I am not surprised by Mayor Ed Remsen√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s removal of Councilman Ted Mattox from the Board of School of Estimate. It is part of his modus operandi, and the anticipated consequence of electing nearly his entire slate to the Township Council. However, I am very disturbed at the mayor√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s express intolerance of and contempt for Councilman Mattox√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s views. Mattox√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s proposal to preserve the Washington Street √¢‚Ç¨≈ìY√¢‚Ç¨¬ù is at least worth considering. The Bible says it is a foolish thing to judge a matter without hearing it. Yet, from its very first public introduction, the mayor and his most loyal council members expressed nothing but contempt for his proposal. Mattox was also damned by his two votes against the Board of Education√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s budget. He rightly differed with the Board of Education√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s spending plan. He was doing what nearly 3,000 Montclair voters asked him to do last year √¢‚Ç¨‚Äú act in their best interest. There could be no more of an advocate for our schools, but to differ with the board, its policies or actions is to commit political suicide. This is unfortunate, since the best interests of our children are not served by an unaccountable political juggernaut or a committee of nodding heads, but by the illumination of error, innovation and ideas that arises out of debate. Ousting Mr. Mattox from the Board of School Estimate was nothing less than a political pogrom designed to cleanse the board of dissent. If only Mayor Remsen would respect us enough to not deny it. Mayor Remsen√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s imperious power play, especially the way it was done, was transparently vindictive and demonstrates contempt for dissent, this unsurpassed advocate for Montclair school children, and the people who voted for him.
Also in this week’s paper, buried at the bottom of page seven, word that a historical assessment report received by the Montclair School District indicates that the Washington Street Y is not siginificant to Montclair’s history.
“No architectural resources were identified on the subject property that are eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places,” the report indicated.