Sean Spiller Announces Run For Montclair Mayor, But What About BOSE? (UPDATED)

Update: Spiller responds to Baristanet’s questions about education responsibilities if elected mayor here.

Third Ward Councilor Sean M. Spiller announced plans to run for Montclair mayor today, following news Monday that Mayor Robert Jackson had decided not to run for re-election.

Baristanet reached out to Spiller yesterday to ask about a planned run for mayor and how he would handle the issue of serving on the Board of School Estimate, a duty that the mayor performs per the statute. Baristanet also asked whether Spiller had inquired about, if he is elected mayor, whether his Board of Education appointments would also be an issue in terms of possible conflict of interest.

In February 2016, a judge ruled against Spiller in a suit brought by Montclair Kids First, determining a conflict of interest in his service to the Township of Montclair’s Board of School Estimate. Spiller, Montclair’s Third Ward Councilor, was serving on the Montclair Board of School Estimate while also serving as secretary-treasurer of the New Jersey Education Association.

Spiller has not yet responded to these questions; Baristanet will update as we learn more.

Spiller’s full announcement is here:

“Montclair is more than a place. It’s an ideal. Our beautiful community is a beacon of progress, justice and equality.

That’s why my wife Lauren and I chose Montclair to call our home and raise our growing family, and why today, I am proud to announce my candidacy for Mayor.

Preserving the Montclair ideal is a collective effort. During my term on council, we’ve worked to protect and enhance the things that make Montclair so special. We’ve made critical investments in infrastructure and parks, stood up for our progressive values, all while significantly reducing our municipal debt.

I have always believed that progress begins on the local level — that local government can do much to improve the lives of many. Communities throughout the state look to Montclair as an example of what government can do when we follow through on our progressive values.

I’m proud of the progress we’ve made together. Hand – in – hand, we stood up for working families and finally made paid sick leave in Montclair a reality. We did our part for our climate by passing a ban on single use plastic bags. We invested in our future by increasing funding for our library and Pre-K. And, together we sent a message to Washington DC that everyone has a place in Montclair, including our undocumented neighbors.

We’ve made great strides, but there’s still much to be done.

Over the course of the next few months, I look forward to meeting with residents, exchanging ideas and sharing my vision for how we can continue to preserve the things that make Montclair special. By working together, I’m confident we can create a bright future for the town we all love.”

41 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry for confusion. I overlooked the Towwnship’s MEEC Pre-K funding. The MCPK is not funded by either the BOE or Township.

  2. Jeez, apparently I’m still confused…and dead wrong.

    The Township Council established & partially funds the Montclair Early Childhood Corporation (MECC) which runs the Montclair Community Pre-K (per the MCPK web site). The Fried Administration FY 2012 MECC funding level was $62K. The Jackson Administration grown MECC to $278K in FY 2019.

  3. Yes they/we do partially fund MCPK!

    Has/will Spiller be resigning from NJEA?

    If not, sorry! 🚨Conflict.

    NEXT!

  4. Mr. Spiller, I can’t figure you. As good looking and smart as you are, walking around with that monkey on your back. You can pretend like no one sees it, but that is all they are seeing on you.

    Why you had to wait for a judge to tell you you are wrong . . . and you still pretending that monkey isn’t there.

    Yesterday you pulled out into the fast lane never looking in the mirror. Young man, there is such a powerful force rising up behind you. Don’t you see? You will never hold what you are reaching for if you cannot let go. Better you pull back into your Third Ward lane, get rid of that monkey, and let the good folk of Montclair know you are here to serve.

    Our Journey is still long and there is a world of appreciation waiting on you. Do not be that reckless boy in a flashy new sports car crashing out early, never holding what could rightly belong to you.

  5. I agree that Councilor Spillor has to explain his thinking on accepting the position on the BoSE. His BoSE appointment was a mistake because it is the perception of a conflict standard that is the rightfully applicable law.

