Several years ago there was a popular TV show named "I've Got a Secret." The producers of that show could have learned about secrets from our mayor and members of the town council.
The relocation of the Damascus Bakery company from Brooklyn, New York to Secaucus, New Jersey, is the second best secret in the history of Secaucus politics. Damascus files an application with the Hackensack Meadowlands Commission in February or March 2006, according to Mayor Elwell, the administration did not know about Damascus coming to Secaucus until April of 2007. Wow, somebody kept this secret for 14 months.
I called the Damascus secret the second best secret in Secaucus. The big prize as the best kept secret was when the term of office of our mayor and council was changed from two years to four years. That's right. In 2001 special legislation was passed in Trenton changing the term of elected officials in Secaucus, Westfield and Harrison from two years to four years. When the question of extending the term of office of our elected officials was previously placed on the ballot the people of Secaucus voted to retain the term of office for two years, not four years. I guess someone in Trenton didn't like the people making this decision so this special legislation was passed. Mr. Mayor, tell us if one of our "special counsel" who is also a State Senator had anything to do with this special legislation.
Even Congressman Steve Rothman was surprised on learning of the special legislation. At the swearing in ceremonies in January 2002, he commented since he had to get elected every two years he...."wondered how the newly-elected Secaucus officials were able to mange to get their four-year term."
Would you believe not one word of the special legislation was mentioned until the day after the election. Of course, in some quarters, it might be called taking the voters of Secaucus for fools especially when the voters expressed their preference in a public referendum to keep the two-year terms.
The bottom line is that in 2002 it was too late to change the term of office back to two-year terms, and those in political power know this. Just as they know it is too late to change the decision of the Hackensack Meadowland Commission on the Damascus site.