UPDATE: A Chase bank manager just called to say the clock is being fixed right now — and the broken rim has been removed, though she doesn’t know by whom.
Or perhaps the most relevant reference is Nancy Drew’s “The Secret of the Old Clock,” because nobody seems to know exactly how the clock tower at the intersection of Valley Road and Bellevue Avenue in Upper Montclair got so banged up, or whose responsibility it is to fix it.
Meg Beattie Patrick spotted it a week ago, and even then the damage was a few days old. People working inside the Chase Bank noticed that a nearby trash can was mangled about the same time, leading to a theory that the damage was caused by a truck taking the corner too sharply. Gail Goodman of the Upper Montclair Business District didn’t even realize it was broken until we sent her a picture last week.
Meanwhile, whose clock is it, and whose job is it to fix it?
Even though the bank’s name is clearly on the clock’s face, Shantel Comick, branch manager at Chase, says it’s the town’s responsibility. “The last time it broke, the whole face fell off,” she said, and the broken pieces remained in her office for six months before the town fixed it. “It doesn’t belong to us,” she said. “We’re not allowed to handle it.”
But Montclair’s Community Service Department, which handles public works, says otherwise. A clerical worker in the department checked with a supervisor and reported back that Montclair expects the bank to do the repairs. “It’s Chase Bank’s responsibility,” she said.
Until someone figures it out, let’s consider it a public art installation — an homage to the famous time bender Salvador Dali. Really, is it any weirder than the mind-bending voting referendum saga playing out at 205 Claremont?