Montclair’s Pending Parental Ordinances Have Some Folks Peeved

We talked about the two alcohol related pending ordinances, but over on the Montclair Watercooler, there’s a lot of discussion about a third proposed ordinance, which has been described by one Coolerista as positively “medieval.”

Ordinance 07-63
ORDINANCE AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING CHAPTER 127 OF THE MONTCLAIR TOWNSHIP CODE (“DISORDERLY CONDUCT”) TO ESTABLISH PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES OF MINORS

You can download the ordinance here. Here’s a synoposis:

Parental Responsibility Ordinance. The primary purpose of this proposed Ordinance is to encourage parents and guardians to accept greater responsibility for the conduct of minors. The ordinance essentially requires that parents and guardians exercise “reasonable supervision and control” over the conduct of their minor children and provides that they can be held accountable for the minor’s unlawful activities if there is a direct connection between the child’s unlawful activity and the parent or guardian’s failure to exercise reasonable supervision. The ordinance applies only to criminal and disorderly persons offenses and the ordinance requires that the parent or guardian must have “actual or implied knowledge of prior instances involving the same or similar conduct” in order to be found in violation of the ordinance.

To let the council know what you think about any of the pending ordinances, you can show up tomorrow night (Tuesday, 1/8) for the meeting (info here).

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78 COMMENTS

  1. “To let the council know what you think about any of the pending ordinances, you can show up tomorrow night (Tuesday, 1/8) for the meeting ”
    You mean they won’t take my phone call or read my e-mail. I HAVE to be there in person to be counted.
    BALDERDASH!!!

  2. No one has mentioned it yet, but I believe the father who seems to be the most outraged about the pending ordinances (as displayed by his comments on the Watercooler) is the same father of the child who got arrested for skateboarding where it was unlawful after being asked not do so by the Montclair police.
    Miss Martta may have hit the nail on its head with this one.

  3. @ROC and Miss Martta
    Why should parents take *criminal* responsibility for a crime that they didn’t commit or facilitate or abet? Allowing parents to be civilly liable for damages that their kids are responsible for makes more sense to me. Negligent supervision of a child should not be a criminal offense.

  4. So, we want the police to be able to raid our backyard bar-b-cues and card everyone.
    I’ll be calling the police each time my nieghbors have a party. What a hoot!!

  5. So, this ordinance will be addressing the parents that allow their children to tear up iris gardens and knock over mailboxes? Well, thats a relief, because, you know, teenagers always tell their parents openly and honestly what they’re doing, especially before they do it.
    Again, I ask why the school system isn’t tapped as a resource for a solution. Are schools only good for traditional academics and college admission prep? Couldn’t they also be utilized for character development, including ethical and moral guidance?

  6. “@ROC and Miss Martta
    Why should parents take *criminal* responsibility for a crime that they didn’t commit or facilitate or abet”
    Because parents are responsible for the actions of their children.
    I am very surprised this isn’t already the state law.

  7. I’ve got a better idea anonymous one…let the law stand as is. When the parents of your child’s best friend serves your child alcohol at one of those infamous rites of pubescent passage parties and he/she drives their new Beemer drunk and causes a vehicular manslaughter. You should not go looking for any sympathy.
    Or you can just hope that your friends parents are responsible like you are.
    I’d rather trust that the Montclair police are a lot more trustworthy than the Gestapo and would have the right to punish the ill-behaved parents throwing the junior high block party.

  8. When did parental responsibility go out of style? Your kids are YOUR responsibily until at least age 18. You should know what they are doing, and who with. If they get you in trouble for doing some dumb sh*t, you should be all over them, like a cheap suit. Somewhere along the way, somebody decided parenting worked better if the parent acted like one of the child’s friends. Let ’em do whatever they want, they are just kids. They they grow into danebrammaged adults that think the world owes them everything. The law makes parents be parents, and lets kids know they will have a lot more to do than to smooth talk the cops. Unfotunatley, I see more parents spending money to appose the law than accepting the responsibilty…

  9. “Couldn’t they also be utilized for character development, including ethical and moral guidance?”
    Why is this the school’s job? I thought this begins in the home.

  10. “Reasonable supervision” and only holding parent accountable if they “actual or implied knowledge” doesn’t sound like a police state – sounds like …..parenting?

