|Extra-wide Fairmount Avenue runs through one of Hackensack's quiet neighborhoods.|
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Do-nothing slate starts Hackensack campaign
Hackensack City Councilman John Labrosse is the only incumbent seeking another term in the May 14 election, but his own campaign literature is silent on exactly what he's accomplished in the past four years.
In a pamphlet he is distributing, Labrosse claims his victory in 2009 was "a blow against the city's power elite."
Now, he calls his 5-person slate Citizens for Change.
Labrosse's seat warming on the council only shows change is long overdue.
More troubling is that Labrosse works in plant operations at Hackensack University Medical Center, whose tax-exempt property is a burden the city's hard-pressed homeowners and other property tax payers can no longer afford.
If he is elected, Labrosse will be totally ineffective in getting his employer to give back more to Hackensack in lieu of taxes.
Shouldn't the highly profitable hospital contribute millions of dollars to a city that has been changed fundamentally by its expansion and an ambulance service that disturbs residents at all hours of the day and night?
The money could be used to repave Prospect Avenue from Ross to Central avenues and beyond; install traffic lights at Prospect Avenue intersections with stop signs and plant vegetable gardens to improve nutrition at the public schools, among other projects.
That's part of the campaign platform of blogger Victor E. Sasson.
Many residents believe another 5-person slate, the Coalition for Open Government, is backed by allies of the Zisa family, which has ruled Hackensack for decades.
Here's another Sunday front page from Editor Marty Gottlieb that brings a collective shrug from the vast majority of The Record's readers.
As Hackensack residents re-assess how HUMC can improve residents' quality of life, Gottlieb obsesses over hospital "rivalries worthy of a novel" in Passaic city and Newark (A-1).
A silly Page 1 column grades two baseball players as readers continue to give flunking grades to the paper's sports and news columnists, including Mike Kelly (O-1) and Road Warrior John Cichowski (L-1).
Also on A-1, a gee-whiz, who-cares story reports a blind scientist disputes the 2011 guilty verdict against a man who threw his wife off the Palisades.
Finally, tens of thousands Jewish and Muslim readers shrug over who will be the next pope (A-1).
On the front of Local, Staff Writer John Brennan claims the scheduling of a meeting is "another sign of the quickening pace of renewal for American Dreams Meadowlands" (L-1).
Readers roll their eyes.
On the Business front today, The Record continues to ignore customers with a splashy story on a wealthy "restaurant sales guru," whatever that is (B-1).
Using their beans
Just about the best thing in the paper is on the Better Living cover, a story on Phoebe's Place in Teaneck and other coffeehouses that serve as cultural communities.
I also loved the headline, "Cafe ole!" (BL-1).
Can't afford the time
The Opinion piece on affordable housing is also welcome, but its length will put many readers to sleep (O-1).
Hundreds of words should have been edited out, including the writer's annoying habit of quoting people with such introductory phrases as "in the word of one of its fiercest critics" or "in the words of ... a Springfield attorney."
It's no surprise the piece was written by lifer Charles Saydah, who until recently had the cushy job of editor of the letters to the editor.
Saydah laughed at deadlines and left the building nearly every day to jog -- this while some of his co-workers on the news copy desk were denied meal and coffee breaks.