    And he should not be alone in being held to account. Dr Baskerville and other incumbents running should also be held to a similar standard. Less we forget our local history, the first act of this Council upon being sworn in was to unanimously approve Mr Spiller for the BoSE. Both he and Councilor Russo should have been automatically excluded from consideration. Ironically, within 90 days, the Council prioritized amending the Township’s ethics code to further eliminate the perception of ethical conflicts.

    This Council, individually and collectively, as a team, has struggled at times to choose the ethical course over expediency and other justifications. Other Councils also have, and future Councils will undoubtably deal with their own ‘monkeys on their back’. However, it will be insufficient to minimize it or call it a mistake in hindsight. There has to be concrete changes offered, and hopefully incorporated into how we expect the Township to work.

    I agree ethics should be an important issue in the municipal campaign.

  6. I forgot another concurrent event that made ethical conflicts topical in early July, 2012. Dick Grabowsky filed suit the previous week against the Township citing Council conflict of interests with the assisted living facility approval…a suit he won.

  7. Fast forward to the matter of Lackawanna Plaza development application, the Council and the Planning Board. What a mess! I felt there should have been 4 recusals and 2 resignations among the Planning Board members. Instead, there was half that – 2 recusals (1 belatedly) and 1 resignation.

  8. BoSE is nothing compared to the conflict of appointing BoE members while you are making big bucks working for NJEA.

    And really is it ethical how much any of those top NJEA people make? I mean, I read he got a raise of 12% last year. Good for him, but don’t come around looking to be Mayor in a town where all of us busy bodies know what you are up to-

  9. Is your opinion (no conflict naming Board members) based upon legal experience here Frank? Can you quote case law or statute that supports your claim? I’ll admit I do not have specific experience on this bit to claim the contrary, but clearly a lay person would see that BoE members craft the budget each year and Mr. Spiller (if elected) as the sole arbiter of who serves on the Board would have influence over that budget. Also, a comparison to Dr. Baskerville or Mr. Russo is makes no sense since they are not employed currently by the NJEA. Mr. Spiller is a VP there. That’s the nature of the conflict, and I’m surprised you would make such a claim comparing them to him in this situation. JB

  10. PS – Lackawanna. I stopped by there yesterday thinking I might try one of those new often praised Popeye’s chicken sandwiches and entered via the South side doors. I’m surprised the building is allowed to be open given it’s current state; water damage, no lighting, and a generally frightening mess. I left.

  11. Legal/smeagle? No, just reading here and there.

    The Mayor has the authority to appoint BoE. There is no law stating appointments have to be diverse, intelligent, can read or write, etc, etc. The appointees can be related, business partners, etc. It matters politically, but The Law doesn’t care. The important thing is s/he can’t delegate it, by law.

    My understanding of one key to ‘conflicting interest’ is you need a direct influence or control over a specific act. As long as the Mayor does not insert himself into “how they do their job”, s/he is good. Now our Mayor danced in a gray area when he did an interview arguing against an inexperienced Superintendent candidate. He thought as long as he said he was speaking as a resident and not as the Mayor, this was OK. See how Montclair shape-shifts around our ethics standards? This is pretty typical stuff as you know.

    For example, the Council by law appoints/reappoints the Planning Board members even though it is a State administered body. The Mayor also gets to personally appoint a member to represent him – or not, and the designee can be removed anytime. As long as the Council doesn’t tell the Planning Board how to do their jobs/handle a specific application, there is no problem. However, once a Council tells the PB, e.g. via resolution, how to do their jobs….well, the separation of powers gets lost. I think something similar is happening down in The D.C. Swamp.

