Tag Archives: Robert D. Jackson

‘Splainin’ Part Deux. Mayor Jackson is a repeat offender

I don’t know how Robert D. Jackson considers himself a mayor.

Sure, he was elected (I didn’t vote for him), but an election alone does not a mayor make.

I would think – and correct me if I’m wrong – that a mayor earns the title when he (or she) is of service to the community which elected him.

So you’ll forgive my taking issue with this so-called mayor, when he fails to attend a public hearing, not once but twice.

For a project he supports.

That’s going to cost Montclair taxpayers $2.6 million.

And remove precious green space from public use.

How this dude sleeps at night is beyond me.

Maybe he wraps himself in a cozy blanket of ignorance, blissfully unaware that his neighbors are gathering with torches and pitchforks at his doorstep.

If only that were true.

You see Jackson was told about the massive turnout Wednesday night for the public comment phase of the Green Acres diversion request.

Renee Baskerville told him directly.

She also told Jackson and the rest of his council cronies that they should attend last night’s DEP hearing.

Hear for themselves the concerns of the community.

The residents of Montclair who this project will affect.

Did Jackson or his cronies show?

I’ll give you two guesses.

No. And no.

Once again, we were talking to hired guns.

Who, once again, took the brunt of the community’s ire.

Only this time, the room was less full.

The anger had tapered off.

And few in the room were competent to address the environmental impact assessments document in the report prepared by Jackson’s consultants.

No one was surprised by the light turnout.

That’s what happens when you put two meetings on the same topic on back to back evenings.

And if the so-called Mayor doesn’t deem it fit to attend, why should lowly residents.

Moreover, if you think (as many outwardly expressed) that the whole thing is a charade, a rubber stamping process, then why waste your time?

That’s clearly what Jackson and his cronies are hoping thinking.

Oh it’s just the 4th Ward.

They may take issue, but it just sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Let them have their meetings and we’ll just push it through.

Right, Jackson?


You’re blatant disregard of us shall be your undoing.

Maybe that’s how things went down when you were mayor in 1987.

Or maybe this is how you run Lorterdan Properties.

But shit done changed!

Just watch and see what happens.

You’re probably unaware that there are no less than four attorneys on High Street.

And cats well versed in the NJDEP approval process.

Motivated to watch you and your cronies kick rocks.

You will not get that Green Acres diversion.

And you can quote me on that.

Oh, by the way.

You’re going to see us Tuesday at the next Council meeting.

You can’t avoid us forever.

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Filed under advocacy

Mayor Robert D. Jackson, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do! (aka NIMBY)

Really Montclair? Is this how you notify residents that a public meeting is being held?

Really Mayor Jackson? Is this how you notify residents that a public meeting is being held?

I was originally going to post this as an open letter to Robert D. Jackson, the mayor of Montclair.

I was trying to come up with a clever way to express my sheer and utter disappointment with his handling of the planned development of a water pumping station down the block from my house.

But as I started writing, I realized that I didn’t just want to blast on dude in absentia.

I’ll wait for tonight’s meeting to blast him in person.

You see, last night, I attended the Nishuane Well Project Hearing, from which Mayor Jackson (and the rest of the Township Council) was conspicuously absent.

Despite the fact that he’s my neighbor (he lives around the corner from me) and he supports the project, last night he was nowhere to be found.

And while he wasn’t there, a roomful of angry residents of the 4th Ward were.

Maybe he didn’t attend because he wasn’t aware that the meeting was taking place.

That massive industrial billboard with the fine print at the bend of High Street is really hard to see when you’re driving.

So I’d understand if he missed it – being all big and all.

Oh, wait, maybe he thought that billboard was for the meeting tomorrow, not today.

No. He’s part of the governing body of Montclair, and should know when meetings are.

So why wasn’t Mayor Jackson (and the rest of the Township Council) there?

Perhaps it was because the consultants he hired to present his plan had it covered.

Why should he attend when these guys were paid (how much?) to study the issue and present a proposal for bringing the 30 year old defunct well into use.

But since they were just hired guns whipping boys outside consultants, they really were out of their depth.

They simply didn’t have the capacity to answer some of the more nagging questions those in attendance had to ask.

They were there to present the plan, not defend Mayor Jackson’s absolute failure to get community input on the project.

So why wasn’t Mayor Jackson (and the rest of the Township Council) there?

Was it because our Councilor, Renée Baskerville should have been keeping us abreast of what was happing in our Township?

Well, no, it couldn’t be that, because she was as in the dark about Mayor Jackson’s intentions as were the rest of us.

She only saw the report issued by the consultants the day before the meeting.

Shouldn’t she and the rest of the board have received it when it was completed in October?

Probably, but she didn’t.

Unlike Mayor Jackson, last night was the first time that most of us saw any report about this project.

So why wasn’t Mayor Jackson (and the rest of the Township Council) there?

The fact of the matter is Mayor Jackson (and the rest of the Township Council) think that this project, like so many before it in the 4th Ward, is a done deal.

The public comment period is just that: a public comment period.

They’ve decided that they want to construct this pumping station at the top of a beautiful hill in (what some think is a marginal) section of town, where nobody cares.

So they’re just going to do it.

End of story.

But Mayor Jackson, that’s not the end of the story.

I’d suggest you recount your eggs.

And show up tonight to explain to me (and the rest of the residents of the 4th Ward) to my satisfaction:

  • Why we need a pumping station in the first place. We don’t.
  • Why non-construction alternatives have not been explored. They weren’t.
  • Why the township is about to borrow $2.6 million (which the taxpayers are going to have to pay back) to finance a project to produce water for residents outside of Montclair.  They shouldn’t.
  • Why we’re finding out about a project that is going to ruin the natural beauty of a bucolic hill, down the block from a community pool, elementary school and a park, all routinely trafficked by small children, at the 11th hour.  How else to get over but through subterfuge and deceit.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

There are residents angrier that I, who want to holla atcha.

But don’t take my word for it.

Pick up a copy of today’s Montclair Times.

Perhaps go online to Montclair Patch.

Or even Baristanet.

Reporters from those publications were in attendance last night, and caught an earful.

So Mayor Jackson, I’d suggest you show up tonight.

Before you find us on your doorstep.

Or your name in the defendant’s column of a lawsuit.

Yeah. It’s like that.

You’re not just going to put a pumping station on my block without a fight.

Not in my backyard.


Filed under opinion