Much has been said over these last several weeks concerning the vacating of the Lincoln Avenue Extension paper street and its ultimate turnover to Hartz Mountain.
I was the only member of the town council to vote no on this ordinance. I did this because of the way it was presented by the majority members of the Council. The street was described as being a 1/10 of an acre and in swamp by Mayor Elwell. Others called it a dirt road. This is absolutely not true. It was and is a blacktop paved parking lot measuring almost half an acre. To give them the benefit of the doubt, I assume the misinformation was just an ill-prepared presentation.
I strongly believe that when an ordinance is introduced for a hearing, the facts concerning it must be accurate. Mayor Elwell stated publicly that this is not important since the Council and public have two weeks to prepare questions before the hearing. I disagree totally.
First of all the Council should have been made aware of what was involved in the turnover of the paper street and why it was necessary. The discussion only took place the evening of the Council meeting and the facts surrounding it were inaccurate.
As a Councilman, it is my right to have an opposing view on an issue without being subject to the wrath of the Mayor just because he holds an opposite position. It seems that he feels your position is political if you disagree with him.
Another misconception is that if this street wasn't vacated, this $40 million project would not happen. Bunk. This project is well underway with land clearings, pilings and land preparation in progress. I support this project as being good for Secaucus. However, the Council and people of Secaucus should be accurately informed of the details surrounding the ordinance so they may ask appropriate questions when the hearing is held.
I intend to continue to represent the people of Secaucus as I feel they want me to. If this means sometimes disagreeing with my peers on the Council, so be it. This is why we live in this great country of America.
I believe the people of Secaucus believe as I do that Hartz Mountain Industries has not been very generous to Secaucus over these last 30 years. It is important to remember that the work Hartz is doing around this site is not a gift from Hartz and had absolutely nothing to do with the vacating of this street. This work was mandated by the HMDC to improve flood control and drainage.
I think Hartz must take a serious look at what it has done for Secaucus over these past years, aside from turning over Meadowlands Parkway and the Harmon Cove Bridge. We all know their deplorable condition, and we are now responsible for doing the necessary work to bring them up to acceptable standards.
If Mayor Elwell believes Hartz is being a good neighbor to Secaucus, that's his opinion. I certainly do not agree and will continue to push for what I believe Secaucus is entitled to.
2nd Ward Councilman