    Now, imagine you have one or two PB members who’s terms expire in December, but believe they will be reappointed. They have an upcoming vote on a contentious application in February. An application the Council told the PB they wanted approved. The Council delays reappointing them until after the vote. The Council doesn’t have a conflict – they are not on the PB. The PB members did not willingly create the situation and only the member themself can recuse themself. Nobody can tell them to recuse themself. That remember can’t win. A reasonable person’s perception would be that the PB member’s decision considered the positive/negative impact on their reappointment.
    No, everyone is fine with that or really doesn’t care. Now, everyone gets testy & righteous when it involves their progeny. I get it. I just don’t think people should throw stones too hard when they are hypocritical.

    I like one standard, one set of rules. It’s easy, more productive, more fair. The Planning Board has a set of rules or themselves and a set of rules for the public. I get that. Don’t like it, but its their sandbox. Yes, Lackawanna was and is a frightening mess in many ways!

  12. Russo is a teacher’s union officer. You misunderstood my sentence regarding Dr Baskerville.

    She is the only other Mayoral candidate – hence why I gave her a specific mention. She voted, along with the rest of the Council to appoint Councilor Spiller to the BoSE. She could have said, whoa, let’s think about this. As I recall, she was not a part of Mayor Jackson’s slate. She was not beholden to anyone. Did a Councilor stand up and say, whoa, when Councilor Spiller was elected Secretary-Treasurer of NJEA? Councilor Hurlock thought it was great. Mayor Jackson said something nice about iron sharpening iron.

    Remember last December’s CommUnity Mtg and the anti-Semitic remarks…and only one person stood up and said this is wrong. One person. Well, that’s a start.

  13. I’ve been corrected on the Lackawanna actual recusal count. It was 3, not 2 members recusing themselves. So, my total number of recusals/resignations is 7 where the actual count was 4. In defense of my error, the recusal I missed was a non-voting member. Still, thanks for correcting me.

  14. Well, isn’t that the problem with our country in general, picking out what you want to see online? Try this one fact Frank –

    The Board of Education members/volunteers negotiate the BoE contract with the MEA (the teachers union here locally in case you did not know). We have a new one now which included a 3.5% increase. How would it “LOOK” for the VP if the State Teachers’ Union (NJEA) selecting the negotiating parties with both sides of the next contract. That’s not really a negotiation, is it?

    Search out some internet points to argue with that one, eh?

    JB

  15. Ha ha, bonesteel, your funny. Spiller has made great progress here on the plastic bag issue. I can’t think of what else he has done, but he looks so handsome. I’ll vote for him for his bag work.

  16. Frank,

    Again, I’m not sure what the Pre-K has to do with the Mayoral election or conflict of interest here, but since you brought it up, I did ask around. The entire building for the Pre-K is provided to them for $1 rent a year (among other payments to them related to this), so I’m sure with your vast experience on the commercial real estate issue here in town you can confirm that yes we (taxpayers) do contribute to the Pre-K.

    JB

  17. JB,

    My initial posts on the MCPK were not related to my subsequent points about ethics.

    I knew about the rent arrangement with the BoE – which has nothing to do with the Township. I was not aware of the municipal contribution and how this Council increased it substantially. I’m glad Councilor Spiller brought it up because I never gave the Council credit or my appreciation. Yes, I should have provided some added context to my question, but I assumed many didn’t know and, like me, didn’t give it the proper recognition.

    I fully support the Council’s approach to furthering this public good. My limited understanding from past readings is that the MCPK’s 225+/- student enrollment includes about 95 or so slots for children from moderate & low income households. The MCPK also delivers their program more financially efficiently than the Montclair Public School District (MPSD) could – and therefore stretches our tax dollars to help more children.

    Conversely, I would not support the MPSD’s re-entry into offering Pre-K. They are dysfunctional in providing their existing K-12 curriculum and have shown absolutely no indication they are capable of improvement. In all fairness, we don’t have any transparency into the MCPK and how well they deliver Pre-K. Without this and some quantifiable accounting of performance, I have a concern about dramatically increasing support. But, I would support further increases.