  11. “No one has mentioned it yet, but I believe the father who seems to be the most outraged about the pending ordinances (as displayed by his comments on the Watercooler) is the same father of the child who got arrested for skateboarding where it was unlawful after being asked not do so by the Montclair police.
    Miss Martta may have hit the nail on its head with this one.
    Posted by 13%annualtaxhike | January 7, 2008 2:57 PM”
    The kid was standing in a bank parking lot holding a skateboard when he was arrested. He was with friends- all standing in a bank parking lot.
    The friends were not arrested.
    He was charged with tresspassing – not skateboarding.
    Keep your facts straight- it is legal to skateboard in Montclair- everywhere except on sidewalks and Bloomfield and Chruch Streets and private property when the owner complains.
    The bank did not complain. The police took it on themselves!
    The particular cop who arrested him has targeted him and follows him around.

  12. Agreed Prof.
    IMO, the ordinance is nothing more than an attempt to remind parents not to get minors inebriated. One would think this is obvious enough, but you know these parents today. Their kids could do now wrong. And if they did wrong, they would never do it again.
    I hope people don’t truly have such a low opinion of the Montclair police, that they believe they would be carding your children in your backyard.
    I suppose the penalty for serving minors should involve waterboarding?

  13. There’s a fine line between child discipline and child abuse, thanks to all the laws, ordinances, and lawyers out there today. Many parents probably don’t want to explore where that line exactly is for fear of legal offense, or don’t have the time in this Type-A-24/7-crackberry-career-dominated world to dedicate to being the kind of the parent we all idealize being. Its no excuse, but real problems of today require real fresh solutions, not tired outmoded ones.
    The situation is delicate and complicated and requires an equally thoughtful solution for best results. Education through punishment is short-sighted and demeaning … it often causes people to rebel even further rather than induce conformity.

  14. Want to know the facts Belletones?
    I attended that meeting hosted by the parents of this said skateboarder. I also offered some genuine useful advice to the group of mostly teenagers. One thing that the parents at the meeting stressed was that if the town was to consider building a skatepark, then the teens need to stop skating on private property that was not their own. Two days later, I was at the Chase bank on North Fullerton. Low and behold, one of the teens who was at the meeting was skating in the parking lot.
    First of all, what was the accused person doing at the bank with a skateboard in hand at the day of his arrest. Dollars to donuts he did not make a bank transaction. Plus, whose word was it that he was not skating there.
    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. If the police asked me to stop skating in the past where I was not allowed to, I wouldn’t be found anywhere near that location, with or without a skateboard on my person! Perhaps this tendency of mine to avoid trouble came as a result of good parenting. I’ll leave it to you to ponder why this so called victim chose to hang out there.

  15. “Couldn’t they also be utilized for character development, including ethical and moral guidance?”
    Want to take that one, ROC?

  16. If Jim’s statement isn’t the perfect example of the failure of modern parenting, I don’t know what is.
    “The situation is delicate and complicated and requires an equally thoughtful solution for best results.”
    Nonsense.

  17. Bravo. I like it, parents responsible for their children and their actions. How is that medieval? Medieval is when they hung babies on pegs with a bucket to catch the slop and if they lived long enough to become adults, then they were thought to get their soul. I guess only parents with bad kids need worry. And there are so few of those among all the little angels today, what’s the hoopla about?

  18. Miss Martta responds with the quintessential government job tone, “that’s not my job!”
    Well, it shouldn’t be, but since we are seeing evidence that parents are not always providing the kind of child development that would ensure law-abiding behavior, where else do you suggest we can address the problem? It seems reasonable to me that schools can expand their curriculum to include character development programs … why is this any different than mathematics, science, history, and language skills? …

  19. “The kid was standing in a bank parking lot holding a skateboard when he was arrested. He was with friends- all standing in a bank parking lot.”
    When I was his age, we used to hang out at the mall. Or if we were feeling particularly mischievous, would solicit the 7-Eleven. Not that it is illegal to hang out at a bank, which seems to be your point, but one must question the choice of location that this group decided to choose to hang out. Why a bank? Why with a skateboard in hand?
    Trust me, I know all about trespassing. I was arrested for the same charge when a retail establishment in Paramus treated me very unfairly.
    Of course, the judge saw that I had a good reason to argue with this retailer and dropped the charges if I agreed not to frequent the location any longer. I happily obliged.

