MontClairVoyant: A 2023 Wish List Is This Column’s Gist


The New Year is in gear. What would you like to see in 2023?


Jan U. Ary

I’d like livestreaming of ALL Township Council meetings to become a permanent thing. But I don’t want to see any more questions that rhyme.


Okay, no way. After prodding from the public, a Council majority reportedly now supports livestreaming conference meetings in addition to regular meetings. What else do you hope for in 2023 Montclair?


To Stream the Possible Stream

An ordinance (which might be enacted soon) to permit accessory dwelling units — bringing at least some additional, much-needed affordable housing to our town. Living in post-office boxes is also an option, but a person’s nap would get disturbed whenever mail is stuffed in.


P.O. beds must be very tiny. Another item on your 2023 wish list?


March-ing On

Montclair needs to renegotiate the fire-services contract so that Glen Ridge pays a fair price. I’m tired of watching GR officials do a “happy dance” whenever I drive through their borough.


The Shortchange Cha-Cha, I assume. Are you also hoping for a swift final ousting of Montclair’s suspended township manager after he was sued twice for workplace harassment of women, including women of color?



Yes. What’s taking so long? Is he being treated cautiously because he may have “dirt” on some of Montclair’s elected and appointed officials? And your “swift” adjective reminds me of Jonathan Swift, who’d consider rapid ousting “A Modest Proposal.”


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) for Township Council in 2024! Do you hope taxpayers, including those named Gulliver, will be reimbursed for the sizable salary and bountiful benefits the township manager has continued to receive during his suspension?


Gullivers’ Travails

Sure, though that’s even less likely to happen than a long-dead satirist winning a Council seat next year. But a Jonathan Swift appointment to Montclair’s Planning Board remains a possibility.


What would Planning Board members say about Lackawanna Plaza in 2023 if those members consisted only of 18th-century writers such as Swift, Voltaire, Daniel Defoe, Fanny Burney, and Mary Wollstonecraft?


Henry Fielding of Dreams

They’d say, “We heard Lackawanna used to be a train station. What’s a train station?”


Seriously, what are some of the things you hope for this year regarding the Lackawanna redevelopment plan?


Pathmark Twain

Plenty of public input, an objective traffic study, shorter/less-bulky buildings, a good supermarket, and Lackawanna winning the Alphabet World Series over Valley & Bloom, four letter “a’s” to one.


Sounds more like the Alphabet Smackdown. What about the five “a’s” in the name of Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar?



That must be where Alcoholics Anonymous and the American Automobile Association are headquartered.


Probably no drunk driving by people leaving that building. In conclusion, can you oblige us with less stupidity in your column answers this year?


Les Stu Pidity, Esq.

Please hope for something more realistic, like Montclair’s ugly Municipal Building being featured in “Municipal Building Beautiful” magazine.



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.



Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.


  1. It amuses me to no end how ‘time’ is no longer part of the discussion.

    The last plan, which many haven’t bothered to acquaint themselves with, required 14 months to obtain government approvals. This plan, if approved, will require at least the same amount of time. We will use 6 months of it talking. This means the Planning Board has to work about 40% faster to bring this in within 14 months.

    The earliest, best case scenario to see a supermarket @LP will be first half of 2026. The best case scenario taxpayers will see any significant revenue steam from LP will be 2029.

    Personally, I agree with the majority at-large and the neighborhood stakeholders; we should take as much time as needed to reach consensus. I have seen the light. I just wish those referring to what was approved is not what is being proffered as an alternative.

    And maybe someone could get around to asking the Council’s architect what would be the design standards for the type of construction that the developer would shift to? C’mon, people! Remember, taxpayers are paying for the Council’s architect. He works for you, not the developer! Ask some smart questions. At least try to.

  2. And a part I love is the Council passed a land use ordinance THIS year…written by the Planning Board. This ordinance changed the requirements for mixed use buildings in the C-1.
    Combine this with our longstanding C-1 zoning, the developer has, as of right, the ability to put 450 housing units, 75 more than the current plan, on this site. The PB will float the argument the developer can’t park it. Laugh track, please. I will say the PB has never been strong at numbers and also folds at the first wisp of litigation.

    They can park it because of the two zones, because of the new mixed use ordinance (sorry, it is currently unavailable to the public), and because of what they approved last time.

    So as much as people might want 4 stories, it will likely not happen. And absolutely not happen with a supermarket use. Don’t take my word. Ask someone you trust.

  3. Thank you for the comments, Frank!

    Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment efforts have indeed dragged on for years, but the latest plan hasn’t been available for public scrutiny that long. So I hope, as you alluded to, that the latest plan isn’t rushed through before the public has plenty of say and input. Hopefully with the result that the plan — which has some good elements — will end up with buildings less tall and less bulky.

  4. Dave,

    I wish for the continuation & intensification of the English Language Learner Workshops conducted by the Montclair Public School District. I was absolutely blown way by what I read of the Dec 13 workshop. To have Dr Ponds attend was fantastic and all the district staff contributions are a tribute to their priorities.

    Absolutely great.

    (Yeah, yeah, I have to work on my superlatives)

Comments are closed.