    JB, I don’t mind your animosity towards me. I am continually amused by how you can moderate people views/posts on your Water Cooler and then skip over here to Bnet and be unencumbered from the self-restraint your MWC requires.

  18. “JB, I don’t mind your animosity towards me. I am continually amused by how you can moderate people views/posts on your Water Cooler and then skip over here to Bnet and be unencumbered from the self-restraint your MWC requires.”

    LOL. The real Bonesteel…….

  19. Some responses to the above comments and election issues to think about.

    Pre-K — providing pre-k services for all or more…is the best dollar fix we have to help level the playing field and start to reduce the achievement gap between students of lower SES families (which in this area of the country are majority black). It’s a good investment, but without additional services like tutoring and helpful counseling on-going, statistics show those equalization benefits begin to dimish by the 4th grade. Frank argues the MPSD should not provide those services due to performance and maybe cost efficiencies. So how and it’s managed and where that increase in pupils occurs is debatable (and of course how it’s paid for), but that this should happen in my mind is not. We can talk opportunity gap until we are all blue in the face. This is a step to actually do something about it.

    As to increasing the pre-k funding, the Council basically restored what was the original funding agreement when the Montclair Public Pre-k was set up. After the public funding in the schools was stopped over cost. The Fried Administration had cut the pre-k’s funding over some kooky philosophical battle they engaged in with the past Remsen Adminstration players connected to the school at the time. So despite the fanfare, this was a corrective move — not some new initiative.

    BOE Appointments – Rubacky is right. Sean Spiller making BOE appointments is not a conflict of interest and the law is not impacting. But Jon Bonesteel is right too. The optics are not good. It has the appearance of unbiased action and a symbiotic relationship and I see no way around that from a perception standpoint. Regardless of how much he would bend over backwards to ensure arms length appointees and then negotiations.

    Lackawanna — Frank, it appears you are being too technical here focusing on recusals. The final vote is the story as I see it. Bottom line. I opposed the existing plan and put forth a resolution to reject it. Carmel Lachman supported me and we lost in a vote of 2-7. Next, after more debate the chair put forth what I know directly members believed was a supporting resolution to the plan they feel is a “compromise” as has been described. The vote was I believe 5-2 with myself and Carmel now abstaining. The recusals were Tony because of a conflict and Robin Schlager who realized belatedly she had a conflict because she supported the earlier Council resolution telling the planning Board to hurry up and support the developer’s plan at the time. The board 2nd alternate Dan voted for Tony. 1st alternate Tim missed too many meetings. Some news….I knew Robin had conflicted herself at that time but said nothing allowing the process to proceed and her present. Then, I reminded her of this before the vote that she had a likely conflict. Now, our lead from behind Town and Board attorneys finally advised her to do the right thing. The Town attorney should have told her not to vote at the Council. Or be prepared to recuse at the Board. However, clearly an issue was created many month’s before the final vote — now being used by resident litigation against the entire project.

  20. Sorry that was a Lackawanna vote first to reject 2-5 the developer’s Plan. Then the Board voted to confirm. 5 for the developer’s Plan. 2 abstentions.

    Also correction: Spiller making BOE appointments would have the appearance of ‘biased’ action..not unbiased. Speed typing typo.

  21. Other clarifications…which I should have included above. Frank I generally agree with your take on Council appointments and influencing Board decision-making. However, I do not think there was anything wrong with the Mayor expressing his soap box opinion on not hiring an inexperienced school Superintendent. Which was directed then both to Kendra Johnson who the Board did hire and ignored his take, and the other then Assistant Principal up for the job at the time. He didn’t tell his directly appointed then how to vote. He expressed an opinion on what should guide that vote — which was sadly ignored.

    But this is much more generalized than that Council resolution on Lackawanna which essentially told the planning board to hurry up and vote and get it done (becuase the Council was being pressured to bring back a Supermarket) and almost directly said support the developer’s then proposed plan as is.