  20. My wife and I were walking up Church Street yesterday around 3:00PM when a few skateboarders arrived from the vicinity of the skateboard shop, skated up the street on Church Street with disregard to the cars trying to drive up the road, using language I hope their parents don’t condone and trying to do tricks (I think spinning the board somehow and landing back on the board) which none of them succeeded in completing but making a racket trying.
    I’m so glad these fine young men are trying to get us all behind their plight.
    Yes, I do hold their parents responsible for their actions.

  21. That trick is called an ‘Olly’, or at least that was what it was called when I used to skate. Of course back then, the cops modus operandi was to protect and to serve rather than spend their days seeking out teenagers who hang out in banks with skateboards in their hands.

  22. “Well, it shouldn’t be, but since we are seeing evidence that parents are not always providing the kind of child development that would ensure law-abiding behavior, where else do you suggest we can address the problem? It seems reasonable to me that schools can expand their curriculum to include character development programs … why is this any different than mathematics, science, history, and language skills?”
    Well, Jim, let’s take that a step further then. How do you feel about schools projecting their morality (whatever view they take) onto your kids? Do you want the schools teaching your kids abstinence or “free love?” Or would you rather teach them your OWN views and values? If you happen to be an atheist (I don’t know if you are or not), do you also want your school to teach your kids from a Christain framework or the Creationist view?

  23. As a teenage kid in Montclair, we hung out at Belclair lanes, Blimpies, Fun and Games in Willowbrook Mall, or just ran around the mall like rats. If that wasn’t enought action, we went roller skating at USA roller rink in the West Belt Mall. As far as hanging out was concerned, we did it (for the most part) with the consent of the store owners. It was never considered a right to loiter. If we were asked to leave and didn’t, and the cops came, we knew it was our asses. Forget beingin trouble by the cops, it was our PARENTS we were worried about. The first thing they wanted to know was why we disobeyed authority. So after the cops embarrased our parents, then we got it. I don’t see that with today’s kids. No respect for authority, and they know their parents will back them up. it used to be enough to tell the parents what their kids did, because the cops knew the parents would handle it. Now we see the parents are just as bad as the kids. They would rather fight the law than to explain to their kids why breaking the law is bad. So yes, it’s a good idea that parents be reprimanded as well as the kids. Then maybe some parents will grow up too.

  24. MM: If you’re talking about curriculum mapping, it would be the same as “their” math, “their” history, and “their” english. Obviously, the proposed program would be regulated at the state level by a committee to ensure checks and balances.
    Also, character development does not invoke religious and spiritual values, unlike science curriculum. Teaching “right” from “wrong,” morals and ethics is pretty universally accepted no matter what household you run. But if Mommy & Daddy don’t always set a great example, how else will their children learn any different?

  25. “But if Mommy & Daddy don’t always set a great example, how else will their children learn any different?”
    By rewarding your children for knowingly breaking the law. A duh!

  26. Man, I didn’t do any of those things. We belonged to the “Y” and I loved their indoor 1/4 mile running track. Did that, met friends, played indoor deck tennis in the winter, table tennis (ping-pong) and took some art class in modern art. I was never allowed to “hang out” with a group in a town center and “look for excitment”. Also belonged to a theatre group there, and got really terrific at in- door volley ball, became team captain. Loads of other stuff, too. Played the drums in a band that the “Y” sponcered. Was all alot of fun. The 3 different pools were good and especially the heated one in the winter.
    None of the teens in our group were allowed to roam the streets freely. You had to have a destination, and your parents had to know where, and with whom.

  27. “Well, it shouldn’t be, but since we are seeing evidence that parents are not always providing the kind of child development that would ensure law-abiding behavior, where else do you suggest we can address the problem?”
    I suggest for these people of which you speak we address the problem with birth control!

