Advocates of preserving the Marlboro Inn are weighing their options after Tuesday night’s 5-2 Town Council vote not to declare it a historic landmark.
“My understanding is the Friends of Marlboro Park and various concerned residents are considering options on how to address this travesty and abuse of the democratic process,” said Martin Schwartz, a principal of Textured Home, a Montclair-based historic restoration company.
“Games have been played,” he said. “I believe the process was manipulated behind the scenes to the detriment of Montclair and on behalf of the individual developer’s interests.”
Schwartz was quoted in the Montclair Times yesterday calling Mayor Remsen and councilwoman Joyce Michaelson “waterboys for Steven Plofker√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s interests.”
Leon DeVose II, defeated council candidate for the “Effective Government” slate, also complained about the process leading up to Tuesday night’s decision — including the procedural error that prevented the previous town council from having its second reading of the ordinance on June 30.
“At every point there was some procedural error,” he said. “I can’t believe all of them are that dumb. It doesn’t smell right.”
“Does Mayor Remsen really believe he’s going to do the township good by ridding us or monuments? Or is some kind of other thing going on?” DeVose asked.
“This is a major landmark,” he said. “It’s almost like losing the World Trade Center. Or the Empire State Building.”
Over at the Montclair Watercooler, which has been bubbling over the controversy since Tuesday night, opponents of the council’s actions have begun to refer to Montclair as “Plofkerville.” Jon Randel, who has been involved in the preservation fight, wrote this:
Why did they initiate the second landmark ordinance for the Inn in the first place? Their motives remain a mystery, but the entire process, including all of the mistakes, missteps, and contradictions that began with the previous Council, seem suspect.
But Jerry Mosier, chairman of Montclair’s Historic Preservation Commission, which voted unanimously to recommend landmarking, doesn’t see anything untoward in the council’s actions.
“We thought it had historic merit,” he said. “They can decide on a much wider palette of issues.”