whenever I ask to remove or alter a statute or ordinance that we have on the books is the parable of Chesterton’s Fence1.  The ordinance was created for a reason, after all.  And unless one understands the history and background, removing it may make you understand that the alternative to bad can sometimes be worse.  This wasn’t something taken lightly. Read More “When Teaneck met Lord Chesterton (on reducing bureaucracy)”