  28. Just to get things straight, there are THREE ordinances. The first two deal with alcohol consumption, the third is a “parental responsibility” law.
    Parental responsibility as referred to here means the parent is financially liable for damages (always was) and also CRIMINALLY liable for CRIMINAL ACTS OF THE MINOR.
    That means, for example, if a skateboarder is arrested for “illegal skateboarding,” or “trespassing” or whatever, the NEXT time he’s caught his PARENTS get thrown in the slammer.
    There is a LOT of research on this, and some of it is on the ‘cooler. In summary?
    It doesn’t work
    It’s unconstitutional
    It’s illegal
    States that have tried it have seen an INCREASE in juvenile crime
    It penalizes single parents, and others who may not have the best parenting skills
    It penalizes PARENTS
    What part of this sounds good to anyone? Sure we WANT parents to take responsibility for teaching their kids the right thing to do, but punishing the PARENTS may not be the best way to achieve this

  29. There is a LOT of research on this, and some of it is on the ‘cooler. In summary?
    It doesn’t work
    It’s unconstitutional
    It’s illegal
    States that have tried it have seen an INCREASE in juvenile crime
    It penalizes single parents, and others who may not have the best parenting skills
    It penalizes PARENTS
    “What part of this sounds good to anyone? Sure we WANT parents to take responsibility for teaching their kids the right thing to do, but punishing the PARENTS may not be the best way to achieve this”
    This sounds real good to me. People need to get back to being responsible for their own. If you are the PARENT then you are responsible. The first time you get in trouble by the cops, you should be pissed off enough to get in your child’s ass like a proctologist. Most parents have better things to do than to be in court defending their kids. But parents nowadays think it’s somebody else’s reponsibily to take care f their kids whenthey aren’t around. When i was a kid, I thought my parents were tyrants, now I realized they saved my life. When the law passes, and your child continues to get in trouble, then the parent deserves everything they get. Parents are here to turn children into responsible adults, not to be cool older people. Wake the hell up!

  30. “That means, for example, if a skateboarder is arrested for “illegal skateboarding,” or “trespassing” or whatever, the NEXT time he’s caught his PARENTS get thrown in the slammer.”
    Well, that’ll wake ’em up. Nothing else has.

  31. “That means, for example, if a skateboarder is arrested for “illegal skateboarding,” or “trespassing” or whatever, the NEXT time he’s caught his PARENTS get thrown in the slammer.”
    Has anyone read the law? The parents are not punished for the child’s criminal activity. They are only punished if they are not providing “reasonable supervision and control”.
    And then in the “most extreme circumstances” upto $2000 or 90 days in jail.
    So if skate boy keeps getting repeated infractions and the parent’s are not doing anything about it, throw them in the slammer for a weekend. I’ll bet dear old dad would (finally) begin to take a “dim view” of skaterboy’s flauting of the law.
    This law is eminently reasonable, I applaud it.

  32. @ROC
    Great point, the parents aren’t being punished for crime of the child, but for their negligent supervision of their children.
    But, the parents are still being charged with a misdemeanor crime punishable by possible jail time!
    Why should I, as a married man, be responsible for the criminal acts of my wife? Or my children? Or my mother? The only criminal acts I should be responsible for are those that *I* committed. If my kids go out to play, how am I going to prove to the judge that I yelled at my kid not to skateboard on the sidewalk? What if the kid sneaks out? What if the kid says that I was criminally negligent to get back at his old man? This criminal law is extremely stupid.

  33. “Why should I, as a married man, be responsible for the criminal acts of my wife? Or my children? Or my mother? ”
    You are not responsible for the criminal acts of your children, didn’t you read the law you quote?
    You are responsible for your LACK of action AS A PARENT in providing “reasonable supervision and control”.
    Are you saying you should not have that responsibility? And that if you fail in that responsibility and that failure harms others you are not culpable?

  34. So if the parents have say 4 children, 3 are normal adolescents, a little trouble here or there but learn their lesson; good kids. The forth, nothing but trouble, and getting worse, no matter what the parents do; gets into a serious situation.
    Are the parents subject to only 25% of the penalty since 3 kids are good?
    What if the fine will cause hardship to the family?
    Do both parents go to jail for the weekend, in which case who takes care of the kids? Or do they draw straws?
    It’s B S
    There are juvenile detention centers, there are laws for child neglect, this looks like some sort of feel good law that is not necessary and is probably unconstitutional.
    The people proposing the law should be put away for the weekend on GP.

