Fighting Downtown Redevelopment?
On page 4, you will find an article titled "Labrosse Contributor Fighting Downtown Redevelopment." What the article does not provide the readers, is fair reporting. Monaghan may have contributed to Labrosse's campaign, however in the true slanted and slipshod way of The County Seat, they neglect to tell readers that Monoghan's business partner in the two entities bringing suit is Dan Callahan. Dan Callahan was a generous contributor to the Coalition for Open Government (alleged Zisa backed slate). Looks like the plaintiff 62-64 Main Street LLC and 59-61 Moore Street LLC (not Monoghan individually) covered all of their bases by doing the politically correct thing of contributing to both sides. I guess the headline "Zisa and Hitscherich Collect Fees for Losing Another One" would not serve The County Seat's election-time-mission, to keep the Zisa family in power.
Now, let us take a look at the appellate court's decision in this case. You will find that the appellate court decision references the property owner's continued efforts to develop the property. The property owners have owned this property since 1999 and over the years have had wonderful plans for the redevelopment of this parcel. Dan Callahan states that the owners purchased the property, originally an auto repair shop, and spent five years remediating the site to obtain environmental clearances. Subsequently, they had plans to develop the property and had commitments from the Parole Board and the Housing Authority to put offices on the site. There were also three banks proposed for the site, all denied. What is most intriguing in this story is that less than two weeks after the most recent bank plans were denied by the city, the property owners were served with an order marking the site a "blight" in need of "redevelopment." It appears redevelopment is exactly what these property owners were trying to do, for the prior ten years!
The property owners also own 50 Main Street. More than ten years ago they submitted an application to construct a second floor addition for 4,000+/- square feet of office space. Callahan reports that the, at the time mayor, Zisa did not agree with the proposed second floor use, the application was denied by the city. Callahan reports that he and Monaghan won on appeal, were granted the approvals, but by this time the proposed tenant had secured office space elsewhere rendering the win meaningless. It would appear that the continued denials by the city may all stem from a vendetta against the property owners by former Mayor Jack Zisa over this battle at 50 Main.
Open Letter to Hackensack Residents
On Page 15 of The County Seat you will find an "Open Letter to Hackensack Residents" from the past six mayors of Hackensack. Please note that I do not attribute the contents of this letter to The County Seat, it is a paid advertisement, the following comments are attributed only to the authors of that letter Michael Melfi, Michael D'Arminio, John Zisa, Marlin Townes, Karen Sasso, and Jorge Meneses.
The letter starts with the acknowledgement that residents often have a difference of opinion and "the result can be a spirited debate..." Well in the last four years I have not been met with open debate, or even dialogue. Instead, I have been met with an utter lack of regard for any differing opinion. I have watched at council meetings as I received one year of "thank you for your comment" from Sasso, one year of "your time is up" from Melfi, one year of (what I think I understood to be) "we just have to let you speak we don't have to answer" from Meneses, and watched as Townes told residents they did not know what they were talking about, they were liars, and I even saw him tell his fellow council "just let him talk, it doesn't matter." Are you endorsing four more years of the same stymieing of differing opinions?
The letter goes on to discuss one campaigns' continued "malicious personal attacks." I am wondering if the authors of this letter did not check their mail, because I received the below two mailers from the ticket that they endorsed....
Now, here I am having thought I was going to be casting a vote for two of the members of the Coalition for Open Government, being left morally opposed to doing so.
It has been these mayors' "honor to serve" over the last 40 years. What I have seen over the last 40 years is a government that has brought dishonor (an ethics violation, though later overturned, for Jack Zisa, a criminal conviction for D'Arminio, and countless troubles in the Police and Building Departments for Sasso, Meneses, Melfi and Townes), crippling debt, and a deteriorated Main Street. I am left only to believe that if I support the endorsement of our 40 year history, I am supporting 40 more years of the same deterioration of our city.