Wednesday, April 17, 2013

More on the sad state of Hackensack's democracy

A badly battered section of Euclid Avenue in Hackensack remained untouched on Tuesday, above, even as at least one crew roams around the city, patching streets, such as Fairmount Avenue, below.

How you can you have democracy in Hackensack when only about 5% of the registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday's school board election, giving yet another victory to machine politics?

How can you have democracy in Hackensack when The Record makes no attempt to identify Lynne Hurwitz, chairwoman of the city's Democratic Party, as the power behind the winning slate, just as she propped up former Assemblyman and Police Chief Ken Zisa for so many years?

That support explains why employees of "Zisaville" felt comfortable driving city owned vehicles to the polls to vote on Tuesday. 

The city has about 20,000 registered voters, but Board of Education incumbent Francis W. Albolino was the highest vote-getter with 1,091.

He has been on the board since 1992.

Other winners

Elected with him were Lara L. Rodriguez and Timothy J. Hoffman, a 2012 graduate of Hackensack High School.

Rodriguez is a former associate director of marketing at Ramapo College, and Hoffman is a naive college student.

A marketing professional is just what the board needs to obscure all of its recent failures and how it is divided by politics.

Even though Hackensack doesn't have the huge expense of busing, the board apparently still cannot afford to serve students decent food or plant vegetable gardens at schools to fight the obesity epidemic.

Opponents meet

Albolino and one of his opponents, zoning board member Lawrence Eisen, chatted amiably on Tuesday in front of a polling place, Fairmount Elementary School, but their styles couldn't be more different.

Albolino wore a dark business suit, giving him the appearance of a slick politician.

Eisen was dressed casually, wore sandals and drove to the school in an old Saab. 

Now, he has a sob story for his supporters about how he was defeated by the city's legion of apathetic voters.

Gottlieb bombs

Readers have the same reaction to today's front page -- filled with coverage of the marathon bombing in Boston -- as they did to A-1 on Tuesday.

After watching hours of blanket coverage on TV, they have had enough, and want to read something else.

Gottlieb sent Mike Kelly's tired ass to Boston, and the columnist unloaded his arsenal of hackneyed words and phrases on readers on A-1 today.

Here's yet another lead paragraph in which Kelly uses "gaze" or "gazing."

In his previous column, he trotted out, "Say hello to ...," the fifth time he has used the same trite phrase since July 2012, according to a Google search.

Staff Writer John Cichowski, another one of The Record's burned-out columnists, has more advice on how to report litterers, but stops short of telling readers they can go to the police with a license-plate number and have a summons issued to the owner of the car (L-1).

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