  35. ?Why should I, as a married man, be responsible for the criminal acts of my wife? Or my children? Or my mother? The only criminal acts I should be responsible for are those that *I* committed. If my kids go out to play, how am I going to prove to the judge that I yelled at my kid not to skateboard on the sidewalk? What if the kid sneaks out? What if the kid says that I was criminally negligent to get back at his old man? This criminal law is extremely stupid.?
    You are not responsible for the criminal actions of your wife or mother. Your wife is an adult (we hope!), capable of determining between right and wrong. Same with your mother (unless she is mentally incapacitated). Your children are your wards ? you are responsible for the development of their currently immature decision making. That is why we have parental guidance control on cable, age limits on driving, tobacco and alcohol, and the age of consent.
    Passive aggressive parenting ? not a good idea.

  36. Although this ordinance may be well intentioned…it has too many gray areas and will be a legal nightmare for the town if it is ever actively pursued (especially by a parent(s) who happen to be high profiled attorneys if their kid gets in trouble)… and this town is full of them.
    I’d really think twice about it.
    Could end up costing Montclair a lot of money.
    just sayin…

  37. “So if skate boy keeps getting repeated infractions and the parent’s are not doing anything about it, throw them in the slammer for a weekend.”
    Why? Why not throw the kid that broke the law in the slammer, or juvy or whatever they throw kids? He’s the one that broke the law, not the parent.
    “Has anyone read the law? The parents are not punished for the child’s criminal activity. They are only punished if they are not providing “reasonable supervision and control”.
    I’ve read it, and maybe it’s because I’m not a lawyer, but I’m wondering about the judgement of what is “reasonable supervision and control”. It seems vague and subject to varying interpretation depending on who the judge is that day.
    “you are responsible for the development of their currently immature decision making.”
    So, does this assume that if you do a go job raising your kid, there is no way they can get in trouble? Of course not. And if/when they do, how do you prove you did everything reasonable (short of chaining the kid to the radiator)?

  38. This, from a post on the Watercooler, makes sense to me:
    Here’s an additional comment from the ACLU:
    To date, no empirical study has been conducted to support the claim that these
    laws have an impact on youth crime.
    And another:
    a 1963 study undertaken by the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare
    examined 16 States that had enacted civil parental liability statutes and
    compared the rate of juvenile crime in those States with those in the rest of
    the country. The study revealed that the rate of juvenile delinquency in the 16
    States was slightly higher than the national average.
    And finally,
    Keith W. Watters, president of the National Bar Association, does not believe
    parents should be held accountable for the criminal acts of their children. “The
    history of American law has never held another person accountable for the
    misdeeds of another. Criminal law seeks to deter, punish and rehabilitate the
    wrongdoer. A criminal act is the conscious choice of a wrongdoer and not of
    another person, parent or friend.”
    Based on the above, I suggest that Montclair approach this subject very
    carefully. I do know that the MCIA has spent significant time on the
    Ordinances. Perhaps the Community should now be given aditional time to think
    things over, and to express their public opinion.

  39. I’d welcome your providing more recent research.
    Seems to me that back in 1963 kids were even more fearful of their parents. If back then the laws not only didn’t work, but INCREASED crime it’s likely that they won’t work now.
    I don’t know if you’re a parent, or a HS Junior, ROC. But I do know many families with unfortunate situations where they have a kid, or kids, who are “out of control.”
    Looking like “perfect” Montclair families they’ve tried just about everything but the kid still manages to get into trouble.
    Some of these stories end tragically.
    A law that threatens to CRIMINALLY punish the parents is unlikely more of a motivating factor for these parents. They are desperate. Telling them they’ll go to jail if they don’t get the kid under control does nothing. And besides, if you did throw the parents in jail what would you do with the kids.
    I attended a parenting session at the HS last year. It was one of those “this is what teens are like.” At the end, after they warned of horrors like “moody kids” I asked “What if the kids have real emotional problems? What if the kids are unmotivated learners? Where do parents turn?” The answer was “I’m sure there must be someplace in the Community.”
    Instead of holding a gun to the parents head, Why don’t we offer them help?
    As to the kids themselves, what services to we offer them?
    Perhaps we could look at the problem that way!

