Begone, Before Someone Drops a House on You!

Garretts_house Could this be a new way to silence public critics? Drop 1,000 concrete blocks on their houses?

Strange but true: A big chunk of the Hahne’s building fell, during demolition, on the home of the redevelopment effort’s most outspoken critic, Garrett Morrison.

In a post to the Montclair Watercooler, Morrison, who had focused on the downtown parking problems raised by redevelopment, wrote, "It’s now clear I should have spent just as much time on safety concerns."

No one was hurt in the accident, which happened Tuesday, but Morrison is still miffed by the town’s response. "What bothered me most was that we almost couldn’t get our town building inspector to stop the demolition while we looked for a safer way to do the job," he told Baristanet. "What also bothered me was the developer didn’t take any precautions and the construction workers didn’t stop working when the wall fell on and against my garage. Not even an apology."

No apology was forthcoming from the town either, at least in the Watercooler post of deputy mayor Joyce Michaelson, who suggested that people who have buildings fall on them call "the revelant department." Hmmm, that would the Department of Falling Buildings, right?

As soon as I saw Garrett’s message on the Cooler I forwarded it to the Manager and the Redevelopers for attention. Garrett could have contacted the Emergency Contact number posted on the safety barricades, but, if he received no response, he was correct to call the police who have 24 hour coverage. I’m glad that they were responsive.

In any emergency or question about town services the best action is to call the relevant department – the phone book lists municipal contact numbers as does the town website. They will have current information and should be helpful. If further questions arise, you can contact the Manager’s office or any of your town councilors. Direct messages to my e-mail are more effective and timely.

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  1. uhm….
    Even the most casual reading of the good councilor’s second pargraph makes clear that she is speaking of *other* possible situations *other* citizens might face. She was tying to be helpful and responsive.

  2. p.s.
    For once I share Mr. Morrison’s outrage. I’d be pretty miffed if that was my house. They knocked in his windows?

  3. The Montclair Times says it fell on Mr. Morrison’s garage. Just thought I’d mention that, and point out that the building pictured is not his house!!
    It does seem to be the result of negligence by the developers and the town. I hope Mr.M.gets his expenses back, plus a hefty compensation to partially make up for the extreme stress this must be causing him!

  4. NOT his house! ?? !!
    Curiouser and curiouser…
    Is that house occupied? Or condemned? Is it that a wall fell over on someone’s house or derelict property? What’s the deal?
    Boy, I hope the Bartisa (or someone) is not misleading us.
    The article and picture certainly imply his house was smashed.
    What gives?

  5. Thanks Barista for the quick clarification.
    (Dan Rather should take lessons from you.)
    I’d be livid if my garage were smashed.

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