    An 11th hour language edit removed that one piece of copy — to avoid the total crossing of the line directing a board vote. And yes, in the past it appears some Board members have not wanted to cross their Council patrone’ sitting on the Board and oppose a then Mayor’s thinking on projects.

    That didn’t hold in this instance. Which is good. I serve at the Mayor’s pleasure and can be removed from serving at any moment. And I opposed the developer’s Lackawanna plan and put forth the board resolution vote against it. Similarly, Carmel Lachman was up for reappointment in December and she too voted against the final plan.

    Before that final vote, following the earlier Council resolution, the entire planning board then ignored that Council resolution to get it done fast and came back with 19 points why the then developer Plan should be opposed. I believe it was still in redevelopment mode at that time and it was up to the Council to give final approval to the Plan. So after getting that no holes barred push-back, the Council agreed to stand down. And the developer then went on to make multiple changes following and reapply as a standard land use application — which ultimately a majority of board members approved.

    So while I agree with you that the appearance of Council direct influence can and has impacted past Board decisions and votes with members likely fearing non-reappointment, in this case the balance of powers seemed to work and in both cases — appointees did what they actually believed in. The system “worked”. And funny — in both cases I disagreed with the final results. I disagreed with what the majority of board appointees chose. Appointing Kendra Johnson as Super and supporting the final Lackawanna plan proposed.

  22. Mr. Rubacky, I had to sit and think about everything you been saying here these past days. It got me worried because it seemed to me that everything you said was right but you said too many things to be right so I am thinking I am the one being wrong.

    That thing you said about ethics followed me around the house when I was sweeping the floor and doing the dusting. You know, like it may not be always clear what the law says and does not say, but I think most folk know when what they are doing don’t figure up. Like they say, The Lord knows, and I got a feeling we mostly know too.

    All you being right and I still think you gave Right from Wrong short change. Cause what we all were discussing here was Mr. Spiller and his monkey. Not all those other monkeys we know are still crawling around under the carpet for so many Christmases. Right from Wrong was on about Mr. Spiller’s monkey and what Mr. Spiller ought to do about that. Well that is what I thought.

    Mr. Bonesteel said some right things too. You two just like to argue. No skin off my back. Mr. Astor and me argue plenty too.

    Fact is Mr. Spiller has been reading things here and looks to me like he wants to do more thinking on things. He can still turn right from wrong. But this “Updated” is no way right. You can’t be taking away things that were said and writ and pretend like they never was said and writ. Ain’t nobody better for it. We got too many people in the papers and on the television not reporting the news but fixing the news because they always want to be first with the news.

    I might be old fashioned and not agree with Mr. Schwartz and all that science about sending children off to school so young. I still believe there is a home learning too that makes a home. But we will never have that democracy if the journalists act like we are all children. Point is the reaching out was not just yesterday and Mr. Spiller did respond.

    Mr. Rubacky, sometimes I think you are the most popular good man in both Montclairs. But you need to be careful. Not that I want you to be careful. Not when what you say is right. Like what you said there about those two ladies. But most people don’t want to see the bad things. I don’t. And if I lived on the other side of the tracks, I might not pay it no mind either. But like I said, I don’t. Cause it is the poor folk that do the settling up for the bad things good people choose not to see. And Montclair ain’t no different about that.

    Well, you just be careful.

    You got me thinking on another word for you and all those other good folk out there pretending like you just find monkeys in the jungle. That word courage. I want to see that brave man Mr. Spiller stand up and fight the hard fight. Not just use fighting words but show us his lion’s heart. Cause I know it’s there.

    Talk about courage, Mr. Schwartz disappointed too. I do get it: “Interesting only in why they were selected.” With so many neighbors focusing their mind on race and diversity they miss the good that all us folk want. Mr. Schwartz would make a fine mayor. His color is just as good as mine. His courage, well, like my Henry’s. He speaks his mind and still is polite about it.