  40. There are several things that are confusing about the plan to have parents be responsible for the actions of their children. For one thing, how does one prove or disprove that someone has failed to exercise reasonable supervision and control over their child. With a state law and a proposed township ordinance covering the same violation, how will it be determined when to use which law, and will some kids be cited as violating the town ordinance while others are cited as violating the state statute. Who will make that determination, police, the judge or some other authority?
    Such laws have been ruled unconstitutional in other communities, because, like the Montclair ordinance, they fail to define “reasonable supervision”, are vague, and have no way of being evenly applied.
    This ordinance would seek to place the burden of proof on the accused parent and would violate due process and if challenged, would certainly be ruled unconstitutional.
    We already have many laws and a Juvenile Court system for kids who violate our laws, so why would Montclair want to create softer laws that carry no lasting penalty, if the problem is as pronounced as Montclair claims.

  41. The situation is delicate and complicated and requires an equally thoughtful solution for best results. Education through punishment is short-sighted and demeaning … it often causes people to rebel even further rather than induce conformity.
    Posted by Jim | January 7, 2008 3:32 PM
    – so true and can this ordinance really be successfully enforced? Also, the facts that Curmudgeon states above seem more for real.
    Speaking of rebellion…thirty years ago, it seemed like the Third World War of drugs and alcohol around here and this situation took its ugly toll. Modern day rebellion (and monstrous liabilities) could be much worse.
    With this ordinance, parents would be held accountable for the criminal acts of their children spiraling out of control but what about children who are suffering because their parents are spiraling out of control? This situation is so extremely delicate. Education and awareness are perhaps more of a real solution.(I wish that there really was a solution ).

  42. Sandy,
    Sounds like you had a Y membership. Sadly, my parents couldn’t afford one. Should they have locked me in the basement instead of letting me out as a teen?
    Montclair needs a rec center!

  43. “Montclair needs a rec center!”
    Belletones, as much as I am against spending millions of our tax dollars on needless authorities, field houses and wayfinding signs. I do believe a rec center would be a justified use of my tax dollars.
    It is truly sad that the town council continues to concentrate on such ordinances as this one and the recent leash laws rather than focus on issues that really matter. In my opinion the diaspora of the middle and lower class income earners who make up the wonderful fabric we call Montclair are being run out of town due to the spiraling increases of our property taxes. So what does our town council concentrate their time and efforts on? Passing powerless and potentially illegal and unenforceable ordinances. I suppose, as a result of these recent blunders, we’ll be seeing the creation of the new ordinance authority. Or perhaps we’ll just have to hire an outside consultant to make sure that the town council is not left looking foolish with every new action they take. I’m leaning towards the latter of the two, although the first option would certainly justify the second.
    But don’t fret! Your taxes won’t increase. You’ll just be billed separately as was the case with the sewer authority, cause we all know that if it is not collected with the property taxes, then it is not a tax increase whatsoever.
    Our town council ought to be ashamed of themselves.

  44. 13%annualtaxhike
    The future is NOW. The town council is already hiring consultants for most anything proposed. $40,000 dropped here and there.
    If memory serves me right, the dog ordinance was written by a consultant.
    They are also spending money on trying to sue Ted Mattox for doing his job. Something that they’ll never be sucessful at.
    I’ll be happy when the present lot is overthrown.

  45. Sandy,
    Sounds like you had a Y membership. Sadly, my parents couldn’t afford one. Should they have locked me in the basement instead of letting me out as a teen
    ________
    Yes, it was a Y-Membership, and c’mon, of course your folks should not lock you up in the basement, when you were a teen.
    As I see it, the problem(s) come into the picture with the teens personal choice of type of activity they chose to partake in and more importantly WHO THEY HANG WITH. If John goes to the Rec center to “Shoot Hoops” and do exercises that’s good, but if Bill goes there to “hang out” and look to buy some cheap pot – that’s bad. If – what we use to call “Hoods” (remember?) use it as a meeting place to talk about how to steal a car, that’s bad. So, one or the other group will become dominent at the center, pushing out the other group. It
    Has to have strict enforment codes, by whomever runs it.
    But, yes, it’s a good idea “on paper” ~ but in the real world it’s got to be made top notch, clean, and have purpose so that it doesn’t become a place of broken beer bottles outside and broken dreams inside.
    PS/ IF a parent meets with a person of importance at the Y and does express a need to have a membership for a young person, and the financial part is keeping that from happening, they will frequently accept what the parent is comfortable with paying, and adjust that downward so that the early teen can in fact join in. They will not keep you out, due to Mom & Dad’s financial ability to pay. (Or soI have been told)…..

