Bloomfield Council members recently voted to end John Lazar’s 15-year tenure as Zoning Board Chairman. Was this a result of constituent complaints or is it politics as usual? The council’s vote is just the latest signal of trouble brewing at city hall. Lazar sounded off with a biting response to Bloomfield Life:
“They’re a disgrace,” said Lazar, dubbing the four √¢‚Ç¨‚Äù Janice Maly, Patricia Ritchings, Bernard Hamilton and Patricia Spychala √¢‚Ç¨‚Äù “the most incompetent council people I have ever seen in my life.”
Lazar says the need for “a change” makes little sense, as the zoning board is solely concerned with legal issues. “The law is the law,” said Lazar, adding there can be “no fresh view” on zoning issues.
The fact that the four chose to oust Lazar (as well as board of health member Lisa Jasinski) without public discussion has stirred controversy.[Councilman Ray]Tamborini said it is √¢‚Ç¨≈ìquite obvious√¢‚Ç¨¬ù that the four members √¢‚Ç¨≈ìhave gotten together on this.√¢‚Ç¨¬ù
The same four acted similarly last June, when they voted without discussion not to re-appoint longtime Township Attorney Vincent Pirone.
√¢‚Ç¨≈ìIt smells like a violation,√¢‚Ç¨¬ù Tamborini said.
The ousting reportedly shocked Mayor Ray McCarthy, who questioned why Lazar was booted out.
“Is it to embarrass me?” McCarthy asked. “Is it to disrupt the community? I don’t know. I’m stunned.”
Lazar hinted that his exit from the zoning board might not mean the end of his tenure as a township official. He said this latest √¢‚Ç¨≈ìstunt√¢‚Ç¨¬ù by the council might actually advance him in his political career. He did not elaborate, however, saying he has not decided whether to run for mayor in 2007.