|A recent City Council meeting in Hackensack's City Hall.|
Should a city employee function as "Editor" of Hackensack's Community Message Boards, delete information about the Borg family he considers "a personal attack" and not identify himself?
The "Editor" is Albert H. Dib, executive director of the Upper Main Alliance, a business group that will receive $360,595 in city taxpayer money this year, including his $58,000 salary.
The Main Street group is dominated by real estate interests who pushed for approval of a downtown redevelopment plan by the City Council.
Dib also is said to be Web master of the city of Hackensack's official municipal site, Hackensack.org.
He is listed on the Community Message Boards, at HackensackNow.org, as:
The May 14 Hackensack City Council election is one of the most important in Hackensack's history, and recently, a lawn sign supporting the Hackensack Coalition for Open Government -- widely viewed as the "Zisa Slate" -- appeared in front of Dib's home in the Fairmount section.
Victor E. Sasson, an independent candidate for City Council, was able to identify the home as Dib's from the list of registered voters and their addresses.
When Sasson questioned Dib's impartiality on HackensackNow, he replied:
"This is a two-family house. My tenant has a right to display lawn signs as well. I have not made up my mind as to all five candidates yet.
"I have been very careful not to endorse any candidates for office on this site. You don't need to try to do that for me.
"'Editor' has been my handle on this site for almost 10 years now. I don't plan on changing it for you."
The lawn sign was removed a couple of days ago.
|Lawn signs at Euclid Avenue and Clarendon Place in Hackensack.|
Kenneth Martin, a retired detective who heads the Open Government slate, has been charged with removing the signs of a rival slate from in front of Hackensack Market on Passaic Street.
Martin boasts of having been the first school resource officer at Hackensack High School. He's setting quite an example for students.
Martin was undone by a surveillance camera after City Council candidate Leo Battaglia of the Citizens for Change slate filed a complaint with police.
A probable cause hearing for Martin is set for Thursday, according to The Record (Friday's L-10).
|The home page of HackensackNow.org.|
City employee Dib's role on HackensackNow might be overlooked, if he clearly identified himself and didn't censor and delete remarks posted on the sight by "members," who also don't have to identify themselves.
They use such tags as "JustWatching," "BLeafe" and "averagejoe."
The 537 members -- in a city of 45,000 with 20,000 registered voters -- range from residents proud of Hackensack's history and interested in current events to crackpots and vicious character assassins.
When Sasson started posting Eye on The Record and his campaign announcements on HackensackNow, the "Editor" objected and put them under a new category, "Community Soapbox."
The "Editor" even started a poll among members to see whether he could kick Eye on The Record off the site, but only 6 members expressed any opinion.
When Sasson defended the blog as trying to tell the story of how the Borg family abandoned Hackensack and stood by as editors drastically reduced news of the city, the "Editor" deleted some of those comments.
Specifically, he deleted how a 2008 downsizing followed by several months Publisher Stephen A. Borg's purchase of a $3.65 million McMansion in Tenafly with a company mortgage.
Dib says he has identified himself on HackensackNow in the past.
But new members remain in the dark about his city salary and his loyalties to the Zisa family and city Democratic Party chairwoman Lynne Hurwitz, who have ruled Hackensack for so many decades.
Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes plays catch up today with an expanded story about Tuesday's school board election in Hackensack (L-1).
The story appears after Eye on The Record wondered why Sykes had published immediate follow-ups on the contests in Englewood and Secaucus, but ignored Hackensack, where machine politics again triumphed over reform candidates.
In Hackensack, incumbent Francis W. Albolino won yet another term, having first joined the Board of Education in 1992.
Fewer than 1,100 of the 20,000 registered voters went to the polls, so the losing slate -- incumbent Rhonda Williams Bembry, Lawrence Eisen and Judith Carter -- also were victims of voter apathy.
Considering all of the board's failures and the poor reputation of the public schools, Albolino is a persuasive argument for term limits.
Upper Main Alliance
A City in Motion