    Maybe my Mr. Astor will one day write something funny about courage. I know he is already busy every day with books and writing and groceries and being 50/50. And Lord knows I know I argue with Mr. Astor a lot more than Mr. Astor knows. Henry knows. But if you can’t argue with your friend then I don’t see the use of it. Anyway I know I do argue a lot. Not with Henry. But then Mr. Astor makes things clear.

    Well it has been some time coming but I suppose it had to happen: Alexa, play The Clash.

  23. Yes, it makes me sad that to hear pre-K programs benefits begin to diminish starting @ 4th grade without remedial programs. I didn’t know that, though I long had my suspicions.

    Thank you for bringing key statistics forward on pre-K programs like ours. There are many pre-K programs in town, but the MCPK is the biggest & primary feeder into our kindergartens since 1998.

    I always wondered how with 100% of MEA teaching staff reviews, with not one instructor ever falling below expectations, resulted in 1 in 5 Third Graders reading below grade level.

    I think all any regular citizen can do is support throwing money at the problem and hope those educators can figure out how to educate a diverse student body. On the plus side, every little bit of hyperbole helps our town’s cachet – and resale values!

  24. Ms Harris, your comments need my further thought…and time is tight. I will get back to you. What you said did make me think of a song – one you may enjoy…if Alexa can find it (I use Alexa’s male cousin, Siri).

    The song, “Better Not Look Down” by BB King. I like the version on the Crusader’s Royal Jam album.

  25. “The system “worked”.

    Definitely…only if you’re a Trump Republican.

    I have to believe you and your fellow Planning Board members were told what was going on with missing member Mr Brandon. It would have been nice if you guys told the public…or maybe I missed it. I certainly missed, starting in October of 2018, hearing Mr Brandon’s name being called as part of the roll call. He became invisible. His seat sat empty. No questions or comments came from that empty seat. Then 4 months later (yes, 4 months) the PB Secretary briefly & matter-of-factly announces Mr Brandon has resigned. Poof!

    Not to throw shade on Mr Barr, but was generally MIA – he missed 50% of the hearing meetings. including the last meeting with the vote. So, next in line was the last Alternate. The last person standing..& eligible to vote.

    I can only assume the Russians intended to hack our Planning Board and didn’t because they though someone had beat them to it.

  26. Ms Harris,

    I’m not the sharpest tack in the box, but I swear you’re trying to race-bait me. I think the ‘monkeys in the jungle’ phrasing suggested this. Not sure.

    Anyway, yes, people discover and constantly rediscover. We all need help with the doing good part. We all seem to have no problem with the doing bad. Religion has to keep reminding us what we should know in our hearts and minds. It has to remind us daily, weekly. For really big things, religions remind their flocks once a year. The key is the stories are really, really old. What people were like and what they did thousands of years ago. And hey, whatcha know, it still applies thousands of years later.

    I don’t know the courage you talk about. I am a white male. I’m privileged. I’m old and privileged. (I had to laugh at your ‘short change’ remark and how many people had to google what ‘change’ on your dollar is). Anyway, stick with the principle, but cut Mr Spiller a little break on how fast he comes around. Men need to think about it longer. Sometimes irritatingly long. At least that is what my spouse always tells me.

  27. Like Super Bowls, there are also more memorable & surreal budget deliberation years than others. I went back to one of my favorites – that infamous, Hindenburg-like 2014 School Operating & Capital Budget episode. I updated my notes with my new found knowledge on the dramatic, concurrent municipal budget allocation increase to the MCPK. And one thing stood out. Something I just could never get to sit right. That odd, last minute addition of 3 new kindergarten teachers – each with their very own new teacher assistants. You might recall be cut them a year or two later. This was Dr MacCormack’s last budget. This was a last budget for a few others, too.

    Not enough attention is paid to stakeholder ethics.

