Thursday, July 21, 2016

Council Runs Afoul Again... The Rules Don't Apply To Us!

The City Council has a history of not following the rules.  Whether it is not filing financial disclosures, not filing campaign reports, interfering with employees, but now, the ill advised Council is not following state statutes or NJDEP regulations.

Earlier this month the Council was questioned by residents Richard Salkin and Regina DiPasqua regarding the canceling of a July and August council meeting.  State statutes, and previously passed resolutions (by this Council), require there to be two public meetings per month.  When the resolution was brought to the attention of the Council and City Attorney by Regina DiPasqua, it was brushed aside.  When Former City Attorney Richard Salkin came to a meeting and read the state statute requiring that the City hold two meetings per month, City Attorney Carver rejected his assertions and smugly exclaimed that there would be no further discussion on the topic.  Well an Order to Show Cause was filed by Richard Salkin and the City Attorney's response?..... "We stand corrected," as reported by The Record.  Well, a question for Kathy the money girl, how much did that bad legal advice cost the tax payers?  The Council should be more concerned with listening to ALL of their constituents than playing politics and brushing off all comments from those who they see as "adversaries."

Council attempts to restrict use of new Splash Park 

The City recently opened its second "Splash Pad" for children to cool off in these blistering hot summer days.  This second water park is now opened at Carver Park.

The City requires that residents register with the Recreation Department to obtain an identification card to use the facilities.  When questioned about the use of identification cards and why the existing Splash Park does not require them, city officials advised that the Polify Road water park does not require identification cards because the splash pad was built with Green Acres funds, while Carver Park's was not.

Green Acres grants are available to help preserve and make available open space for public enjoyment.  Hackensack has several Green Acres projects.  Hackensack's Green Acres projects include:
  • Hackensack River Waterfront (development of waterfront) 
  •  Carver Park (Between First, Second, Clay and James Streets; acquisition and development)
  • Columbus Park (development) 
  •  Union St Park (development) 
  •  Baldwin Park (development) 
  •  Hackensack High School Athletic Field (development) 
  •  Second Ward (Polifly) Park (development) 
  •  Downtown Walkway (development)
What is important about this distinction of Carver Park being recognized by Green Acres as a "funded project" is that restricting use to only residents of Hackensack is a violation of Green Acres rules and regulations.  Unfortunately, whether bad advice from the City Manager, City Attorney, or CFO, what someone does not understand (including the City Council, despite being told by resident Regina DiPasqua) is that when any project or park is funded through even one dollar of Green Acres money, the entire park falls under Green Acres regulations.

Documentation obtained by Hackensack Scoop evidences that the NJDEP believes "having the splash park at the Green Acres funded Carver Park be residents only is in violation of Green Acres rules" and the NJDEP has turned the matter over to their compliance department to ensure that the park can be enjoyed by all residents of New Jersey.

Hey Council, START LISTENING TO YOUR CONSTITUENTS! You are only costing more legal fees and embarrassment when these blunders are in the newspaper.  I can see the headline now "City of Hackensack Improperly Denies Children Access to Public Parks."

Thanks to Nixle we know that the Splash Park will be opened tomorrow!  To heck with identification cards, if you are hot and want to enjoy some fun in an open park with friends, family, and a splash park, GO TO CARVER PARK.  If anybody asks for an identification card,  know your rights!  Advise them that Carver Park is a Green Acres funded park and that not one square inch of the park can be restricted from general public use! Don't take no for an answer!

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