  46. Oh,,,,,,, I forgot, you cannot issue a local town ordinance which overrides a state statute. That is simply illegal, and the town council must surely know this, don’t they still have town attorneys or are we farming that out too? Should Montclair cite anyone under a local ordinance and not the state statute, yet others are prosecuted under existing state law, well, Montclair would be opening themselves up to major lawsuits, which the taxpayers would have to pay

  47. Here’s a thought – since these ordinances overlap State laws and if memory serves, one of the Township responses I read indicated that they would give the Twp an option of charging a parent with a muni violation instead of a State criminal charge… hm! Who would get the money for the fines collected, if the Town imposes a muni violation? ?? HMMMM??? Could this all be just another ploy to collect more money from us, a’la higher parking fees, burglar alarm registration, increased building permit fees, the Sewer Authority … etc.
    ??
    Frankly if the behavior warrants police action and charges under State law, why NOT send the matter to Superior Court in Newark – we pay enough into that operation already, so might as well get our money’s worth!

  48. “But I do know many families with unfortunate situations where they have a kid, or kids, who are “out of control.”
    So no one should be held responsible for these “out of control” kids?
    “I attended a parenting session at the HS last year. It was one of those “this is what teens are like.” At the end, after they warned of horrors like “moody kids” I asked “What if the kids have real emotional problems? What if the kids are unmotivated learners? Where do parents turn?” The answer was “I’m sure there must be someplace in the Community.”
    We do have a place in the community to take care of troubled children, like those who try to set their parents on fire, kill the family dog and the like. We used to call it the Southeast school. It’s one of the several schools Montclair sold off. And you thought the town had only been run by idiots in the recent past. They also sold off the Deron School, formerly known as the Grove Street School. After these schools were sold off, we had no room for the influx of little kids, so the Rand School, a/k/a School of Performing Arts was taken away from the high school and given to them.

  49. Actually, I never thought the town was run by idiots in the past. From what I’ve heard there were a lot of right things that went on in the past.
    Selling off schools wasn’t the wisest thing to do. But I wonder, what was the data that led them to do that? Why in the world would they decide the schools weren’t needed? And if they no longer needed the schools, why couldn’t they lease them instead of sell them?
    And what about our NEW school? What in the world leads them to conclude we need a new school to handle some huge influx? Even the BOE’s data shows a leveling of enrollment, the town’s population is down, and the population forecast for Essex County even shows people leaving. So why build the new school?

  50. So why build the new school?
    To obey fundamental bureaucratic imperatives: grow the mandate, increase the footprint, accumulate power and accomplishment. Heaven forbid simply maintaining a decent status quo.

  51. Typical fascist tactics by the bloated-overpaid Montclair Police. You mean if I serve wine for dinner to my almost adult kids I could get arrested. Maybe those cops should have to ge out of their super-charged Dodges with the new expensive low-profile lights and actually walk a beat, downtown, uptown, at the train stations etc. instead of laying in wait for teenagers.Stop harassing the citizens and actually stop crime!

  52. Maybe there is a timetable for Renaissance to vacate the rented IC building? Though IMO moving Renaissance to what is now the Rand school (as I think is the plan) might take away a bit from its cachet.
    plus we are *supposed* to be gaining a few more seats this way, to relieve overcrowding … ?

  53. Typical fascist tactics by the bloated-overpaid Montclair Police. You mean if I serve wine for dinner to my almost adult kids I could get arrested. Maybe those cops should have to ge out of their super-charged Dodges with the new expensive low-profile lights and actually walk a beat, downtown, uptown, at the train stations etc. instead of laying in wait for teenagers.Stop harassing the citizens and actually stop crime!

  54. glove, The council created the law, the cops simply enforce it.
    So, aren’t the facists here the council?
    (But I must admit that Charger Police car is HOT!!)