  28. Mr. Astor, I put three slices of Henry’s black fruitcake away in the pantry this morning after our coffee. I had to. If I leave them on my best china next to the breadbox, he just has no self-control. Henry says that my fruitcake is his weakness. That is just foolishness acting like an excuse.

    I wrapped the three pieces in one of Auntie’s kitchen towels and put it behind the jams. When Auntie past, me and my sister sat in her kitchen having coffee. Remembering. I saw those two towels hanging on the oven rail. Auntie always had two towels hanging that way as long as I could remember. I got up and put those two towels in my handbag and said Constance, I am taking these towels home with me.

    She just looked at me. Ellie, she said, you take anything you want out of this house. I got no more right to anything here than you. No, I said. Just these two towels.

    You see, Mr. Astor, when people pass, I don’t want their things. Just their memories. It is like I feel responsible. For the memories.

    And that Mr. BB King. Do you think Mr. Rubacky can dance too?

    But I got to slow down sometimes. I never have flown in an airplane. Henry has. I’m not afraid. Just never happened. Seems to me like that fruitcake and Henry. Sometimes it is better to slow down and appreciate all the Good Lord gave you. And all He spared you.

    Henry is more than six feet. Even now when he is bent a bit. I feel I spent my whole life looking up. Like that girl who lived over and under love all her life. Cupid got me young. But that don’t mean that there is no reckoning for all the things we do. And that reckoning has got to be paid. So I just feel I should be paying for all my own purchases now. Using my own purse. And counting the change.

    Mr. Rubacky, maybe it is not about looking up or looking down. Only about holding your head high. Isn’t that about all we are saying Mr. Spiller should do? Handsome as he is. I suppose I can be short on patience when good folk get hurt by the bad things good people don’t want to see. I can’t change that. Mr. Spiller says he wants to lead. And I say he should be leading before he says he wants to lead.

    Mr. Rubacky, about you being old and all those other things: I see you walking down Bloomfield Avenue with all that BB King rhythm in your body like you are walking on the streets of London. And those young girls from the teacher’s college on the hill driving by and giving you a second look thinking that man is living like a superman. Handsome as he is.

  29. I can’t see how your vision is possible. I have more hair growing out of my ears and nostrils than on top of my head. I have a face like a saddle that has been ridden hard and put away wet. Nah, I think you got me all wrong.

  30. Frank just don’t know why you go off on these minutia tangents. You get the big picture.

    In this case about Craig Brandon — former waste management Montclair Community Services Dept. head or some title close. Craig was the official municipal rep on the planning board. But like many town employees, he had generated lots of stored up sick and vacation time. My understanding was that he took that time at the end of her work life — and then resigned. The usual move. So his board seat was vacant for a while when he made his moves. Did he tell anyone he was quitting while taking his “vacation”. Likely not, or if so no one told the Council to rush to appoint someone new. But why the focus? Likely, someone would have told him to support the project then. And there are two board alternates.

    The planning board first alternate is Tim Barr who did have lots of absences on the Lackawanna hearings. Also Engineer and board member Tony Ianule had a conflict. So the 2nd alternate – Dan Gilmer’s vote now counted for this application with the final tally 2 votes short. But who voted and why was not the problem. The final result was.

    And thank you Ms. Harris for your kind words above. Yes, I do try to speak my mind and tell the truth about what’s really going on — And I do try to do it politely with respect, even if debating with people on substance. There are very few individuals here who I think have destructive agendas. So most discussions — even volatile ones — are among people who really care about the township — they just may have different takes and ideas on what is needed to make things better. And that’s ok.

    From the debate comes options and solutions — is my POV. It’s when our leaders do not listen and respond to the logic of what they hear — that’s when problems really happen. There are lots of ways to skin the cat. But if you are blind to information — then you don’t know how to proceed.

  31. Schwartz should consider if he really wants to run for 3rd ward with all the stories floating around town about him. You know what I’m talking about Melissa.