The secret email…

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))).

Well, not all non-residents, because despite no such exemptions in the actual ordinance, the Council President said that exemptions would be made – and {poof} exemptions were summoned into existence. Of course, laws in real life don’t work like that and the Chief of Police had to explain this, which is how we got on this crazy roller-coaster.  That in turn, led to the County Prosecutor’s involvement and the NJ State Attorney General investigating Mahwah for possible Civil Rights violations.

But initial the choice was simple enough.

Instead of opting for the type of law that would simply address their problems (e.g. group limits in parks), without implicating enforcement complications, the Council instead chose to ban (((people))) from coming to town.

Even today, it boggles my mind that they are still focusing on “bans”. They seem to have nixed the parking ban (as per advice from counsel), in favor of a required wrist-band, which would ban the (((non-wrist-band wearing crowd))). Why not just opt for the easy solution that doesn’t implicate questions of discriminatory intent?  Why not require permits for groups?  I’ve asked.  I’ll report back if I get an answer.

But, back to this notion that I’m hiding key emails. This wasn’t solely limited to a silly person on social media. The Mahwah Council President, Robert Hermansen said at the September 14th meeting, that I neglected to include some email which twisted the facts and explained away everything. I asked him which one but never got a response.

Someone suggested I just offer all of the emails I requested via OPRA (the Open Public Meetings Act), to the public.


As I’m always a fan of transparency, I thought it sounded good.

Well, here are my OPRA request responses.  All 680+ pages of them.  Have at it.  Find the email that explains how everything I wrote was wrong.  Maybe you’ll learn something about how the council operates in the process.

Happy reading.


Part 1Mahwah OPRA response_part 1


Part 2Mahwah OPRA response_part 2


Part 3Mahwah OPRA response_part 3


Part 4Mahwah OPRA response_part 4


Part 5Mahwah OPRA response_Part 5


Part 6Mahwah OPRA response_part 6


Part 7Mahwah OPRA response_part 7


Part 8Mahwah OPRA response_part 8

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