I am eager for the SCC civil suit in Superior Court to get underway this month to unravel the Gordian knot that has become 1501 Palisade Avenue and have an impartial judge settle the case. The SCC brandishes: "Facts which confirm the Lopezes sought nothing more than to purposely inflate the value of their property and force taxpayers to pay millions more to them for their property than it is really worth. (The Star-Ledger, 3/9).
Mayor Stack as recently as March 16th in his letter to The Jersey Journal, "Blame the SCC, not city officials", attempts to set the record straight "Before our political opponents distort the facts for their own political gain." I think it is plausible that the SCC screwed up, and if indeed the SCC as alleged is incompetent, that will come to light. I welcome further and unfolding facts on this whole matter.
Anyone interested in SCC Managed School Facility Projects Detail on Union City can go to www.njscc.com. For example, under their update of August 20, 2004 for Elementary School #3 "construction of a new elementary school on the current site of The Columbus School plus supplemental properties:" the Tasks Required specify Analysis, Acquire Land, Feasibility, Education, Specification, Design, Construction. As of August 2004, the SCC web site is still listing the need to acquire land! The current web details accurately list the project as under construction but with a change from a 97,461 square foot facility to 121,505 square feet.
The sun will not stand still for all the uproar over the SCC and blame game and finger pointing. The scale of justice will prevail and Union City will move on. Today's news will become old news. However, more needs to be said about whether the variances granted for 1501 were as alleged pre-approved, and for the future, put a stop to what I viewed as an attempt to curry-favor by a $5K donation to Union City First; and bottles of wine having gone to a certain city official. Fortunately the wine was returned and the $5,000 donated to a homeless shelter.
I certainly don't want these practices to either continue or happen again. Hence the need for reform. I look forward to hearing what Mayor Stack and the Board of Commissioners will do to ensure that Union City does not have just elected government, but beyond a shadow of doubt, absolutely good government.