The township rejected Vote Montclair’s petition to move municipal elections from May to November. Good move?


Dee Cision

No. Let the referendum happen. Switching to November could increase turnout as people also vote in other elections, could save the money spent on running a separate election in the spring, and could lead to fallen autumn leaves being glued back on trees.


Well, two out of three. Among the township’s arguments is that Vote Montclair’s effort to move elections would shorten the terms of 2020-24 Council members to late 2023. What say you?


Time in a Battle

Different-length terms have to happen once if there’s an election-date changeover, and current terms could always be pushed to late 2024 instead. There would still be calendars to drain spaghetti.


Those are colanders, you idiot. Meanwhile, as Montclair’s COVID numbers again slowly rise at least partly because of the Delta variant infecting the unvaccinated, Mountainside Medical Center’s ownership is requiring all staffers to get vaccinated. Good idea?


Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Yes. Those who don’t get the COVID vaccine put themselves and others at risk. The shots are safe, effective, effectual, and efficacious. What’s not safe is putting a thesaurus in front of me.


But what about individual choice? Isn’t that to be respected?


It’s Me I See

Sometimes. But I don’t have the right to light a cigarette in a local restaurant and subject people to secondhand smoke, or to run a red light in downtown Montclair and put others in danger, or to unlock the Gates of Hell to release a package of Devil Dogs desserts.


You should’ve stopped when you were ahead. Speaking of downtown, a Superior Court judge denied the request of a group of residents to reconsider the dismissal of their lawsuit against the redevelopment plan of Lackawanna Plaza’s former ownership. Reaction?


The Legal Has Landed

A shame, because the residents had a good case against that plan. If there isn’t an appeal, the next step is seeing exactly what plan Lackawanna’s new owner has for the site. Hopefully anchored by a good supermarket that would not stock Devil Dogs.


There is also hope that new owner David Placek’s Lackawanna plan will be better than the previous ownership’s plan in respecting the historic character of the former train station, building a larger percentage of affordable housing, leaving more open space, etc. Comment?


Better Is Less Bitter

I’d like to assure nearby Gates Avenue residents that the Gates of Hell have nothing to do with their street. Given how that avenue goes south and then turns west, its shape is more like the Gates of L.


In other Lackawanna news, students at the BELA Summer Business Academy again came up with excellent ideas for redeveloping the site. Why are student ideas often better than those from professional developers?


Idealistic Ideas

One reason is that students look at what’s best for a site and community, while developers usually focus most on maximizing profit — which explains why many developers name their sons Max.


Is that even true? I could find out by using the Montclair library computers scheduled to be available to the public again starting today, July 29.


Francis Scott Keyboard

Not a bad idea. But you don’t need a computer to look at the new “Annual Drinking Water Quality Report” just mailed to residents. “Methyl tert butyl ether” was everything I thought it would be.


And the “Turbidity” was what it was. Changing topics, did your daughter’s talented and congenial Montclair Bulldogs 12u summer travel softball team coached by Sarah Fronhofer Kim become champions of their division with a 14-5 playoff win against Morris Plains on Tuesday, July 27?


Vic Turry

Yes! The game took place in Glenfield Park off Maple Avenue. If there were also a Syrup Avenue nearby, the postgame food could’ve been pancakes rather than pizza.


Moving from softball to baseball, one of the Garden State Parkway’s service areas is being renamed for late Montclair resident Larry Doby — the first African American to play in the American League. Deserved honor?


You Can Call Me AL

Richly deserved honor. Plus the Hall of Famer had a combined 1952-3 RBI total of 206 — one more than the 205 Claremont address of our Municipal Building.


Not sure what that has to do with anything other than to serve as a segue back to the thwarted-for-now effort to move Montclair’s municipal elections from May to November. Is that like a May-December romance, albeit one month shorter?


Comedic Comparison

The township rejects your analogy.



Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.



9 replies on “MontClairVoyant: Municipal Elections and Other Column Confections”

  1. Dave,

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see a scattered-site Redevelopment Plan with the comeback of a new municipal complex element, including a long-sought senior center…all made possible with a transaction involving the Township’s Claremont Avenue properties. It seems like just yesterday some local architects presented renderings of this muni complex/grocery store concept plan at the 4th Ward Community meeting…on October 21…2015.
    I recall it was well received.

    At the very least it would relieve the Claremont Ave neighborhood of the Township’s street-side emergency generator.

  2. Thank you for the comment, Frank.

    A senior center would be nice but I’m not enamored with the idea of a new municipal complex in the near future. I realize the current Municipal Building at 205 Claremont and the police headquarters are not ideal, but some of the federal relief funds and any other capital-expenditure money available would be much better spent on improving school buildings. Would selling the 205 Claremont site (as I think you might be saying but am not sure) raise enough money?

  3. I wasn’t thinking sell. We do a sort of cross-lease…exchange of development rights value derived from the Township’s 81,000+SF of land with the muni complex portion of Lackawanna.
    And the Council writes the zoning requirements for both sites!
    I think everyone will find a seat at the buffet.

  4. Interesting, Frank. I’d be worried that, despite the power township entities have, a major developer or major developers would get a disproportionate share of the buffet. They almost always do quite well when dealing with township officials, boards, etc. 🙁

  5. I wouldn’t know. I start at the same place with everyone, but I can’t get past the tables of appetizers (which always seem adjacent to the open bar). I have heard that developers regularly worked their way across the room sober and arrive with unsated appetites at the Venetian table.

  6. Cleverly said, Frank.

    Ate is enough? Not to developers. They want a ninth oversized building. 🙂 🙁

  7. Good.

    I will simply say to various stakeholders, “when you get to the fork, take it!”

  8. The next hot area will be Claremont/Van Vleck/North Mountain/Colbert Drive/Valley. The Planning Board is sending an upzoning recommendation to the Council for The George Hotel. The Montclair Foundation has a request in to the Zoning Board to expand the the Van Vleck House uses allowing for-profit events (weddings, weddings, etc.). Down the block there will be a pot store and a retro-styled bar called Tierney’s Tavern.

    I have to admit when I was wrong. The 4-way stop intersection at Van Vleck & N. Mtn now makes sense with all the new electric car volume. Now, if we can just tweak that noise ordinance…

  9. “…when you get to the fork, take it” — LOL, Frank! 😂

    Climate change must indeed be “a thing” when yet another “hot area” in Montclair is envisioned… 🙄

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