MontClairVoyant: Drones, Layoffs, Builders, Rodney: Nightmares Without Wake-up Calls

BY  |  Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 1:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)



After last week’s lightweight column about Montclair’s parks, it’s time for “serious humor” again. Can you comment on the recent Board of Education, Township Council, and Planning Board meetings?

Sessions, But Not Jeff

Students and parents at June 19’s BOE meeting lamented budget-caused layoffs, while the TC on June 20 dismayingly discussed spending scarce money on drones. What a “juxta” (“juxtaposition” minus another lost “position”).


The possible drones might do surveillance for the police and check if snowy streets were plowed. Any other plans for those wasteful, privacy-invading flyers?

Airborne Scones Are Better

Some town officials could use the drones to deliver this romantic poem to their greedy developer pals: “We luvs each huge abomination/rising in downtown Montclair/It’s all about gentrification/done with cheaply built flair.”


Has the Township Council voted to support the Paris climate accord Trump pulled out of? If not, why not?

Green With Entropy

Given some TC members’ support of eco-harming overdevelopment, perhaps the most environmentalism we can expect are drones propelled by tiny windmills.

Our school district is seeing dozens of layoffs, some remaining teachers are being bumped to different grades or different schools, and other misery is affecting educators and (in September) students. What’s to blame?

Kay Otic-Situation

Mostly Gov. Christie’s aid stinginess and 2% cap on local tax hikes — two assaults on public education that have helped give him a shocking approval rate of 15%. Yes, shocking that 15% of state residents still support him.


But some decisions are local, as when a beloved 5th-grade teacher was moved to 4th grade so his daughter wouldn’t be in his 2017-18 class — disappointing many incoming 5th-grade parents who signed a protest letter (in vain) sent to the BOE. Is there a district policy covering this?

Needless Disruption

Don’t think so, but educators should be allowed to teach their own kids, especially in elementary school. Full disclosure: my daughter is among the students affected. Full disclosure 2: I saw this month’s great Studio Playhouse production of “The Twentieth Century” in the twenty-first century.


With so much school staff turmoil, why create more? But there was a bit of better news at June 26’s Planning Board meeting, where speakers favored making the proposed Lackawanna Plaza overdevelopment less dense and less dismissive of the former train station’s history. Will the developers see reason?

Moe Mogul and Barry Baron

It’s hard for them to see ANYTHING past the dollar signs filling their eyes.


Meanwhile, June 22 was not only the last day of school but also the day details of the U.S. Senate’s secretive health plan emerged to reveal a cruel Republican attempt to transfer tons of money to the rich — and Rodney Frelinghuysen helped make it happen by voting for the House version. Comment?

Trumpcare Travesty

If this becomes law, Upper Montclair’s congressman will share responsibility for millions losing insurance and many resulting deaths. Rodney must feel so proud that his Republican overlords think he’s been a very good boy.



Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.




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