  55. Most of the Montclair cops I’ve seen look pretty fit.
    Any adult that serves alcohol to ‘almost adult’ kids should be keelhauled.

  56. Prof, they are the 5.9 (Half-Hemi) – not the 6.1 Full Hemi, which can eaisly out run them, with the higher axle ratio, and different cam, with the larger engine cradle. On a straight-A-Way, the Full Hemi can & will hang with a base model Corvette.
    I have driven a 6.1 Hemi on a track. It’s outragous !

  57. Prof, in my own humble opinion it does; I think it’s very cool that the kids go off-campus for different activities and is small enough for everyone to know each other. I wish I could go (waaay) back in time and be a 7th grader there now instead of the junior high I endured. But that’s what is nice about Montclair – so many options, and so many opinions!

  58. It was a bait and I may be biased, but it is a great school!
    I’d happily do 6th, 7th or 8th grade (but that’s all) over again.

  59. “You mean if I serve wine for dinner to my almost adult kids I could get arrested.”
    Well, uh, no actually
    “…this Ordinance shall not apply (a) to a parent or guardian of the person under legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages if the parent or guardian is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages…”
    Why don’t you try READING the ordinance before going off half cocked. They have been posted on the Montclair website for a while.

  60. The new school adds 150 seats. The Renaissance contract is not running out.
    In the grades that are under consideration, I believe I once calculated that the new school would reduce class size by 2 kids, in each class. Probably taking something like 25 kids per class down to 23.
    Is that enough to make a difference in Elementary school? Perhaps some of the educators in this audience could comment.
    Actually, when folks got up to speak on why the new school should be built, the only reasons I remember hearing was:
    1. We deserve a new school
    2. We haven’t built a new school in 70 years
    3. We need an impressive new school in keeping with the image we want to project.

  61. The new school adds 150 seats. The Renaissance contract is not running out.
    In the grades that are under consideration, I believe I once calculated that the new school would reduce class size by 2 kids, in each class. Probably taking something like 25 kids per class down to 23.
    Is that enough to make a difference in Elementary school? Perhaps some of the educators in this audience could comment.
    Actually, when folks got up to speak on why the new school should be built, the only reasons I remember hearing was:
    1. We deserve a new school
    2. We haven’t built a new school in 70 years
    3. We need an impressive new school in keeping with the image we want to project.

  62. The new school adds 150 seats. The Renaissance contract is not running out.
    In the grades that are under consideration, I believe I once calculated that the new school would reduce class size by 2 kids, in each class. Probably taking something like 25 kids per class down to 23.
    Is that enough to make a difference in Elementary school? Perhaps some of the educators in this audience could comment.
    Actually, when folks got up to speak on why the new school should be built, the only reasons I remember hearing was:
    1. We deserve a new school
    2. We haven’t built a new school in 70 years
    3. We need an impressive new school in keeping with the image we want to project.

  63. “…in keeping with the image we want to project.”
    Isn’t this the official Montclair motto coined be Ed Spendsum?

  64. I think folks don’t realize that this Town Council deliberately went about spending money on capital projects, believing early in their term that the town had spent “too little” in the past.
    Like a homeowner in a rapidly rising market, they realized they had “untapped” borrowing power. So they borrowed and spent.
    They’ve done a lot of good, true, but we now have a LOT of debt and are faced with a rising tax burden.
    Don’t blame it all on Ed. At times he has been the most restrained of the bunch!

  65. “The new school adds 150 seats. The Renaissance contract is not running out.”
    You continue to present this dishonestly.
    It ALSO replaces the entire population of Rand PLUS 150 seats. SO ALL OF RAND could move and Renaissance could move to Rand.
    Be against the new school, I am myself. But at least be intellectually honest about how you present the facts.

  66. I heard about that on the news this morning, Scott. Props to that mom! Now that’s what I call an example of a good parent.

  67. But at least be intellectually honest about how you present the facts.
    You are such a buzzkill! The only honest fact that matters about the new school is that it is gua-ran-TEED to be haunted! They have dug up something like 45,000 skeletons and stuff.

  68. Oh, c’mon ROC.
    The school adds 150 NET, NEW seats.
    Of COURSE it also replaces the entire Rand population!
    Did anyone out there in Baristaland actually think there were ONLY 150 seats in the new school?

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