Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Son of ex-Hackensack Mayor Cerbo is running for council

Richard Cerbo urging the Hackensack City Council on Tuesday night to persuade Bergen County and Hackensack University Medical Center to contribute more to the city in view of their tax-exempt status. Cerbo is seeking a seat on the council in a special Nov. 3 election.


Richard Cerbo, son of former Hackensack Mayor Fred Cerbo, says he has filed a nominating petition to run in a special Nov. 3 election for a vacant seat on the City Council.

Fred Cerbo served on the City Council before he was elected Hackensack's mayor in 1981.

The lifelong city resident died in 2012 at the age of 87, according to a North obituary that you can read by clicking on the following link:

'He cared about the town'

'Tax-free buildings'

At Tuesday night's City Council meeting, Richard Cerbo, 63, noted there are "tax-free buildings everywhere" in Hackensack, including the county jail and courthouse, and the unemployment office.

Those agencies and services -- as well as the non-profit Hackensack University Medical Center -- draw thousands of residents from other towns to the city, Cerbo said.

For that reason, he urged city officials to try and persuade the county and hospital to contribute more to Hackensack.

Special election

The Nov. 3 election will fill a seat left vacant by the resignation of Councilwoman Rose Greenman.

The seat has been filled temporarily since April by an appointee, Jason Some, owner of Some's Uniforms on Main Street.

Greenman was severely criticized by Board of Education President Jason Nunnermacker, board Attorney Richard Salkin and other allies of the Zisa family political dynasty that ran Hackensack for decades.

Nunnermacker, an attorney, was one of the Zisa-backed candidates who ran unsuccessfully for council in 2013, losing to a reform slate that included Greenman.

Now, Nunnermacker has declared his candidacy in the Nov. 3 special election to fill her seat.

THE SUITS: Hackensack Board of Education President Jason Nunnermacker, right; board members Joseph Barreto and Timothy J. Hoffman, on aisle; and smiling board Attorney Richard Salkin took up positions in the back of City Council Chambers. Only Salkin and Barreto spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Board Attorney Richard Salkin addressing Mayor John Labrosse, City Council members and City Manager David R. Troast, left, on Tuesday night. 

School board

Nunnermacker, two other board members and board Attorney Richard Salkin attended Tuesday night's council meeting after conducting their own meeting.

It's not clear why the school board holds meetings on the same night as the council, unless it is intended to deny most residents a say in how the city's schools are run.

Residents are allowed only 3 minutes to comment, in contrast to the 5 minutes Salkin and others are given at council meetings.

To make matters worse, I cannot recall The Record covering a school board meeting in Hackensack in a year or more.

Board members count on apathy from residents as well as The Record's editors, as they did this year, when fewer than 1,000 of the city's 20,000 registered voters cast ballots and approved a $107 million budget, exceeding the city's own spending plan.

Todd South, the reporter assigned to cover Hackensack, was at Tuesday night's council meeting, but nothing about the meeting appears in the paper today.

Music in park

Hackensack City Manager David R. Troast announced three lunchtime concerts in the new Atlantic Street park on Friday, and Sept. 11 and 18.

Troast said a few downtown restaurants will take lunch orders and deliver them to the new park.

Today's paper

The Hackensack news drought apparently mirrors fear of a severe water shortage in North Jersey, where the primary supplier is asking residents "to voluntarily conserve," according to The Record (L-1).

What little news there is from Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza in today's Local section includes reports on Paterson gangs, sexual assault of a college student and lots of other crime and accident news (L-1, L-2, L-3 and L-6).

In Bergenfield, Bergen County's first female police chief was sworn in, and will be paid more than Governor Christie (L-1).

Page 1 news?

On the front page today, Editor Martin Gottlieb runs a sensational report on the arrest of Dr. Raja Jagtiani of Dumont.

The doctor was charged with criminal sexual contact and other counts for allegedly touching a patient and three employees inappropriately at his Bergenfield practice, and biting one of them on the cheek (A-1).

Page 1 is dominated by two stories on the pope's downplaying "the sin of abortion," but nowhere in the two long narratives do reporters mention the hard-line views of Republicans seeking their party's presidential nomination, including Christie.

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